Demonstrations by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party have caused traffic chaos in key Pakistani cities after 53-year-old Christian Asia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy was struck down on October 31. The protesters blocked thoroughfares in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the country’s biggest city Karachi, Punjab’s densely-populated capital Lahore and other communities.
Faizabad Jam and Block in Naya Pakistan, Now see what is the action of Naya Pakistan Govt. pic.twitter.com/eeVu3pIAbQ— Muhammad Asim Farooq (@sssisb) 31 октября 2018 г.
Islamabad Expressway right now— Fatimah khan (@Inevitable_khan) 31 октября 2018 г.
Protests at Faizabad against SC decision to free Aasia Bibi. Protest spearheaded by TLP reported around Faizabad Interchange where roads blocked from all four sides. Roads near Aabpara are also closed. pic.twitter.com/LXems0ZwD1
Left hospital at 1 and still stuck in traffic because roads are blocked by #TLP in #lahore. Don't know when we will get rid of this sick extremist mentality. #AasiaBibi #blasphemy pic.twitter.com/nn6OcHEIUk— Sahr (@Sahr_M) 31 октября 2018 г.
Some protesters fled to the key buildings and city sites.
Police have issued warnings for local drivers, who may find themselves stuck in traffic due to protests. Some users say that the TLP also plans to shut down airports.
The TLP leader has also called for the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan's government over Bibi’s case.
The woman was convicted in 2010 after she allegedly insulted the Prophet Mohammed in a quarrel with Muslim workers over a bowl of water.
In 2009, Bibi was working in the field near her home village in Sheikhupura, Punjab, when one of the women working with her insisted that Bibi was "unfit to drink from the same water bowl as them" because she was a non-Muslim. She responded by praising Christ and discrediting their religion; her words were met with physical abuse. Later she was thrown in jail.
The responding police officers promptly arrested Bibi and threw her in jail; a year later she was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death.