Asia Bibi's daughter begs for her to leave Pakistan

Asia Bibi

The daughter of Asia Bibi has made a heartfelt appeal for her mother to be allowed to leave Pakistan after being freed from death row for blasphemy.

Despite being released from prison last November and a petition against her acquittal being thrown out by the courts in January, the Christian mother-of-five has still not been able to leave the country. 

It had been expected that Mrs Bibi would go to Canada, where her daughters have been living because of fears for their safety. 

Eisham Ashiq, 18, told the Daily Mail that she is in regular contact with her mother, who remains in hiding with her husband Ashiq Masih due to threats against her life.

'I am missing her so much, I think about her all the time, and I speak to her on the phone all the time. I say to her, "Have faith in God, because if God can release you from jail, God can release you from where you are now. He will bring you out,"' she said. 

'When she comes, I will hug her and kiss her, and that day will be a very special day when my mummy arrives, and I know I will be very happy, and will thank God before anything else.'

Blasphemy is a serious crime in Pakistan and even those acquitted face intimidation and violence at the hands of extremists.

Two politicians who defended Bibi, Shahbaz Bhatti and Salman Taseer, were both assassinated - Taseer by his own bodyguard.

After Mrs Bibi was released from prison, she was forced straight into hiding as hardliners held violent protests across the country calling for her to be executed.

With every passing day that she is forced to remain in Pakistan, the family fear that the threat to her life only grows.

'At the moment, she has security, but she could face problems any moment, any time, and it could happen very quickly,' Eshaim said. 

She appealed to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to do more to help her mother. 

'I would like to tell him to think about us, and release my mother,' she said.

'We love Pakistan very much, and my mummy will never speak against Pakistan as she loves it too.'

Last month The Times reported that the authorities were holding up Mrs Bibi's departure from Pakistan because of fears she would speak badly about the country to foreign media. 

'She should be fully taken into confidence first, to not speak up after leaving Pakistan,' an official was quoted as saying.

Lifestyle