LAHORE, Pakistan (BP)--The case of Asia Noreen, the first Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges, suffered a major setback when her most vocal supporter, the governor of Punjab province, was gunned down by one of his police bodyguards Jan. 4 in Islamabad.
SHEIKHUPURA, Pakistan (BP)--Ashiq Masih, with his stooped posture, frail body and dull yellow eyes, stands in a small compartment in Pakistan's Sheikhupura District Jail with his three daughters -- Sidra, Eesha and Eeshum. The girls are weeping silently. On the other side of a metal grille is Asia Noreen, the birth mother of two of the girls and the first woman in Pakistan to receive the death sentence for allegedly blaspheming Islam's prophet Muhammad. Eeshum, age 12 and mentally disabled, whines like a baby for her mother, asking her when she will be back.