Earlier this year, the Pakistani supreme court overturned the conviction of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a Pakistani British national who was sentenced to death by hanging for the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl.
Imran Khan’s government is intentionally distancing Pakistan from its traditional allies, Saudi Arabia and the United States, in favor of Turkey and China. But replacing the United States with China is premature.
If Pakistan takes such great lengths to “protect” Islam and its Muslim citizens, it should also seek to protect fellow Muslims abroad who are the victims of ethnic cleansing, oppression, or persecution.
In the past few weeks, Pakistan has attempted to mitigate COVID-19’s effect on its economy and people. However, these efforts have largely ignored the needs of Pakistan’s minorities. The result is an increase in human rights violations.
The US should grant asylum to Asia Bibi, a Catholic mother of five whose blasphemy trial and acquittal have embroiled Pakistan in violence. The aftermath of her deserved acquittal teaches an even larger lesson, for it demonstrates once again how restricting religious freedom can tear a nation apart.