Deadly Intolerance: Shahbaz Bhatti (1968-2011)

Posted on March 2, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Religion
Total Views: 55983


Adil Najam

Shahbaz Bhatti – Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs, son of Jacob Bhatti, defender of minority rights and tolerance in Pakistan, and the only Christian Minister in the current cabinet – was gunned down today by the enemies of Pakistan, the enemies of humanity, and enemies of all that is decent and right.

Today, once again, we have one less good Pakistani amongst us. Today, once again, all of us should be ashamed at the intolerance that we have bred and tolerated around us.

Here is a report from Dawn on the news:

Gunmen shot and killed Pakistan’s government minister for religious minorities on Wednesday, the latest attack on a high-profile Pakistani figure who had urged reforming harsh blasphemy laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam.

Shahbaz Bhatti was on his way to work in Islamabad when unknown gunmen riddled his car with bullets, police officer Mohmmad Iqbal said. The minister arrived dead at Shifa Hospital and his driver was also wounded badly, hospital spokesman Asmatullah Qureshi said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying the minister had been “punished” for being a blasphemer.

Witnesses said the attackers scattered leaflets signed by “The Qaeda and the Taliban of Punjab” at the attack scene, which read: “This is the punishment of this cursed man.”

Taliban militants had called for Bhatti’s death because of his attempts to amend the blasphemy law.

“He was a blasphemer like Salman Taseer,” spokesman Sajjad Mohmand said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Gulam Rahim was coming from a nearby market when he saw Bhatti’s car drive out of his house. Three men standing nearby with guns suddenly began firing at the vehicle, a dark-colored Toyota.

Two of the men opened the door and tried to pull Bhatti out, Rahim said, while a third man fired his Kalashnikov rifle repeatedly into the car. The three gunmen then sped away in a white Suzuki Mehran car, said Rahim who took shelter behind a tree.

Pakistani TV channels showed Bhatti’s vehicle afterward, its windows shattered with bullet holes all over. It was not immediately clear why Bhatti, a member of the ruling Pakistani People’s Party, did not have bodyguards with him.

After Salman Taseer’s assassination, Bhatti said he was also receiving death threats, telling AFP that he was “the highest target right now”.

But he had insisted that he would work as usual.

“I’m not talking about special security arrangements. We need to stand against these forces of terrorism because they’re terrorising the country,” Bhatti said at the time.

“I cannot trust on security…. I believe that protection can come only from heaven, so these bodyguards can’t save you.”

Pakistani government leaders condemned the attack.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited the hospital and offered condolences to Bhatti’s grieving relatives.

“Such acts will not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism,” he said, adding that the killers would not go unpunished.

“This is concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari. “The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan.”

Bhatti’s friend Robinson Asghar said the slain minister had received threats following the death of the Punjab governor. Asghar said he had asked Bhatti to leave Pakistan for a while because of the threats, but that Bhatti had refused.

Pakistan’s information minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan, said Bhatti had played a key role in promoting interfaith harmony, and he was a great asset.

“We are sad over his tragic death,” she said, adding that the government would investigate why he did not have a security escort.

67 Comments on “Deadly Intolerance: Shahbaz Bhatti (1968-2011)”

  1. AA says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:00 pm

    You guys are holding on to the so-called democracy but this government you have elected, is nothing but a party without a leader. You need a leader if not leaders. A government which cannot protect its own rank and file, cannot protect its citizen. It is a failed democracy and you have to admit it first if you wish to hold on to any hope.

  2. Ms Khan says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:00 pm

    Nice post. Keep it up. I want to share with you this: Pakistani minister killed: militarized civil society & rights mafia silent

  3. izaz haque says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:08 pm

    Thanks to Pakistaniat for the powerful, principled voice it continues to express against these heinous crimes.

  4. Aliya says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:09 pm

    Adil Najam, you speak for all decent Pakistanis when you say:

    Today, once again, we have one less good Pakistani amongst us. Today, once again, all of us should be ashamed at the intolerance that we have bred and tolerated around us.

    Very sad day.

  5. Asim says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:17 pm

    I feel like making some blasphemous remarks right now for no reason other than to to piss-off Mullahs and Mullah lovers.

  6. USMAN says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:23 pm

    Another very sad day. This is what we sowed. Including this government by ignoring the killers of Salman Taseer and ignoring those who reacted with glee to that murder. WE ourselves sent them a signal and they responded. What else did one expect.

