Elected members of the ruling class were caught prodding, manipulating, and even punching each other.

At the center of the struggle was Asia Bibi, a woman who had been saved by a Supreme Court ruling from the hangman who had released her on death row after eight years.

But that decision shook up angry Islamists who took their outrage on the streets and have held nationwide protests since last Wednesday when Mrs. Bibi was released.

READ MORE: Husband of Asia Bibi asks for help – Pakistan is "very dangerous for us"

As thousands flooded the streets, many signs were up to hang "Asia."

The fights in the National Assembly in Islamabad between members of the governing and opposition parties took place after politicians led by Prime Minister Imran Khan began negotiations with leaders of the Tehreek-e-Labbayk party who led the protests.

Their discussions ended with the agreement to impose a travel ban on the woman by adding her to the Exception Control List and requesting a "petition for review" by the court to overturn the acquittal.


The decision to issue a travel ban was made after the lawyer of Ms. Bibi, Saif-ul-Malook, fled to Holland on Saturday. He claimed that the European Union and the United Nations (UN) had left him "against my will".

Mr. Malook said that after the acquittal of Mrs. Bibi, he had become a "major target" of the perpetrators.

After the violence, he turned to UN officials in Islamabad. He said he had put him on a plane after telling him his life was in "imminent danger".

At a press conference in The Hague he said: "Then they (the UN) and the ambassadors of the European nations in Islamabad held me for three days and then put me on a plane against my wishes.

"I urged them that I would not leave the country if I did not get Asia out of jail.

"I'm not happy to be here without them, but everyone said that you're the main target right now and the whole world cares about Asia Bibi.

"They felt that I was the primary goal I wanted to kill, and that my life was in immediate danger.

"For three days they did not let me open the door One day I called the French Ambassador and said I did not want to be here."

The lawyer arrived in Europe this weekend, supported by the HVC Foundation, a Dutch group focused on the human rights of Christian minorities.

Mr. Khan was asked to publicly support the acquittal of Ms Bibi by the Supreme Court and ensure that she leaves the country safely and seeks asylum from the human rights organization Amnesty International UK.

Omar Waraich, deputy director of South Asian Amnesty International, said, "Imran Khan must comply with the Supreme Court's acquittal against Asia Bibi and allow her immediate release and safe travel with her family to another country where she wishes to apply for asylum. His government must make it clear that Pakistan will not bow to the pressure of violent crowds.

"Khan came to power earlier this year to keep promises, restore the rule of law, support the oppressed and marginalized, and render justice.

"After all, his party is the Movement for Justice, but what does that mean even if he warns the mob against violence in just two days and bows to their demands?

"He should now reverse his position and return to his original position of supporting the rule of law.

"Asia Bibi has been through eight years of torment and should be allowed to move to safety rather than being fed by a busy mob."

Ms. Bibi was arrested after she was charged with blasphemy in November 2010 after she had offered her companions a glass of their water.

Since the mother of five is Christians, the water was calledunclean"by some who accused them of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.


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