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Justin Trudeau considers offering asylum to Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy

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Canada may offer asylum to Asia Bibi, the Christian Pakistani woman freed after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.

Mrs Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after allegations she insulted the Prophet Muhammad during a row with a neighbour.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, confirmed his government was in talks with Pakistan after Ms Bibi’s husband appealed to Canada, the UK and the US to consider granting asylum.

He said: “There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country.”

Mrs Bibi’s conviction was overturned in October after she spent eight years on death row. She has always denied the allegations.

The mother of five has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after her release sparked protests among Islamist hard-liners.

She has been flown to a safe place, but the Pakistani government has been forced to deny she has left the country after doctored photographs emerged.

Pakistan’s information minister, Fawad Chaudry, said pictures which claim to show Mrs Bibi meeting Pope Francis are actually of her daughter, and date from two years ago.

One politician received death threats because of the misidentification.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has defended the judges after the decision to overturn Mrs Bibi’s conviction.

Radical Islamists have called for the acquittal to be repealed, but Mr Khan warned them against using the decision to further political aims.

The UK Home Office has not commented on the case.

(c) Sky News 2018: Justin Trudeau considers offering asylum to Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy