Governor Taseer’s assassination: is this another case of exploding mangos?

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The whole of Pakistan or at least the more vocals ones (talking heads on cable TV, internet and print media) has dismissed the assassination of Governor Salman Taseer as a case of ‘a lack of religious tolerance for their fellow man by one of Pakistanis’, in this case, a symbol of an ‘English Medium, educated, rich, modern, liberal, progressive, not to mention one of the top ‘political and business elite,’ and a self-confessed ‘proud’ Muslim who reportedly carried the verses of the Quran around his neck on a chain by an ‘Urdu Medium, extremist, narrow-minded, brain-washed’ so-called ‘fanatic fundamentalist’ relatively ‘young’ slightly better trained and paid ‘security guard’ a member of elite force who cold-blooded bided his time to kill his targeted victim in a quiet moment long after the event which apparently triggered and provoked his so called ‘crime of passion’ By Fareeha Qayoom

Visit to Aasia Bibi in jail
Photo by Salmaan Taseer
By Fareeha Qayoom

O

n Jan 4, 2011, around 4:00 pm a colleague received a phone call advising him Governor Taseer was shot dead. Our reaction, we refused to believe him – I thought it was a hoax and said so. We looked it up immediately on the internet, the only medium available to us at the time.

GEO TV was carrying a one liner that Governor Taseer was shot dead in Kohsaar Market. I also Googled the name Salman Taseer and downloaded a Youtube footage of the ‘breaking news’ – it was official – we had to believe. I was puzzled. I didn’t understand why he was killed. My colleague told me it was because of the blasphemy law controversy. I just gave him a look – it was no longer a hot issue on the table! As far as most politicians were concerned, less said on it the better, besides, it was Sherry Rehman who was behind the amendment bill, not Salman Taseer, they had already moved on to more important issues since a month and a half ago!

Around 5:00 pm my brother Adnan called me to tell me there were riots on the Mall Road (as reported on TV) which might spill over to Gulberg – I should hurry and leave work as soon as possible – (I had called him around earlier,  3:00 pm to be exact, that I would be  late in picking him up because I was waiting for a bid from a Faisalabad Knits’ vendor.) I told him, no can do. Around 6:00 pm, my mom also gave me a frantic call telling me to come home as soon as possible – it was mayhem on the roads – she was apparently trying to locate her kids and make sure they were all right. One of my colleagues offered to give me an escort till Gaddafi Stadium en-route to picking up Adnan. I declined. Another one offered me advice gratis – go home through Cantt to DHA. He also offered to give me an escort home as he lives in the same general neighborhood – I declined because I was going home from a different route – as you know, had to pick up Adnan on the way. I left for home around 6:45 pm. There was no frantic rush, or mad traffic. Everyone was hurrying home – the traffic police also was very efficient in moving the traffic along. By the time I reached Liberty Market, it felt like late night…there was no mad rush around the traffic circle – around 7:00 pm, it was virtually deserted and most shops were closed. I reached home in half an hour with all the traffic lights and everything! Usually, it takes me an hour from my workplace to Adnan’s and then home. After getting home, I spent hours glued to the TV screen trying to make sense of this senseless murder while the emotional TV anchors milked the situation for all its worth.

Visit to Aasia Bibi in jail
Photo by Salmaan Taseer

The whole of Pakistan or at least the more vocals ones (talking heads on cable TV, internet and print media) has dismissed the assassination of Governor Salman Taseer as a case of ‘a lack of religious tolerance for their fellow man by one of  Pakistanis’, in this case, a symbol of an ‘English Medium, educated, rich, modern, liberal, progressive, not to mention one of the top ‘political and business elite,’ and a self-confessed ‘proud’ Muslim who reportedly carried the verses of the Quran around his neck on a chain by an ‘Urdu Medium, extremist, narrow-minded, brain-washed’ so-called ‘fanatic fundamentalist’ relatively ‘young’ slightly better trained and paid ‘security/body guard’ a member of elite force who cold-blooded bided his time to kill his targeted victim in  a quiet moment long after the event which apparently triggered and provoked his so called ‘crime of passion’ – (apparently it was the Governor’s ‘unfortunate’ remarks a few weeks ago that ‘Pakistan’s blasphemy law was a black spot in our justice system’– the murderer’s  act also further reinforcing the western media and political forces’ so called view and perception that Pak army and security forces are full of such fundo’s who secretly aid and abet the Taliban and sympathize with their cause, whatever that is – in other words, it’s a case of some more “my way or the highway” syndrome that apparently afflicts Pakistanis generally if you go by the local and western media. Fundamentalist Pakistanis are apparently funded by Saudi’s if you believe Wikileaks (reinforcing our indigenous  ‘foreign hands theory’ to explain this ‘transplanted’ terrorism or fall-out of Afghan Jihad – Saudis apparently want to spread Wahabi Islam all over the world through Talibanization of Afghanistan and Pakistan and are apparently working on ‘pan-Islam’ or Khilafat movement in other words or at least that’s the ‘secret’ theory that’s been floated by USA’s foreign office which was unfortunately leaked by Wikileaks!) – Strangely enough, the guy who killed him is a Brailvi, not a Wahabi if you are to believe TV One Channel!

Everyone is doing a bit of soul searching, blaming religious intolerance and extremism for this tragedy. I am not. What’s wrong with this picture? Well, as usual, as a nation we are too quick to jump to certain conclusions led by our thoughtless emotional anchors who will say anything for ratings. Am I the only one who sees wheels within the wheels here? I think it’s an advertising stunt – by whom is a question mark… You see a murder of a symbol of modern educated Islam by a bearded, slightly overweight young ‘primitive, barbaric’ chap who looks too calm and collected (based on the shots snapped by one eye witness shown on ATV) after ‘killing all of humanity,’ (as Quran puts it when it describes murder of a single human being in sufficiently heinous terms) creates a picture and a association in your mind – what gets embedded in your brain? Simple answer – Islam is a primitive, intolerant, extremist, terrorist religion and you don’t want to be part of it – Muslim or non-Muslim alike – its beside the point that active, practicing Muslims might not recognize this version of Islam as the Islam they love, practice and believe in! Bottom line, it just helps embed a further distorted image of Islam in most minds who might be exposed to this bit of news – so it’s a propaganda thing with a little bit of collateral damage thrown in for good measure. As a citizen of Pakistan you know Salman Taseer was not important enough politically to warrant a political motive for his murder so blaming Punjab or the Sharifs for the security lapse doesn’t make sense which was the main reaction displayed by the PPP government on TV. He was relatively a small cog in the PPP machine and was installed purely as a thorn on Sharifs’ side, removing him forcibly by death doesn’t help any local politician in furthering his cause whatever that might be. He was never in the running as a future prime minister!

Do you see what I see? I see a church attacked in Iraq by extremists just a couple of months ago; I see a ‘Coptic’ church attacked in Egypt by extremists only three or four days ago. I see a Christian woman (Aasia Bibi) in Pakistan wrongly accused of blasphemy a couple of months ago. I see people who try to establish truth, justice and fair-play in Pakistan for a Christian minority attacked and one of them killed. What triggers these extremist attacks? Apparently, a lot of Islam-bashing in the west – the latest was the threat to burn Quran in Florida that gets averted at the last minute only three or four months ago with banning of burqa and minarets in Europe just a few months ago to nasty cartoon competitions of the prophet and bash the prophet on Facebook page as some of the more recent incidents only last year.

