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» 01/04/2011
Punjab governor assassinated, he had called for Asia Bibi’s pardon
by Jibran Khan
Salman Taseer was killed by a member of his security detail. Interior minister says that the murderer acted because the governor had described the blasphemy law as a “black law”.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was assassinated today by a member of his security detail at a popular market in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. His assassin, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, said he killed him because the governor had described the blasphemy law as a "black law".

Unlike other Pakistani leaders, Taseer had openly opposed the blasphemy law. He had recently called on President Zardari to grant a pardon to Asia Bibi, a Christian woman from Punjab sentenced to death after she was accused of blasphemy.

“He has confessed his crime and surrendered his gun to police after the attack,” Interior Minister Rahman Malik said about the assassin, explaining that he is a police officer from Rawalpindi and had been recently added to the governor’s staff. This was the third time he worked in the security detail.

President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and other political leaders condemned the murder. Various human rights groups expressed their gratitude to Taseer for his efforts towards the abolition of the blasphemy law and for his defence of Asia Bibi’s life.

In the meantime, police is on high alert fearing more attacks against government officials and political leaders.

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See also
10/20/2011 PAKISTAN
Judge who sentenced Salman Taseer’s murderer removed
by Jibran Khan
01/12/2011 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: Pope’s call highlights split in Pakistani society
by Jibran Khan
01/10/2011 PAKISTAN
In Karachi, 50,000 rally behind blasphemy law
by Jibran Khan
01/05/2011 PAKISTAN - INDIA
Christians honour Salman Taseer, a courageous victim of the blasphemy law
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/05/2011 PAKISTAN
Anyone who is against the blasphemy law puts his life at risk, Lahore archbishop says
by Fareed Khan

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