Thursday, March 03, 2011
Karachi: March 2, 2011. Gopinath K.Rajput, Editor-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP) has strongly condemned broad daylight assassination of Federal Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in capital city of Pakistan.
According to media reports, the Minorities Minister was on his way to a cabinet meeting when gunmen broke into his vehicle and shot him.
He was rushed to Shifa Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Although no group has come forward to claim responsibility, there are reports that pamphlets issued by al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (the TTP) were found at the site of the attack.
Mr Bhatti was an outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which make blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad a crime punishable by death.
The blasphemy laws are misused by extremists to bring false charges against Christians and others Minorities to settle personal scores or acquire land or other property. Christians and Hindus charged with blasphemy have been murdered by extremists, even in cases where they were set free by court judges.
"I am shocked and stunned by the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. This is the second high profile killing of someone who supported change to the blasphemy laws. His death is a terrible blow to Pakistan's Christian community, Hindus and other religious minorities as he was a much valued advocate for Christians who worked tirelessly and courageously in pursuit of equality and freedom for all minorities, in spite of the clear risks to his own life.
"Mr Bhatti was killed simply for speaking in support of amendments to the blasphemy laws and we are left with the question now: who will be next?
“It is surprising that Shahbaz Bhatti was heading for Cabinet meeting without any security staff when it was responsibility of government to issue directives to security staff that Shahbaz Bhatti escort may be always present with him” added Gopinath.
Gopinath said that Shahbaz Bhatti is our martyr and will be ever remembered as martyr of Blasphemy law and we will keep on campaign for repeal of blasphemy law.
Islamabad March 3 : Mukesh Kumar (PHP Program Director) : Has strongly condemned assassination of Federal Minority Minster Shahbaz Bhatti. He said the Hindus and other minorities should be protected from terrorist (Talibans ) etc. Moreover, there should be no separate rule for minorities rather equal citizenship may be given to all Pakistani people.
Karachi: March 3, 2011. Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have said that statement of Mr. Rehman Malik, Federal Interior Minister of Pakistan to blame slain Christians leader Shahbaz Bhatti to neglect his security is very surprising and heart breaking for millions of Pakistani Christian.
NOTE : Bhatti was shot at least eight times, police said, in a daylight attack in Islamabad that came two months after the slaying of the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer.
US : March 3, 2011. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "shocked and outraged" by the slaying of Bhatti. "I was shocked and outraged by the assassination," Clinton told a Senate committee, adding it was also an attack on "the values of tolerance and respect."
Toronto: March 3, 2011. Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a condolence message to family and friends of slain Christian leader Shahbaz Bhatti have said “On behalf of our Government and Canadians across the country, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, and to the Pakistani people in the wake of his assassination. His death is a loss to the people of Pakistan and all those who shared his commitment to the promotion of tolerance and religious freedoms in that country.
UK : March 3, 2011. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the murder was "absolutely brutal and unacceptable"."It was absolutely shocking news," Cameron told the House of Commons. Cameron said the minister's murder was "absolutely brutal and unacceptable, and it shows what a huge problem we have in our world with intolerance".
EUROPEAN UNION : March 3, 2011. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Pakistan to ensure justice after gunmen assassinated Bhatti because he wanted to reform an anti-blasphemy law.
Expressing her "great sadness," English baroness Ashton said: "I strongly condemn the murder of a member of the government who was well known for his defence of the principles of equality and human rights which are enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.
"I am also deeply concerned about the climate of intolerance and violence linked to the debate on the controversial blasphemy laws.
India : March 3, 2011. India joined the international community in condemning the assassination, calling it a "dastardly crime"."We convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the people and the government of Pakistan on the tragic assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti," the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement."In this difficult hour, our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family and the people of Pakistan," the statement added.
United Nations human rights : March 3, 2011. Chief Navi Pillay said that Pakistan was poisoned by extremism and urged the country to reform its blasphemy laws."These murders are a tragedy for Pakistan and those who envision a future for the country centred on human rights," a statement from the South African former International Criminal Court judge said.
"I hope the government of Pakistan will not only hold the killers to account, but reflect on how it can more effectively confront the extremism which is poisoning Pakistani society,"she said.
The PHP Team