Can you dismiss this latest dot as  ‘Action and its equal and opposite reaction’ thing? No, I don’t think so – its not as simple as that. I think ‘its wag the dog’ syndrome in play on the world stage. Islam bashing is popular and in fashion and currently, picking on Muslims all over the world is a favorite game in the western media. All these incidents are not isolated but help form a very extreme and stereotypical picture of Islam justifying the invasion of some of their territories and showing them as the bad guys. So I am not willing to dismiss this tragic incident as just a case of Pakistanis intolerance for their fellow citizens with more liberal views. I think it’s more a case of  ‘exploding mangos’ even though we have the so called murderer in custody with his proud confession.

Allow me to remind you when the prophet in his lifetime never had a problem with non-believers insulting him to his face – Abu Jehal being the most famous one – (even when he was in power, remember ‘Fatah-e-Makkah’?), what’s our problem that we are willing to kill in his name and consider it something to be proud of without establishing all the facts or ensuring justice is done? No I don’t agree with the gentleman on Capital Talk (Jan 4, 2011 episode) that even the educated Muslims would turn into a mob if someone insults their prophet to their face. It happens in the world all the time. I don’t see any mobs; only processions of tire burning incidents that try to register their protest against this so-called freedom of speech to bash Islam publicly. Two, Christians by definition consider our prophet a false prophet, that’s why they don’t believe in him so punishing them for their belief, is not acceptable; however, they have to keep their antipathy against the prophet and Islam (if they harbor it!) private in Pakistan since they are in minority here. Three, majority of Muslims in Pakistan have a full right to get their beliefs respected by the law of their land as they are in a majority here and if they can’t get respect for their beliefs in their own country, where else can they get it? They won’t obviously get it in Europe and North America where they are in the minority. This is the essence of ‘secular’ democracy – might is right, so in Pakistan, Muslims have the full right to have a such a law in place – however, misuse and abuse of such laws should not be allowed. So, Sherry Rehman is right – anyone who falsely accuses a member of minority under this law should get capital punishment too if that gets established by the court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

Having said that, am I willing to apologize or hang my head in shame because some jackass has high jacked my religion to justify the doctrine of ‘clash of civilizations’ and aid and abet the western propaganda? No I am not.

I am not intolerant and I am the majority in Pakistan. So dear local media, back off!

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

96 Comments

  1. More reading?

    Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies condemn assassination

    RECORDER REPORT

    LAHORE (January 06, 2011) : Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on Wednesday condemned the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer. A wave of gloom pervaded the Punjab Assembly where its session lasted for hardly 20 minutes. While addressing the legislators, Acting Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan condemned the incident. He said it is a sad moment and all the members of the House express full sympathies with the bereaved family.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140303:punjab-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-assemblies-condemn-assassination.html

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  2. Taseer laid to rest with state honours

    MUHAMMAD SALEEM

    LAHORE (January 06, 2011) : The late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was laid to rest with all state honours in here at Cavalry Ground graveyard on Wednesday amid stringent security measures and in an atmosphere of sobs and tears. The body of the slain Governor was flown to the Cavalry Ground graveyard on a military helicopter from Governor House, after funeral prayers.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140305:taseer-laid-to-rest-with-state-honours.html

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  3. It’s a political murder: Awan

    RECORDER REPORT

    LAHORE (January 06, 2011) : Federal Law Minister Babar Awan criticised the Punjab government for not providing adequate security to the late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and termed his killing ‘political’, a TV news reported on Wednesday. “‘I am not blaming anyone,” Awan asserted. He was talking to media here. The assassination has raised many pertinent questions, Awan said.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140308:it-s-a-political-murder-awan.html

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  4. Government asked to avoid hurting sentiments

    ALI HUSSAIN

    ISLAMABAD (January 06, 2011) : Religious parties on Wednesday called upon the government to review their attitudes towards blasphemy laws and refrain from hurting sentiments of Muslims, and also asked the government to reject the proposed amendments to the law tabled by PPP MNA Sherry Rehman.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140312:government-asked-to-avoid-hurting-sentiments.html

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  5. Imams refuse to lead funeral prayers

    M RAFIQUE GORAYA

    LAHORE (January 06, 2011) : Imam Masjid of Governor House Mosque Qari Ismail and Imam Masjid of Badshahi Mosque Abdul Khabeer Azad, both Punjab government employees refused to lead funeral prayers of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer on Wednesday. Official sources told Business Recorder that both the Auqaf department employees point blank told the Governor House administration that they would prefer to be dismissed from service than lead funeral prayers of the assassinated governor.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140310:imams-refuse-to-lead-funeral-prayers.html

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  6. Kerry on the assassination of Taseer

    WASHINGTON (January 06, 2011) : Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement condemning the assassination of the governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer. “Governor Taseer was a proud champion of democracy and respect for the rights of women and minorities,” said Chairman Kerry.

    http://www.brecorder.com/news/top-stories/1140330:kerry-on-the-assassination-of-taseer.html

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  7. Qadri presented before ATC amid tight security
    Updated at 1020 PST Thursday, January 06, 2011

    It should be mentioned here that Mumtaz was remanded in police custody for one day by the area magistrate yesterday amid beefed up security.

    The court was requested for five-day remand; but, the magistrate remanded Qadri in police custody for one day with the instruction to produce him in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) for further remand tomorrow (Thursday).

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8805

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  8. Khosa calls Fed. Ministers to express wisdom
    Updated at 0300 PST Thursday, January 06, 2011

    LAHORE: Senior advisor to CM Punjab, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa Wednesday ruled out allegations being leveled on Punjab government in statements from Federal Ministers in connection with the assassination of Salman Taseer, Geo News reported.

    He said some conspirators in federal government want governorship of Punjab therefore instead of finding out facts behind the murder of governor; they are irresponsibly terming the incident as ‘police custody murder’.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8789

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  9. Salman Taseer assassination ‘political’: Awan
    Updated at 1655 PST Wednesday, January 05, 2011

    LAHORE: Federal Law Minister Babar Awan blamed the Punjab government for not providing adequate security to the assassinated Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and termed the killing ‘political’, Geo News reported Wednesday.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8761

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  10. Shahbaz condemns assassination of Taseer
    Updated at 2130 PST Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti on Tuesday strongly condemned the assassination of Governor of Punjab Salman Tasser.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8715

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  11. Initial report into assassination of Taseer due today
    Updated at 1030 PST Thursday, January 06, 2011

    LAHORE: The initial probe report into assassination of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer will be presented to the Chief Minister Punjab today (Thursday), Geo News reported.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8807

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  12. comment – The news editorial…
    After the funeral

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Salmaan Taseer has been laid to rest in Lahore, the city where he spent most of his tragically shortened life. Mercifully, fears that floated through the day of possible violence by angry PPP workers did not materialise. The funeral went ahead with dignity, though demands were raised from party activists for justice for the assassinated governor of Punjab. There was also the emergence of some tensions, with PPP senior leaders in Punjab reportedly preventing Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif – with whom Salmaan Taseer’s relationship had been intensely acrimonious – from attending the funeral.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24197&Cat=8

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  13. Remembering Salmaan Taseer

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Zafar Hilaly
    Salmaan Taseer died doing what he wanted to do, to the best of his considerable abilities. In that sense he died with his boots on. There was no other way that he would have wanted to go. And he would have wanted to be mourned, as much as he will be in the days to come, not only by his friends but the people – that mythical horde which some of us, the privileged, profess to serve but which so few of us get a chance to serve; or rather, make that chance happen, Salmaan Taseer did.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24200&Cat=9

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  14. Silence is golden?

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    The motivation behind this question is the assassination of Salmaan Taseer. His assassination explains why our political representatives choose to stay silent on the issues demanding the most attention. What is done cannot be undone but this incident is of extreme importance and will define Pakistan’s stance on extremism and bigotry. Mere condemnation of it by anyone across the political stage of Pakistan will not suffice. All political parties should adopt a joint and strict stance on extremism.

