Ottawa talking with Pakistan about bringing acquitted woman to Canada

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Ottawa talking with Pakistan about bringing acquitted woman to Canada
Supporters of Pakistani religious parties coalition Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Alliance rally against the acquittal of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. A Christian woman acquitted after eight years on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy was released but her whereabouts in Islamabad on Thursday remained a closely guarded secret in the wake of demands by radical Islamists that she be publicly executed. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

OTTAWA The federal government is talking with Pakistan about the possibilty of bringing a Pakistani woman, who was recently released from death row, to Canada.

Asia Bibi, a Christian, was sentenced to death in Pakistan eight years ago for blasphemy after being convicted of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad _ a charge her family has long denied.

Pakistan‘s high court recently overturned Bibi’s conviction and ordered her release in a decision that triggered public outrage and protests across the predominantly Muslim country.

Since her release, Bibi and her family have faced threats and her husband has pleaded with countries in the West to relocate them.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an email Monday that Canada is in talks with Pakistan about Bibi.

Cameron Ahmad said the government recognizes the delicate domestic context and won’t comment further on the case, but he noted Canada is a welcoming country.

Bibi’s 2009 arrest came after she was accused of blasphemy following an altercation with two fellow farm workers who refused to drink from a water container a Christian had used. A mob accused her a few days later of insulting Muhammad, which led to her 2010 conviction.