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» 03/02/2011
PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani minister who defended Asia Bibi, is assassinated
by Jibran Khan
The attack took place this morning in Islamabad. An armed commando gunned down the Catholic minister in his car. Rushed to hospital he did not survive his wounds. Murder claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

 

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The Pakistani minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti was killed this morning by an armed commando. The attack was carried out in the I-8 / 3 neighbourhood by a group of masked men who ambushed the minister on the street. They pulled him out of his car and opened fire at point blank range before fleeing in a car.

The grandson of Shabhaz Bhatti was traveling with him when the attack took place. The terrorists continued to fire for about two minutes. There was no security guard with Bhatti when the attack occurred. The minister was immediately rushed to Shifa hospital, where, however, the doctors failed to save him. The killers left a note at the scene of the crime: "Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claims responsibility for the assassination of Bhatti for speaking out against the blasphemy law". Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan 'is an umbrella organization of various groups of Islamic militants.

Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, was recently confirmed in his post of Minister for Minorities in a government reshuffle. He boldly defended Asia Bibi, a Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy on the basis of false accusations. He belonged to the PPP, the progressive party in government. After the killing of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, who Islamic fundamentalists blamed for having defended Asia Bibi, Bhatti had become the radicals “top target”.

This is a concerted campaign to suppress all progressive, liberal and humanitarian voices in Pakistan, "said Farahnaz Ispahani, assistant to President Asif Ali Zardari. "It 's time for the national government and federal governments to speak out and take a firm stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan”.

Robinson Asghar a personal friend of Bhatti, relayed that the murdered minister had received threats after the assassination of the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. Asghar said he had advised Bhatti to leave Pakistan for a period because of threats, but Bhatti had refused.

Information Minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Bhatti played a key role in promoting inter-religious harmony, and was a great resource. "We are saddened by his tragic death", he said, adding that the government will investigate why he was without an armed escort.

 

 


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See also
03/30/2011 PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Batthi killed by a "mafia" of fundamentalists holding the government hostage
by Fareed Khan
03/25/2011 PAKISTAN
Paul Bhatti, brother of the murdered minister is "special adviser" to Prime Minister on Minorities
06/23/2011 PAKISTAN
Islamabad: first (odd) arrest for the murder of Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti
03/02/2011 PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic defender of the weak and marginalized
12/04/2010 PAKISTAN
Peshawar Imam: "A reward to kill Asia Bibi"
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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