    Debate after this incident should not revolve around security lapses or political motives but the core issue of the cause of assassination should be addressed with political unity. Religious scholars should elaborate the fact that the debate on the blasphemy law was solely about making the law better and such extreme actions are unacceptable.

    Yusra Qadir

    Lahore

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24187&Cat=8

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  15. Taseer’s murder: ATC hearing shifted to Islamabad

    ISLAMABAD: The anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing Salmaan Taseer’s assassination case was shifted from Rawalpindi to Islamabad due to security concerns.

    The commissioner issued the notification to shift the court. Police will now present the assassin, Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, in the court in Islamabad to get his physical remand.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99864/taseers-murder-atc-hearing-shifted-to-islamabad/

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  16. Incitement: Man who offered reward for killing Taseer arrested
    MULTAN: Khangarh police on Tuesday arrested a man who had announced a Rs20 million prize for whoever would kill Governor Salmaan Taseer. Sardar Ebaad Dogar had made the announcement at a rally organised last Friday against proposals to amend or reform the blasphemy laws.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99206/incitiement-man-who-offered-reward-for-killing-taseer-arrested/

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  17. The thin red line: The blasphemy law and concept of defamation
    Zeeshan Mujahid

    KARACHI: When it comes to blasphemy, the burden of proof lies on the person who registers the case. But if the accusation is proven false, the complainant stands liable for damages and a defamation suit can be filed against them.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99784/the-thin-red-line-the-blasphemy-law-and-concept-of-defamation/

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  18. Taseer’s remarks about blasphemy law
    Hassan Chaudhry

    KARACHI: A vocal critic of the blasphemy law, Salmaan Taseer showed his overwhelming support for Aasia Bibi, the woman charged with making disrespectful remarks against the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and condemned the controversial law on several occasions. Here is a list of his quotes on Aasia and the blasphemy law that might have been the cause of his death.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99277/taseers-remarks-about-blasphemy-law/

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  19. Fight the rising intolerance
    Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    When Princess Diana died in a fatal car accident in 1997, a friend asked our Islamic studies teacher whether Diana, as a non-Muslim, would go to heaven for her humanitarian work. With a reassuring and calm smile, she replied, “No! All non-Muslims go to hell.”

    Those who have grown up during the noughties have witnessed their schools turn into fortresses, gun-toting security guards, barbwire topped walls and sandbags — all of which represent institutions’ seriousness in tackling possible threats of violence. Their surroundings emphasise what they see on the news or read on the internet.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99550/fight-the-rising-intolerance/

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  20. The media’s role in Taseer’s murder
    Samad Khurram
    The writer graduated from Harvard University in 2009 and is now working as a freelance development consultant samad.khurram@tribune.com.pk

    It is quite likely that the tragic murder of Salmaan Taseer, much like the other violence around the blasphemy law, was the act of a lone wolf with acquiescence from co-workers. The security guard who shot the governor was not funded by a terrorist organisation or a political group; rather his motivations stemmed from a misguided conviction, a culmination of anger and hate and a clouded moral compass. Unfortunately the killer is not alone. He has millions of sympathisers, thousands of whom have expressed support through fan pages, tribute videos and SMSs.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99460/the-medias-role-in-taseers-murder/

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  21. Another victim of the blasphemy law
    Asad Munir

    The alleged killer was calm, well-composed, with no visible signs of repentance on his face and probably confident about his bright future in paradise. He may have read the fatwa issued by the Aalami Jamaat Ahle Sunnat on November 24, declaring Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer an ‘apostate’ for raising his voice to free blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi. He may have seen the burning of effigies of Salmaan Taseer and Sherry Rehman during protest processions organised by the Sunni Ittehad Council on December 31. He may have been convinced that killing for religion is justified and that he would be amply rewarded in the afterlife. The textbooks he read in school may have taught him to hate people of other religions. Hatred, once engrossed in a raw mind, does not confine itself to any boundaries. It breeds intolerance, which has been encouraged by various pillars of the states. Anyone who dares to raise their voice against intolerance and bigotry is termed a ghaddar or kafir. People with open minds and rational thinking are coerced through different means. Murder is one of them.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99549/another-victim-of-the-blasphemy-law/

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  22. Salmaan Taseer — Patron of the Arts
    Ali Usman

    LAHORE: “Ranks and authorities never last but Art – the symbol of life, prevails.” This is what Salmaan Taseer said while visiting Professor Saeed Akhtar’s solo exhibit at Ejaz Art Gallery in Lahore in 2009.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99533/salmaan-taseer–patron-of-the-arts/

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  23. Tribune’s editorial
    The monster rising within us
    The member of the Punjab ‘elite’ force, Mumtaz Qadri, guarding Governor Salmaan Taseer who killed him had had himself included in the personal security squad of the governor during his visit to Islamabad. According to a report quoting an investigator who interrogated the killer, Qadri told his colleagues in the squad that he would murder the governor and that they should not fire at him because he would surrender after the act.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99547/the-monster-rising-within-us/

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  24. Slain governor ‘a great loss’: Clinton
    AFP

    PARIS / BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday condemned the assassination of the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, calling his death “a great loss.”

    Salmaan Taseer was shot dead at an Islamabad market by a bodyguard who opposed his criticism of controversial blasphemy laws, officials said, plunging nuclear-armed Pakistan into deeper political chaos.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/99379/slain-governor-great-loss-clinton/

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  25. No justification for murder
    by Sana Saleem on 01 6th, 2011 | Comment (1)

    On January 6, around 150 members of civil society gathered at the Karachi Press Club for a vigil in memory of the late Governor. It was a fairly decent turn out, especially considering the security risks involved. We took to the streets and went around the Press Club with candles in our hands, demanding an end to this state of lawlessness. Keeping in line with the idea of a peaceful protest, none of the protestors called out for death or blood but instead, demanded justice and respect for the deceased. Even so, there were only 150 of us when there should have been thousands more.

    http://blog.dawn.com/2011/01/06/no-justification-for-murder/

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  26. Taseer’s murder: part of a wider plot – Imtiaz Warraich
    “The people behind this assassination should be exposed immediately…there was a serious security lapse,” Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said.
    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/06/taseer%E2%80%99s-murder-part-of-a-wider-plot-imtiaz-warraich.html

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  27. Pak must make efforts to root out extremism: US
    Submitted 2 hrs 8 mins ago

    Terming the slaying of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer as a loss for Pakistan, the U.S. has said the country has to make efforts to root out extremism and bring greater peace and stability.
    “This is an individual who had worked hard to promote tolerance, and his loss is a great one for Pakistan,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/06-Jan-2011/Pak-must-make-efforts-to-root-out-extremism-US

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  28. Religious parties pledge support to assassin
    Published: January 06, 2011

    MULTAN/KARACHI – The religious parties Wednesday were all praise for Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the assassin of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and warned the govt that any attempt to repeal or amend the blasphemy law would be resisted.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/06-Jan-2011/Religious-parties-pledge-support-to-assassin

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  29. Nation’s editorial…

    Taseer’s murder
    Published: January 6, 2011

    The Governor of Punjab, Mr Salman Taseer, was gunned down at Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on Tuesday, as he was about to enter his car after a brief stopover there. He was 66. It was Malik Mumtaz Qadri of the Elite Force, deputed as one of his security guards while he was in the federal capital, who after having pumped 27 bullets into his stomach, chest and neck, threw down his gun, raised his hands and declared that he had no intention of harming anyone else. He promptly surrendered to the police. The Governor was rushed to the Polyclinic, but was pronounced dead by the doctors.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/06-Jan-2011/Taseers-murder