  7. March 2nd, 2011 9:28 pm

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “May His Soul Rest In Peace !!!”
    - “KILLING INNOCENTS in the name of Peaceful religion ……INVITING FURTHER AZAAB from Allah”
    - “Any of you who might be “okay” with this thing have to remember that today its him and its you then… if not tomorrow then day after tomorrow!”
    - “Killed by SATANIC MULANAS … one by one …..”
    - “There are those types of people all over sad but true♥”
    - “Jamat-e-islami the party which was against the creation of Pakistan is the same ingnorant organization that is responsible for all these killings!”

  8. Taimur says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:30 pm

    PPP jiyalas who are trying to spin this as a ‘PPP Shaheed’ on Twitter etc. should be ashamed of themselves. Shahbaz was KILLED by the PPP as well as the Taliban when PPP chose to ignore the killers of Salman Taseer. That is what killed Shahbaz Bhatti.

  9. Gardezi says:
    March 2nd, 2011 9:49 pm

    Who killed Shahbaz Bhatti?
    The Taliban? Yes
    Fundamentalists? Yes
    All of us? Yes
    The PPP? Specially Yes, by their reaction to Salman Taseer’s murder and ignoring those who were celebrating and by their own Ministers saying they would do the same.

    Now, wait and see how PPP turns Shahbaz into another Shaheed. Shame on PPP and all of us for letting this happen.

  10. ram, india says:
    March 2nd, 2011 10:03 pm

    Islam is what islam does.

  11. akif nizam says:
    March 2nd, 2011 10:15 pm

    Pakistan zindabad!! Pakistan zindabad!!

  12. Kafir Per Pakistani Law says:
    March 2nd, 2011 10:40 pm


    HE CHANGED PAKISTANI NATION TO ‘NATION OF MURDERS’. When in 1974 he gave LICENSE TO KILL to Majority of Pakistanis to ‘Declare ANYONE Kafir and justified to be killed if he/ she disagrees with Majority Paksiatanis on subject of religion’.

    ZAB you did a goodjob!!!!

    Personal Disclosure:
    I hold belief that:
    1-There is no God but Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (SAWS) WAS HIS LAST AND GREATEST PROPHET.
    2-No new or old prophet can come after Rasul Allah SAWS.
    3-I consider all reciters of Kalima-Shahada as Muslims.
    4-I do NOT belong to Qadiani organization headed by their Khalifa residing in England, that holds belief that thousands of prophets can come after Rasul Allah SAWS (nauzubilah), but they will only come in their Qadiani organization.

  13. banjara286 says:
    March 2nd, 2011 10:49 pm

    the state of pakistan languishes, with the state in pakistan nowhere in sight …

  14. bangash says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:02 pm

    Another Pakistani murdered by mullahism.

  15. Ali says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:27 pm

    Maybe we should airlift all the Christians out of Pakistan. I am pretty scared for em right now. Hindus too. We need to get our own ish sorted out with a Civil War.

  16. Athar says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:30 pm


    We are on the verge of total collapse ~~~ there is still little time left before it is too late.

    Please shun conspiracy theories, imaginary enemies, and delusions. These monsters/killers/breeders of hatred are the enemies within – and, unless such elements are not collectively taken on, with single voice and action – the entire body politik of country will be swept away for ever.

  17. ASAD says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:43 pm

    Actually we should be airlifting all mullahs and fundamentalists (there number will actually be smaller too)… why should moderates, Christians or Hindus leave. This is their country. The only people whose country this is NOT (if only because they had opposed it in the first place) are the fundos and extremists! We have to make THEM leave.

  18. ASAD says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:45 pm

    Yes, and that is exactly why THIS is NOT Islam. muslims and Islam does not do this. Criminals and terrorists – Hindu, Christian, Muslims – do this… Only people who believe that Islam does things like this are terrorists and enemies of Islam (some fall into both categories) – which one are you?

  19. humaira says:
    March 2nd, 2011 11:53 pm

    A young man – a human being – gunned down by people who have no right to be called human beings!

    The hands of both the PPP and PML(N) are bloody in this one. Neither Federal nor Punjab government did anything to those who were celebrating and calling for more after Salman Taseer’s murder and this is the DIRECT result of that.

  20. Ali says:
    March 3rd, 2011 12:21 am

    Loaded rhetoric is not necessary at this time. We all can recite the fallacies of blaming this attack on Islam, but do so without calling your opposition enemies and terrorists.

  21. ASAD says:
    March 3rd, 2011 12:25 am

    Do not defend murderers and animals.
    How is anyone who has done this NOT an enemy of Pakistan, an enemy of Islam and anything more than an animal (not even that)…. same for anyone who would defend this inhuman act or those who committed it!

