By Sajjad Hussain
Islamabad, Nov 12 The Dutch embassy in Pakistan Monday rejected the reports of its closure over security concerns after the Netherlands gave shelter to the lawyer of Christian woman Aasia Bibi who was recently acquitted of blasphemy charges.
The Netherlands ambassador to Pakistan Ardi Stoios-Braken took to Twitter to announce that the embassy was working as usual.
"The Embassy of the Netherlands in Pakistan is open. The issuance of visa has been halted temporarily," she said.
Several TV channels in Pakistan reported that the embassy had closed down its operation due to security reasons and was facing threats.
The ambassador said the embassy was temporarily closed for two days because of construction work last week.
The Netherlands has been in news in Pakistan after Bibi's lawyer Saiful Malook approached it over security threats.
Malook reportedly applied for asylum in the Netherlands.
Mulook, fled to the Netherlands soon after the verdict, citing death threats.
According to media reports, the ambassador has also faced "threats" from Islamists angry over anti-Islam tweets by the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
The Dutch government said on Thursday that it had offered temporary shelter to Mulook.
Bibi, a 47-year-old mother of four, was release from Multan jail last week after the Supreme Court in its landmark decision acquitted her of blasphemy charges.
She was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. Bibi always maintained her innocence, but spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement.
Hard-line Islamists held widespread protests in Pakistan after the Supreme Court verdict on October 31.
They blocked streets and called for the killing of judges for overturning the conviction of Bibi. SH MRJ AKJ MRJ