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  30. Government forming commission to probe assassination

    LAHORE: The government decided to form a judicial commission to probe into the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday. According to the Law Ministry sources, the judicial commission’s summary has been sent to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Islamabad High Court chief justice’ name has been proposed as the head of the commission. Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan would be the second member of the commission. Earlier, Federal Law Minister Babar Awan had announced to form the commission, the channel reported. daily times monitor

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg1_2

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  31. Countrywide protests

    LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) staged protests in various cities of Punjab to condemn the killing of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday. A partial strike was observed in Lahore, where markets and shopping centres remained closed completely on The Mall, Hall Road, Shah Alami, Rang Mahal, Shahdara, Gulberg, Liberty Market, Hafeez Centre, Beadon Road, Montgomery Road and McLeod Road. In Gujranwala, after offering funeral prayers for the governor, PPP workers and traders took out a protest rally.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg1_4

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  32. Daily Times editorial…
    EDITORIAL: The courage of Taseer

    Pakistan was still reeling from the shock of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer’s assassination when his murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, revealed that he had informed his colleagues about the murder plot. Qadri said that he had asked them to let him finish his ‘job’ and then arrest him alive. An FIR against Qadri was lodged by the governor’s son, Mr Shehryar Taseer, wherein it was stated that some political and religious groups were giving threats to the governor and should be held responsible for his murder. A one day remand of Qadri has been granted. There are speculations that more than one magazine of bullets were fired on Governor Taseer. The post-mortem report is not being made public for the time being due to investigative concerns. It seems that the security staff was complicit in Mr Taseer’s murder, which is why there was no response from any one of them. The implications of such a huge security lapse are grave. How could no one possibly find out about Qadri’s plan to assassinate a sitting governor is something hard to digest. The security for a VVIP has to be vetted first by the authorities. If a lunatic like Qadri was allowed to ‘guard’ Governor Taseer, there must be deeper reasons behind it. Qadri might have been a lone assassin but the investigation must find out who masterminded this plan. We of course have no dearth of religious zealots. There are reports that some other liberal, enlightened people are next on the hit-list of these bigots. This means that there is a wider conspiracy afoot and unless Qadri is meted out the punishment that is due under the law, and that too quickly, this murderous trend of issuing senseless edicts and subsequent assassinations would continue. A deterrent message is necessary to curb further threats to the lives of liberal Muslims in our narrow-minded society.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg3_1

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  33. COMMENT: Salmaan Taseer: assassinated on a perilous path Dr Mohammad Taqi

    Salmaan Taseer dedicated his personal fortune to the cause of publishing the unvarnished truth and the people’s right to know this truth. It would not have been possible for this paper’s editorial board to carry itself independently were it not for Salmaan Taseer’s personal commitment to not only this project but to the very freedoms of speech and expression

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg3_2

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  34. VIEW: Blood on our hands —Saroop Ijaz

    Cowardice is not sensitivity. Neutrality now is immoral. Bipartisanship is spinelessness. Silence is criminal. We live in a society where condemning a daylight murder of a statesman by a religious fundamentalist lunatic requires ‘caution’

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg3_3

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  35. VIEW: The war is not over —Mashal Sahir

    When the political parties succumbed to the mullahs’ will, the masses reflexively assumed that the mullahs were right about the blasphemy laws, which is why the government had to give up, and they accused the only courageous man in the government, Salmaan Taseer, for holding a supposedly wrong opinion

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg3_4

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  36. COMMENT: Salmaan Taseer’s martyrdom —Aisha Sarwari

    The murderer of Salmaan Taseer points to a growing minority that is more powerful than the elite in this country. It rules over the elite through the zest of holy orders that descend from minarets everywhere. More than dispensaries and schools, mosques form the unregulated educational channels across the country

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg3_6

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  37. City sombre in mourning for Salmaan Taseer
    By Shabbir Sarwar

    LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers expressing their infuriation and anger before and after the funeral prayers of late Governor Salmaan Taseer, termed the tragic incident as “a complete political murder” and held Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), especially Sharif brothers and Rana Sanaullah, responsible for the security lapse which lead to the murder.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg13_1

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  38. Taseer’s murder big loss for nation

    Staff Report

    LAHORE: The assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer is a big loss for the nation and this cruel act has not only disturbed politics, but all segments of society, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) regional chairman and vice president said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg13_2

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  39. Chaos at hearing of alleged Pakistan assassin

    By Khurram Shahzad (AFP) – 3 hours ago

    RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Chaos engulfed a court hearing for the alleged assassin of a liberal Pakistani politician on Thursday as Islamist protestors forced police to backtrack on plans to relocate the session.

    The grinning policeman, who confessed to murdering Salman Taseer for his progressive views, has been hailed a hero by the powerful religious right, highlighting how deep the conservative grip on the nuclear-armed country.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ieEwNDrJKx1CtFMyCTTtl_gLlTmA?docId=CNG.7c8b71a79981f2ba4d077db3c714243a.481

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  40. Pakistan Lawyers’ Garland for Assassin Shows Deepening Militancy
    January 06, 2011, 8:35 AM EST

    By Farhan Sharif and James Rupert

    Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — Pakistani lawyers, clerics and politicians from religious parties defended the policeman who killed a provincial governor for opposing an Islamic blasphemy law in what secular leaders and analysts called an unprecedented show of militancy.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-06/pakistan-lawyers-garland-for-assassin-shows-deepening-militancy.html

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  41. Pakistan Killer Had Revealed Plans
    Assignment, Role of Other Guards Probed; Islamists Call Governor’s Assassin a Hero

    The killing of a senior politician who spoke out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws was widely lauded by Islamist groups and sympathizers Wednesday and it emerged that the assassin, a member of an elite police force, had told others about the pending attack but had still been assigned to his victim’s detail.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703675904576063581434623072.html

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  42. Salmaan Taseer bodyguard’s supervisor warned of extremist views

    Supervising officer of Mumtaz Qadri asked for his removal from sensitive security duties, says investigator

    * Reuters
    * guardian.co.uk, Thursday 6 January 2011 14.29 GMT
    * Article history

    The supervising police officer of the bodyguard accused of killing Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab, had asked for his removal from all sensitive security duties because of his extreme religious views, an investigator said today.

    The accused killer, Mumtaz Qadri, has said he was angered by Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/06/salmaan-taseer-bodyguard-supervisor

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  43. Pakistan supporters fear for safety of Aasia Bibi after Taseer killing

    Christian woman is on death row under blasphemy laws that Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer had condemned before his assassination

    # guardian.co.uk, Thursday 6 January 2011 16.30 GMT

    Human rights workers say they fear for the safety of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman at the heart of Pakistan’s blasphemy furore, following the assassination of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer this week.

    “None of us feel safe, least of all her,” said Shahzad Cameron, a Christian charity worker who has visited Bibi in jail several times since last November when she was sentenced to hang for blasphemy.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/06/aasia-bibi-salmaan-taseer-assassination

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  44. Pakistan’s increasing radicalisation
    Staring into the abyss
    Salman Taseer’s murder deals a huge blow to liberal Pakistan

    Jan 6th 2011 | ISLAMABAD | from PRINT EDITION

    THERE is a small space in which a liberal vision of Pakistan hangs on. It shrank a lot further with the murder on January 4th of a notable progressive politician and critic of religious extremism, Salman Taseer. Even before the assassination, the leading liberal-minded political party, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which heads the government in Islamabad and counted Mr Taseer as an activist since the 1970s, was in deep trouble. On January 2nd the PPP lost its majority in parliament when the second-biggest party in the government coalition, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), walked out.

    http://www.economist.com/node/17851553

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  45. 6 January 2011 Last updated at 14:40 GMT
    Pakistan viewpoint: Who is to blame for Taseer’s death?

