CJP Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. – A file photo

ISLAMABAD: Amid country-wide protests against the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitting Asia Bibi in blasphemy case on Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Thursday said no one can be punished without a proof.

During the hearing of a case pertaining to unceremonious transfer of IGP Islamabad by the federal government, the chief justice said “we are to sacrifice our life for Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) but how can the court punish someone if there is no proof.”

The top judge said the verdict begins with Kalma and regularly refers to the Holy Quran and Hadith. He said the verdict should be read carefully to understand it. He said the state should fulfil its responsibility of maintain law and order.

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman and mother of four, after a quarrel with a woman in 2009 was accused of blasphemy and a trial court awarded her death sentence after charges were proved against her in 2010. Asia filed an appeal against the verdict in the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2014, which sustained the trial court’s verdict.

In 2011, former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was shot dead by his own bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri over showing sympathy with Asia after a meeting with her in the jail. Salman Taseer had also addressed a press conference in the jail along with Asia. The governor’s killer was awarded death sentence in 2016.

After acquittal of Asia Bibi by the apex court, the religious parties have initiated protests in all parts of the country.