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Pakistani Christian woman in limbo despite acquittal by top court

The fate of a Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy was in limbo Saturday after the government allowed Islamist hardliners to appeal against her acquittal and put her on a no fly list.

Asia Bibi's lawyer who saved her from the gallows left the country early Saturday after threats to his life.

Bibi, who had been on death row since 2010, was acquitted of all charges by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday, triggering protests by Islamist hardliners who paralysed the country for three days blocking roads and disrupting traffic in major cities.

The protesters, however, ended their action Friday night after the government reached a controversial deal to put Bibi on the no-fly list and saying it would not object to an appeal against the verdict, which was filed earlier in the Supreme Court.

"We have requested the Supreme Court to put Asia Bibi on the Exit Control List as soon as possible so that she could not fly out of the country," Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, the lawyer of Qari Salam who filed the case against Bibi, told AFP.

"We fear that she would be flown out of the country so we have requested the court for an early hearing of the case," he said, adding that he would "exploit all legal remedies to make sure Asia Bibi is hanged according to the law".

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