    The killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has been described in the country’s media as awful, tragic and “a grim commentary on the state of affairs in Pakistan”. Author Mohammed Hanif asks whether a Pakistani culture which fails to challenge extremism is in part to blame.

    When Pakistan’s television anchors and newspaper columnists describe Salman Taseer’s assassination a tragedy, they are not telling us the whole truth.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12129770

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  46. Pakistan’s Christians Fearful After Assassination
    By Ayesha Nasir / Lahore Wednesday, Jan. 05, 2011

    Two of the dead man’s sons sobbed uncontrollably as preparations for Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s funeral took place in Lahore on Wednesday. But to the south, in Pakistan’s huge port city of Karachi, religious scholars united to forbid mourning. They urged pious Muslims not to offer funeral prayers for the outspoken Taseer, who had most recently made headlines by championing the rights of Aasia Bibi, a Christian convert facing execution because of the country’s blasphemy laws. Indeed, on Dec. 31, four days before his death, Taseer held his ground, offering these prophetic words on Twitter: “I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightist pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing.”

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2040875,00.html?xid=rss-mostpopular

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  47. Naming new Punjab governor a test for Zardari
    From the Newspaper
    (18 hours ago) Today
    By Amir Wasim and Shamim-ur-Rahman

    ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari faces a daunting task of finding a suitable replacement for the slain Punjab Governor Salman Taseer as the PML-N appears to have decided to oust PPP ministers from the coalition government in the province.

    Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif issued the threat to the People’s Party precisely at the time the tough-talking Taseer fell to an assassin’s bullets.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/06/naming-new-punjab-governor-a-test-for-zardari.html

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  48. Qadri: Smiling fanatic who killed Punjab governor
    AFP
    Yesterday

    ISLAMABAD: The 26-year-old smiling assassin who killed Pakistani politician Salman Taseer is an elite commando trained by the government, motivated by religious zeal and praised by hardline clerics.

    Protector-turned-killer Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was shown being driven away in a police van smirking in a woollen hat and blue anorak after pumping nearly 30 bullets into Taseer’s body outside an upmarket coffee shop.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/05/qadri-smiling-fanatic-who-killed-punjab-governor.html

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  49. slamabad IGP failed to make security arrangements for Taseer

    By Ikram Junaidi

    ISLAMABAD: Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) was informed about the visit of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer to the city, but he failed to make proper security arrangements, Daily Times has learnt.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\06\story_6-1-2011_pg7_13

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  50. Scope of investigation widened
    Several more arrested nSalman Taseer laid to rest
    Staff Reporter

    Islamabad—Kohsar police has registered murder case of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer under anti terrorism act and section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code while investigation agencies have taken into custody four more personnel of Elite Force, 2 shop keepers and some other persons.

    Sources privy to team probing into murder case of Salman Taseer said Wednesday the team did rehearsal of the murder incident. Mumtaz Qadri, killer of Salman Taseer was taken to murder scene.

    Investigation team has started investigation from 11 personnel of Elite force and one inspector. Murder case has been registered on behalf of Shehryar Taseer son of Salman Taseer.

    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=69820

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  51. Pakistan Rolls Back Fuel Price Increases
    By SALMAN MASOOD
    Published: January 6, 2011

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Battling to keep his government together, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani announced Thursday that he would reverse a recent increase in fuel prices that had led to public discontent and was used as a pretext by a major political party to quit the ruling coalition.

    Mr. Gilani made the announcement during a session of the national assembly in Islamabad and said the decision was supported by all of Pakistan’s political parties.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/world/asia/07pakistan.html

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  52. Analysis: Pakistan heading in the wrong direction

    The assassination of the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province is a major setback for progressive forces in that country and a deeply worrying sign for U.S. strategy in the region, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

    http://afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/06/analysis-pakistan-heading-in-the-wrong-direction/

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  53. MSharaf says:

    Impressed! But I wonder is writing and simply discussing on media enough? Surprisingly, its the seemingly rich and educated (upstarts) who are craeting trouble 🙁

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  54. My Father Died for Pakistan
    By SHEHRBANO TASEER
    Published: January 8, 2011

    TWENTY-SEVEN. That’s the number of bullets a police guard fired into my father before surrendering himself with a sinister smile to the policemen around him. Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, was assassinated on Tuesday — my brother Shehryar’s 25th birthday — outside a market near our family home in Islamabad.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/opinion/09taseer.html?_r=1

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  55. In A Gesture Of Goodwill Muslims Become Human Shields For Coptic Christians

    From the Carbonated.TV News Desk

    Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

    From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

    http://www.carbonated.tv:9090/news/in-a-gesture-of-goodwill-muslims-become-human-shields-for-coptic-christians_3

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  56. Rally against Fear
    The current debate on the blasphemy laws has become so skewed, distorted and governed by fear, that a man’s life is taken for merely speaking out against the injustices committed in the name of this law and his brutal murder is widely cheered. Are these the values by which we wish to define ourselves? Is this the society we wish to live in?

    Governor Taseer’s murder and the subsequent reaction to it demonstrate …that the debate on the blasphemy laws has been hijacked by the religious right that threatens anyone daring to engage in it with mortal danger.

    We believe that living in a democratic state entitles us to debate this law or any law passed by a Parliament in a safe and secure atmosphere. We have the right to debate laws and social issues without threat of harm or loss of life.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/event.php?eid=144765168911378

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  57. Salman Taseer killing case: Cop in Pakistan PM’s security team detained
    Published: Sunday, Jan 9, 2011, 14:08 IST
    Place: ISLAMABAD | Agency: PTI

    A Pakistani policeman attached to Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s security detail has been detained along with an official of the country’s electronic media watchdog in connection with Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, while investigators are looking for a cleric who motivated the killer.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_salman-taseer-killing-case-cop-in-pakistan-pm-s-security-team-detained_1492240

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  58. A blood-dimmed tide
    Sunday, January 09, 2011

    Ghazi Salahuddin
    Shaken by the assassination of Salmaan Taseer in a high-end market in Islamabad on the fourth day of the New Year, many of us have been struggling to contend with the message that it bears for the future of Pakistan. And it is not just the brutality of that murder most foul that disturbs the mind. What has followed in the abject display of admiration for the murderer and the response of so many religious leaders presents a dreadful portrait of our society.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24783&Cat=9&dt=1/9/2011

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  59. Pakistan moderates under attack
    Calgary Herald January 9, 2011 1:02 AM

    I n Pakistan, a blasphemy case can be built around something as trivial as throwing out a business card with the name Mohammed printed on it. That’s not difficult to do, considering half the male population is named after the Prophet.

    It’s also the name of Mohammed Hanif, the columnist to report in The Guardian on the ridiculous blasphemy case against a respected Pakistani doctor last month, uninterested in a pharmaceutical representative’s sales pitch, so he threw away the business card. The salesman and local religious party activists came back the next day and registered blasphemy charges against the pediatrician.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Pakistan+moderates+under+attack/4081816/story.html?cid=megadrop_story

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  60. Pakistan will implode if the US does not leave Afghanistan
    The continuing US presence in Afghanistan fuels extremism in neighbouring Pakistan
    Imran Khan

    The assassination of Salmaan Taseer has shown only too clearly the growing extremism in Pakistan, the radicalisation of its society and the polarisation that is taking hold. This is not just between the religious and the secular, but also the polarisation that the “war on terror” has caused between the various religious sects.