  22. Ali says:
    March 3rd, 2011 12:33 am

    O goodness…I completely misinterpreted what you wrote. I’m just really angry at the moment. Please forgive me

  23. Ali says:
    March 3rd, 2011 12:42 am

    Just to make it clear since my last post kind of defamed myself, I am completely against the blasphemy law, even when protected by my internet anonymity.

    On another note, this article here is interesting to me…

    Maybe, we should take the money from the army and put everyone in state schools using financial aid incentives (see Bolsa Familia in Brasil), and reverse the indoctrination of the mullahocracy with a state driven tolerant indoctrination. Sometimes people forget that Zardari and many of his PPP friends, though corrupt, are low on that scale compared to the likes of the army. They may not get their money by stealing but they sure as hell do drink the blood of the people from their ivory towers.

  24. March 3rd, 2011 12:53 am

    I am a Pakistan born & bred in KP but now my fellow Pakistanis donot consider me Pakistani enough because we are different.
    They donot let us eat in their dishes or drink water with them because we the PEOPLE OF HOLY BOOKS INJEEL ,ZABOR & TORAH 0f Prophets are unclean in their eyes.

    My Muslim neighbours rejoice at the Shahadat of Shahbaz Bhatti & Salmaan Taseer.
    Will they kill Aasia Bibi and Sherry Rehman next

    Saint Paul said, I will live for Jesus and I will die happily at the hands of pagans for my faith.

  25. AlixKhan11 says:
    March 3rd, 2011 12:59 am

    A friend of mine commented the other day that minorities should simply emigrate; there is no place for them in the land of pure. Hindu can go to India (not sure of the security implications for Indian state). Christians can head out to Europe.

    No one deserves to live in constant fear like that.

  26. Maskeenel says:
    March 3rd, 2011 1:00 am

    Time is fast approaching when this constitution will be abolished and all hate spewers will be hung openly in the squares of the all the cities Pakistan. There is an atta turk somewhere in Pakistan who is watching this with a keen eye. When he steps in these bugs will be squashed and scraped away from the windshield of Pakistani flying coach. Just pray that you are not part of that cursed group and in their company. Till then those who are suffering at the hands of despondent leaders pray for that angel to step forward and stand for the depressed.

  27. Bangash says:
    March 3rd, 2011 1:06 am

    Maulvis also hate Shias, so after airlifting Christians, Hindus and Sikhs , will we have to airlift Shias as well?

    Even if we were to do that, Maulvis also hate Ahmedi, Qadiani, and Sufi, so do they all have to emigrate from Pakistan as well because of hateful and violent Maulvi ?

  28. Ali says:
    March 3rd, 2011 1:49 am

    Wasn’t actually endorsing the whole airlifting business. Just exaggerating to make the point that I’m scared for the Christians, Ahmadis, Shias, Hindus, etc in Pakistan.

  29. March 3rd, 2011 2:37 am

    As a Christian I am proud of our martyrs but as a Pakistani I am ashamed of this state of affairs in a country created in the name of Islam.
    Why o why did the Christian MPs of Punjab Assembly in 1947 vote for joining Pakistan?

    They did not forsee this madness .

  30. Shafiq says:
    March 3rd, 2011 2:50 am

    How tragic that another step has been taken towards the murder of humanity.

    If you are interested in history of extremism in Pakistan have a look at my view.

  31. Kafir Per Pakistani Law says:
    March 3rd, 2011 3:36 am

    Howcome none of my dear readers, commentors have posted any comment on my comment. Please see it on page 2 of comments. Thanks.

    Please comment something. I’m feeling LONELY :-(

  32. Nihari says:
    March 3rd, 2011 4:18 am

    The Vatican has asked the Pakistani government to safeguard the life and property of the Christians. As a humble Pakistani Muslim, I request the Holy See to make a request to the government to safeguard the life of the Muslims too.

    There the four distinct parties who have blood on their hands. The government/Army offcourse by not providing enough security and giving all encouragement to the religious zealots to create by walking backwards on the blasphemy bill and also creating this menace for us in the name of Jehad. The religious right, there is nothing religious about it, bend on killing every living man, woman and child Pakistani except for themselves. The media and opposition/other political parties by openly siding with the militants and the judiciary by emphasizing on other important issues like who has the right to broadcast the world cup and whether PCO judges should be hanged. The su mi to mo CJ probably shit in his pants like our PM and Prez just by thinking about taking action on this issue. He is more interested is more news worthy cases and causes.

