Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Thursday reiterated his promise to the nation that those who broke the law during countrywide protests against the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Asia Bibi will not go unpunished.
In a charged speech on the floor of the Senate, Afridi vowed to make an example out of those who resorted to violence during the three-day long protests, which broke out after the apex court last week set free Bibi – a Christian woman who had been on death row for eight years in a blasphemy case.
The protests, spearheaded by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), paralysed the country for three days before the government reached a deal with the demonstrators, ending the protests.
Lashing out at opponents who criticised the government for its deal with the rioters, Afridi said the state will never use force against its own citizens.
“There will be no bullets, no sticks used against fellow Pakistanis in ‘Naya Pakistan’. [The state] cannot even imagine use of force against its own citizens,” said the minister.