    There were no Pakistanis involved in 9/11 and al-Qaida was then based in Afghanistan. The only militancy we were suffering was among the tribal groups who had fought against the Soviets and whose idea of jihad was a war against foreign occupation. Yes, there was sectarian violence, but suicide bombers were unheard of.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/09/pakistan-implode-america-leave-afghanistan

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  61. And the plot thickens…

    Search on for cleric who motivated Taseer’s assassin
    From the Newspaper
    (9 hours ago) Today
    By Munawer Azeem

    ISLAMABAD: Investigators are looking for a cleric who had motivated Malik Mumtaz Qadri to kill Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

    Sources told Dawn on Saturday that during investigations Qadri said he had been motivated by the cleric, ‘QH’, of Rawalpindi.

    Despite several raids, police have been unsuccessful in catching QH or tracing his whereabouts.

    According to the sources, Qadri attended a congregation on Dec 31 near his house in Sadiqabad, Rawalpindi, where the cleric delivered a speech on blasphemy.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/09/search-on-for-cleric-who-motivated-taseer%E2%80%99s-assassin.html

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  62. What Really Killed Pakistan’s Taseer
    Albert Camus’s famous novel, The Stranger, was the story of a man who was killed not because of a crime he had committed but because of a steady rise in publicity about his character faults. Little things bothered people about the Stranger — he didn’t cry at his mother’s funeral, he had a steady girlfriend he didn’t plan to marry. When he became implicated in a crime, the trial became a showcase of all the tiny things he did in his private life that the public didn’t approve of or simply didn’t understand — though none of these things were exactly wrong or immoral, in sum and in public, they cost him his life.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shirin-sadeghi/what-really-killed-pakist_b_805926.html

    and

    Pakistan In Crisis, World Security Threatened
    The eyes of the free world are riveted on the crisis in Pakistan as the high stakes drama unfolds of the persecuted Christian mother Asia Bibi and the brave Muslim father Salman Taseer, both Pakistani, now inextricably linked to the future outcome of Pakistan. One victim is dead for defending the life of the other victim of political maneuvers and probable greed with tremendously divisive religious implications.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noel-irwin-hentschel/pakistan-in-crisis-world-_b_805882.html

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  63. A Pakistani’s Assassin’s Long Reach
    By DAVID E. SANGER
    Published: January 8, 2011

    WASHINGTON — The assassination last week of one of the most moderate politicians in the Pakistani political elite was shocking enough, even in a country known for settling religious and political disputes with a hail of gunfire.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/weekinreview/09sanger.html?src=twrhp

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  64. Pakistanis mourn a once tolerant, relaxed nation
    By NAHAL TOOSI
    The Associated Press
    Friday, January 7, 2011; 12:39 PM

    ISLAMABAD — A 60-year-old university administrator in the southern port city of Karachi is wistful as he recalls the more tolerant, freewheeling Pakistan of his youth.

    Once, when a teacher suggested no book can be perfect, the boy asked if that included Islam’s holy book, the Quran. That sparked a candid class discussion about religion. But in today’s Pakistan, Muqtida Mansoor said he would never dare to ask the question in public.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010702823.html

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  65. Indian Muslim intellectuals condemn Taseer’s killing

    LAHORE: Indian Muslim intellectuals, scientists, artists, journalists, social activists, engineers, businessmen, lawyers and students have strongly condemned the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and expressed their apprehensions over growing religious intolerance in Pakistan.

    “We are shocked by the killing of Taseer by a member of his bodyguard force. He had dared to support Aasia Bibi sentenced to death for having committed blasphemy according to the infamous blasphemy law of Pakistan,” they said in a joint statement.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\09\story_9-1-2011_pg7_19

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  66. Viewing Pakistan from afar
    While the unravelling state of affairs within our country is rather disconcerting for Pakistanis, both here and abroad, the situation seems even more disturbing to those who do not know our country well, or owe it any loyalty.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/101017/viewing-pakistan-from-afar/

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  67. Pope Benedict Urges Pakistan to Repeal Blasphemy Law

    By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
    Published: January 10, 2011

    MILAN — In a forceful appeal for religious freedom, Pope Benedict XVI urged Pakistan on Monday to repeal contentious blasphemy laws as he called on governments around the world to do more to enable Christians to practice their faith without violence, intolerance or restriction.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/world/europe/11pope.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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  68. Qadri pleads guilty to Pakistan slaying
    By Pamela Constable
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Monday, January 10, 2011; 10:49 AM

    KARACHI, Pakistan- The assassin has been showered with rose petals, his home has become a shrine to the faithful and thousands of supporters have marched in the streets, praising him as a heroic defender of Islam.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011002576.html

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  69. Pakistani Assassin Says He Acted Alone

    By SALMAN MASOOD
    Published: January 10, 2011

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The elite police guard who assassinated the governor of Punjab Province last week said at a court hearing early Monday that he acted alone, according to a senior police official.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/world/asia/11qadri.html?src=twrhp

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  70. Factbox: Pakistan’s blasphemy law strikes fear in minorities

    By Sanjeev Miglani

    Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:46am EST

    (Reuters) – Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law has been in the spotlight since November when a court sentenced a Christian mother of four to death, in a case that has exposed deep rifts in the troubled Muslim nation of more than 170 million people.

    While liberal Pakistanis and rights groups believe the law to be dangerously discriminatory against the country’s tiny minority groups, Aasia Bibi’s case has become a lightning rod for the country’s religious right.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7092AA20110110

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  71. Last updated: 10 january, 2011 – 14:53 GMT
    Salman Taseer assassination

    The assassination last week of one of Pakistan’s most prominent politicians, Salman Taseer, has left the country reeling.

    The liberal governor of Punjab province was gunned down in a market in Islamabad.

    One of his bodyguards has confessed to the killing, saying it was in retaliation for Salman Taseer’s call for Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws to be reconsidered.

    While liberals consider the assassination a catastrophe, some on the religious right have been celebrating it.

    Salman Taseer had six children. Outlook’s Jo Fidgen spoke to two of them from their garden in Lahore – Sara, his eldest daughter, and his son Shehryar, who turned 25 on the day his father died.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/2011/01/110110_salman_taseer.shtml

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  72. Can Pakistan rid itself of religious fanaticism?

    By Fareed Zakaria
    Monday, January 10, 2011

    This week, Joe Biden will make his most important foreign trip since he became vice president. He will visit Pakistan, a country that is in crisis at every level – military, political, economic and societal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/09/AR2011010903417.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

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  73. How many actually did? Out of 180 Million, a couple of thousand is small change, don’t you think? (Besides, the number ‘two thousand’ – or is it two hundred?- is hardly accurate either…its based on news reports!), But who wants to be accurate…you want to be sensational and bash religion some more at the expense of ‘secularism’…

    In Pakistan, Tolerance Shrinks
    It’s shocking how many of my countrymen celebrated the murder of a secular politician.

    By MIRA SETHI

    Lahore, Pakistan

    Three years ago, when Benazir Bhutto—the first woman to lead a postcolonial Muslim state—was assassinated, Pakistanis mourned her from the syncretic South to the Punjab to the tribal North. With the recent assassination of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, the opposite has been true. While his friends, party-workers and family huddled together in despair, Pakistan’s silent majority and vocal Islamist minority ignored and celebrated his murder.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704739504576067714082910994.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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  74. PAKISTAN FACES A DIVIDE OF AGE ON MUSLIM LAW
    By CARLOTTA GALL
    Published: January 10, 2011

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Cheering crowds have gathered in recent days to support the assassin who riddled the governor of Punjab with 26 bullets and to praise his attack — carried out in the name of the Prophet Muhammad — as an act of heroism. To the surprise of many, chief among them have been Pakistan’s young lawyers, once seen as a force for democracy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/world/asia/11pakistan.html?src=twrhp

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  75. Civil society calls for a tolerant Pakistan

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Saadia Khalid
    Islamabad

    Determined not to bow before the extremist forces, the civil society, under the banner of Insani Haqooq Ittehad’ (IHI), staged a rally — ‘We Want a Tolerant Pakistan’ — here on Saturday.

    Members of civil society organisations gathered outside the National Press Club (NPC) and raised their voices for a tolerant Pakistan. The participants of the rally raised slogans for justice, peace and promoting a culture of tolerance and accepting diverse opinions. They asked people to join them in the struggle against religious intolerance.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=25923&Cat=6&dt=1/16/2011

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  76. Pakistan should punish Qadri, blasphemy law should stay: Musharraf
    PTI

    Former Pakistan President Pervez Mushrarraf has said that the killer of Punjab governor Salmaan Tasser should be punished and not allowed to challenge the writ of the state, but pledged support for the controversial blasphemy law.

    “The assassination of Taseer was wrong and his murderer should be punished,” Mr. Musharraf was quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper as telling a conference of his All Pakistan Muslim League part in London yesterday.

    Mumtaz Qadri, the police guard who shot the Governor, should not be permitted to challenge the state’s writ, Mr. Musharraf said.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/article1095295.ece

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  77. Rose Petals for a Killer
    My father’s assassination could teach us something.

    My father, Salmaan Taseer, governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab, was murdered on Jan. 4, shot dead in broad daylight by the policeman tasked to protect him. Acting out of a twisted piety, the man—Malik Mumtaz Qadri—shot my father because of his belief that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been misused to persecute religious minorities.

    Five days later the hardline Sunni Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party organized a rally in support of those blasphemy laws in Pakistan’s commercial hub, Karachi. This coming-out party put on display the ugly face of the tens of thousands of religious fanatics who wish to destroy Pakistan’s secular, liberal, progressive, and democratic forces.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/16/rose-petals-for-a-killer.html

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  78. XYZ of Cafe Pyala….

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011
    List Please
    Ansar Abbasi triumphantly points out on the front page of The News today that what is “generally ignored in the ongoing discussions in the media” is that the mandatory death punishment for blasphemy “applies to all the prophets” as per the 1991 ruling of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC). He writes:
    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2011/01/list-please.html

    The Fight To Define the Debate
    Ab roshni hoti hai ke ghar jalta hai dekhain
    Shola sa tawaaf-e-dar-o-deewaar karay hai
    – Mir Taqi Mir

    [Will it lead to light or the house burning down, we’ll have to see
    A spark of sorts is circling the walls of our home]

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2011/01/fight-to-define-debate.html

    Thursday, January 6, 2011
    Fatwa Back At You (Corrected)
    Further evidence of the depths to which some in Pakistan have sunk. This is a short video of the Murtid Qadri being presented in court yesterday, charged with the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, where he was lauded by some lunatic lawyers, showered with rose petals, garlanded and even kissed. (Link courtesy Shahid Saeed.)
    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2011/01/fatwa-back-at-you.html

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011
    The Real Blasphemers

    “Mera azm itna buland hai ke paraye shaulon ka dar nahin

    Mujhe khauf aatish-e-gul se hai, ye kaheen chaman ko jala ne de”

    [My resolve is so strong that I do not fear the flames from without

    I fear only the radiance of the flowers, that it might burn my garden down]

    — Shakeel Badayuni couplet referenced by Salmaan Taseer on Twitter, 8 hours before his assassination

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2011/01/real-blasphemers.html

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  79. Ghuttan
    January 6, 2011
    tags: Assassination, CRAZY, Media, Religion, Salmaan Taseer
    by kalakawa

    I’m really not sure what I want to say right now. Many excellent blog posts and op-eds have been written in the wake of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, and I don’t know what I can add to that. What I mainly feel alternates between anger and an odd feeling of suffocation.

    http://kalakawa.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/ghuttan/

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  80. PPP leadership: Accused of appeasing religious right
    ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) are said to have ridiculed the current leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and accused it of abandoning its original “moderate and progressive role,”sources said.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/106389/ppp-leadership-accused-of-appeasing-religious-right/

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  81. Chaos with a chewy centre
    By Shami Shah

    “Pakistan is on the brink of collapse.”

    “The country is about to be swallowed up by internal strife.”

    “The rest of the world is running out of patience.”

    “Lo I beheld a pale horse and it’s name was Death.”

    Oddly, none of these proclamations create even the slightest sense of panic in the average Pakistani anymore. Instead, what you will get is a glazed over look of boredom. We’ve been here before, too many times and we will be here again. In fact, one might argue, we Pakistanis are so comfortable on the brink of chaos that we have built our house there. Laid down our roots. Every morning we battle the forces of uncertainty with an almost mundane sense of routine.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/106129/chaos-with-a-chewy-centre/

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  82. hmmm….

    Comment: Anwer Mooraj

    The gathering storm
    This is arguably the worst period in the political history of this blighted republic, and the worst government the country has seen. But then, things have never been very good in this nation state. Mr Zulfikar Bhutto, the visionary, unilaterally excommunicated a religious sect and truncated the map of Mr Jinnah’s Pakistan by fuelling anti-Bengali sentiments. General Zia, the obscurantist, introduced the controversial Hudood Ordinances and helped to unleash the forces of religious oppression. And General Musharraf, the reformer, abolished the civil service, introduced an ordinance that brought back all the alleged felons who had sought political exile and turfed out the chief justice of the Supreme Court. But this writer cannot remember an incident in this country’s murky past where the governor of a province was shot in the back by one of his guards, while his armed colleagues stood by. And then, after the deed had been done, hundreds of men in black coats and other well-wishers, weeping with joy, garlanded the assailant as if he had just returned from the Crusades after defeating the enemy with one hand tied behind his back.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/106130/the-gathering-storm/

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  83. What should the liberals do now?
    Nadir Hassan

    In Pakistan, any debate that has a religious component will be numerically skewed. Those dwindling few who oppose the use of Islam for murder and oppression will be limited to angry screeds on the opinion pages of English-language newspapers that are read by few, and head-scratching bewilderment on blogs and Twitter, which have an even smaller audience. Media that is accessible to a majority —Urdu TV stations, newspapers and radio — is dominated by rationalisations of violence.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/106126/what-should-the-liberals-do-now/

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  84. Islamic scholar attacks Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

    In the wake of Salmaan Taseer’s murder, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi declares Islamic councils are “telling lies to the people”

    * Declan Walsh in Islamabad
    * guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 January 2011 16.43 GMT
    * Article history

    A prominent Islamic scholar has launched a blistering attack on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, warning that failure to repeal them will only strengthen religious extremists and their violent followers.

    “The blasphemy laws have no justification in Islam. These ulema [council of clerics] are just telling lies to the people,” said Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a reformist scholar and popular television preacher.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/20/islam-ghamidi-pakistan-blasphemy-laws

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  85. `Frontline state` tag in anti-terror war to be discarded
    From the Newspaper
    (19 hours ago) Today
    By Baqir Sajjad Syed

    Thousands of civilians and security personnel have been killed or maimed for life during the war against terror in Pakistan, said government sources.—Reuters

    ISLAMABAD: The government has reached the conclusion that the phrase ‘frontline state in war against terrorism’ used by officials to stress Pakistan’s role in anti-terror efforts is not serving the country’s interest and therefore decided to drop it.

    “Descriptions like frontline state in war against terrorism overcast country’s positivities. Therefore, we are doing away with this phrase,” a senior security official told Dawn on Thursday.

    He said the ‘frontline’ phrase was misleading and created an impression that the problem of terrorism was specific to this region – something which contradicts Pakistan’s position that it is a global phenomenon.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/21/frontline-state-tag-in-anti-terror-war-to-be-discarded.html

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  86. A friend wrote this on her facebook page…I coudn’t resist sharing it with you…

    What’s Not So Funny About Peace,Love and Understanding?
    by Marian Sharaf on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 11:55pm

    I am surprised to note that towns with majority of minorities have not encountered any problem in the aftermath of governor’s killing as yet. Both majority and minorities seem to be at peace. It is areas with seemingly rich and educated people (say upstarts), who are taking out their disgust on the minority-neighbours. Government cannot afford to, and will not let anything happen on massive level. However, you can expect anything from the grassroots.

    Unfortunately and ironically sad, no one wants to know and realize that the reason why minorities live in this country is not because they ‘happen to be here,’ it is mainly because they chose to live in Pakistan (after partition) simply because they shared one brotherhood and similarities in religious faith with the majority. History books do not have this information, but the fact is that when Pakistan was made, it was Muslim League Minority Wing that was the last to vote – and they voted for Pakistan.

    Every intelligent person knows the Governor’s killing has nothing to do with what the killer has related it to. However, the argument is not about minority vs majority. It is about misuse of power and law. An NGO last year, produced a documentary in which it showed relevant cases from the majority group. Most of these victims were accused by some family member (over family dispute such as the case of an industrialist in Muridke, Punjab) or in business disputes (such as between two women, who had dispute over a lottery). Most of these victims are killed even before an FIR is filed or an investigation is carried out.

    As for the minorities, it’s illogical to think that US will come to their aid because, after all, they are Pakistanis. They are minorities in Pakistan as they do not belong to the State religion and will also be minorities in West as they are after all Pakistanis. Minorities will remain Minorities!

    PS: Some media persons are forgetting they are watch dogs of the society. In this whole process of supporting the underdogs (but following the top dogs), these seem to have gone astray like some other kinds of dogs!!!!! – Pardon Me

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  87. Multiple Political and Security Shocks Rattle Pakistan Stability
    The recent assassination of the governor of Pakistan’s most populous province delivered another shock to a country reeling on multiple fronts. Pakistan is struggling to maintain stability while trying to cope with a shaky economy, wobbly politics, and emboldened domestic terrorism.

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Multiple-Political-and-Security-Shocks-Rattle-Pakistan-Stability-114300574.html

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  88. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s defiant prisoner of intolerance, vows to stay put

    ‘These death threats won’t make me flee’, says Rehman, who supports reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws
    # The Observer, Sunday 23 January 2011

    All Sherry Rehman wants is to go out – for a coffee, a stroll, lunch, anything. But that’s not possible. Death threats flood her email inbox and mobile phone; armed police are squatted at the gate of her Karachi mansion; government ministers advise her to flee.

    “I get two types of advice about leaving,” says the steely politician. “One from concerned friends, the other from those who want me out so I’ll stop making trouble. But I’m going nowhere.” She pauses, then adds quietly: “At least for now.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/sherry-rehman-pakistan-blasphemy

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  89. Blasphemy law amendment: Sherry Rehman to withdraw bill, says PM
    By Zia Khan
    Published: February 3, 2011

    ISLAMABAD: The prime minister stated that Sherry Rehman, a member of the National Assembly from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has agreed to withdraw her bill seeking to amend the controversial blasphemy law.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/113445/blasphemy-law-amendment-sherry-rehman-to-withdraw-bill-says-pm/

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  90. Qadri formally indicted in Salmaan Taseer murder case
    By AFP / Express
    Published: February 14, 2011

    RAWALPINDI: Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the assassin of later Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, was formally indicted by the Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/118588/qadri-formally-indicted-in-salmaan-taseer-murder-case/

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  91. Analysis: Pakistan unlikely to bend on blasphemy
    AFP

    ISLAMABAD: The killing of a Pakistani minister opposed to an blasphemy law is unlikely to prompt reform in a country under international pressure but hemmed in by conservative Muslim opinion, analysts say.

    Gunmen shot minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, in broad daylight after he came out of his mother’s home in Islamabad on Wednesday.

    Another vocal opponent of the blasphemy law, Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was in January shot dead by one of his police bodyguards, who is said to be feted by his jailers and celebrated as a hero on the streets of Islamabad.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/03/analysis-pakistan-unlikely-to-bend-on-blasphemy.html

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  92. Zardari in Karachi: ‘This is an ideological war’
    By Hafeez Tunio
    Published: March 3, 2011

    KARACHI: Condemning murder of federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that the killing was a manifestation of the continuity of the same ‘mindset’ which had assassinated Pakistan Peoples Party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

    Addressing legislators of the Sindh Assembly at Bilawal House, he said that terrorists wanted to ‘defame’ Pakistan by committing such crimes and wrongly portray Pakistan as an ‘intolerant’ country. “But we will continue Shahbaz Bhatti’s mission by electing one of his family members on his seat,” he said.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/126760/zardari-in-karachi-this-is-an-ideological-war/

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  93. When we weren’t a land of bigots
    S Iftikhar Murshed
    Monday, March 07, 2011

    The writer is the publisher of

    Criterion quarterly.

    Hope, it is said, is like a rainbow in the eye that colours every cloud with a wealth of colours. But shame and sorrow visited Pakistan yet again with the assassination on Wednesday of Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. This was the second killing of its kind in Islamabad in less than two months, after the gunning down of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer on Jan 4 by his own bodyguard. The lives of Taseer and Bhatti were brought to an abrupt end because they had opposed the blasphemy laws promulgated by Ziaul Haq.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=34834&Cat=9&dt=3/7/2011

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  94. Blasphemy Laws Are Against Islam
    Salam Al Marayati
    Blasphemy laws or laws prohibiting defamation of a religion are incompatible with Islamic thought and philosophy. The concept of Defamation of Religions denies a person their free will to choose — one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity — and deprives individuals of their right to free speech and expression. It also creates a climate of intolerance that can breed discrimination and violence.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/salam-al-marayati/need-to-oppose-blasphemy-_b_836290.html

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  95. Pew Research:

    Views of Islam and Violence

    Opinions about whether Islam is more likely than other religions to promote violence have fluctuated since 2002. In March of that year, 51% said that Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions do, while only about half as many (25%) said that it does. Since then, opinions have been more closely divided. The current measure is comparable to 2009 and 2005, when pluralities said Islam was no more likely than other religions to encourage violence.

    http://people-press.org/2010/08/24/public-remains-conflicted-over-islam/

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  96. Oct 3, 2011

    EDITORIAL: Taseer case verdict

    An anti-terrorism court (ATC) sentenced slain Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer’s self-confessed murderer Mumtaz Qadri to death on two counts for murder and terrorism and fined him Rs 200,000. On January 4 this year, Mr Taseer was shot dead in broad daylight by Qadri, one of the Punjab governor’s bodyguards, while the rest of his security detail silently looked on and did not budge to stop this hideous murder from taking place. ATC’s Judge Syed Pervaiz Ali Shah dismissed Qadri’s defence in which he took the plea that he had killed Mr Taseer for his alleged ‘blasphemous’ statements. Judge Shah said there is no room for such defence under the law. Qadri’s counsel have announced that they will file an appeal against the verdict in the High Court in seven days. It remains to be seen what the outcome of such an appeal would be.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\10\03\story_3-10-2011_pg3_1

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