    As for us public… charh ja baccha sooli pay, ram bhali karay ga

  33. Meengla says:
    March 3rd, 2011 4:43 am

    The slain minister Bhatti is another true martyr. Like Salman Taseer. He, like Taseer, would still be alive today enjoying great life being higher-up in political setup. He, like Taseer, could have afforded to go on expensive shopping trips abroad, cruise trips, vacations in European chalets. Enjoying all the amenities of life. [B]If only Bhattis and Taseers were like the rest of majority of Pakistanis. Only if they could have been cowered like the others[/B].
    Bhatti had plenty of warnings. I remember reading his interview a few weeks ago where he talks about the threat to his life but was defiant. So his death is not a shock to me. Well, after Taseer, nothing will shock me, I guess.

    Not even if these fanatics blow up the Mausoleum of M.A.Jinnah in Karachi on some mis-guided excuse.

    Where is the Ata Turk for Pakistan? Who can revise the curriculum 180 degree? Who can unleash the true force of the State of Pakistan against these fanatics? Nothing short of a total war against these fanatics can save Pakistan. That is because it is getting harder and harder for ‘liberal’ voices to be heard.

    Bravo to another brave son of Pakistan! May you rest in peace and may these fanatics and their bigoted ideology is gone from the face of the world as soon as possible.

    PS. So is it Sherri Rehman’s turn next? Please Sherri! You are a pride of Pakistan. Be safe.

  34. Christian says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:09 am

    Humanity cannot be fooled for too long.’Islam’ means peace..they keep telling us. well the only peace they offer is the silence after all opposing voices of truth have been massacared.

  35. Anwer says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:11 am

    And the Prophet of Islam (peace be up on him) said:

    “Whoever hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God.” (Bukhari)
    “He who hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state, I am his adversary, and I shall be his adversary on the Day of a Judgement.” (Bukhari)
    “Beware on the Day of Judgement; I shall myself be complainant against him who wrongs a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state or lays on him a responsibility greater than he can bear or deprives him of anything that belongs to him.”(Al-Mawardi)
    “Anyone who kills a Non-Muslim who had become our ally will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Bukhari)

    May Allah (swt) rest Shahbaz Bhatti’s soul in peace.

  36. Frank says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:19 am

    Right-wing Islamist parties, looking for an issue to rally their supporters, have campaigned against any change to the laws, accusing those who seek to amend them of blasphemy – and creating an environment that led to the latest killings.

  37. Rasheed says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:30 am

    Instruction revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him):

    Wa ta’aamulladheena ootul kitaaba hillullakum; Wata’aamukum Hillullahum.

    Meaning that the food of the peopl of the Book (Jews and Christians) is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.

    So where does not letting Christians eat Muslims’ food come from? Are these filthy low-life vermin cockroach Mullahs and their followers superior to Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam?

  38. Waseem says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:34 am

    Shahbaz Bhatti was not a liberal, he was a patriot. His killers are not conservatives, they are murderers.

  39. Rasheed says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:36 am

    It is narrated that once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sitting in the mosque with a company of his followers. A bedouin walked into the mosque and began to urinate there. the Sahaba (May God be pleased with them) wanted to stop him but the great man (PBUH) for whom the worlds were created asked them to wait until he was done. Then poured some water to clean it after he had left.

    Pakistani muslims don’t quite seem to be following the Sunnah (example) of their Prophet (PBUH)

  40. Rasheed says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:41 am

    It is narrated that once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sitting in the company of a few of his Sahaba, when a funeral procession was passing by. He (PBUH) stood up out of respect for the deceased. Some of his followers quickly tried to inform him that the funeral was of a jew, upon which he replied: Didn’t he have life in him?

    Compare that respect for life with the lack of respect of life today in Pakistan.

  41. Rasheed says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:55 am

    It is narrated that once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was resting under a tree and fell asleep. Upon waking up, he found an enemy standing by him with a drawn sword , who asked the Prophet (PBUH): Who will save you from me now [as if in a "gotcha" moment].

    He (PBUH) calmly replied: My Allah, a reply that dumbfounded the enemy, who began to shake after seeing such confidence and quickness of mind to the extent that in his nervousness he dropped his sword, which Muhammad (PBUH) quickly picked up and asked his attacker: Who will save YOU now from me?

    The nervous attacker foolishly said: only you can save me, to which the Prophet (PBUH) told him how foolish he was to not seek shelter with Allah even after an example shown to him right there. He was let go unharmed, but the overwhelmed attacker accepted Islam.

    Compare that kindness with todays brutality by hell-bound wolves in sheep’s clothing, who claim to be followers of the greatest man ever.

  42. Eidee Man says:
    March 3rd, 2011 6:06 am

    Adil, you are right. We should all be ashamed at what we have bred around us; especially those of us who have had the privilege of a good education. We are now definitively, a society that is rotten to the core; we have collectively ceded the last bit of moral ground. We are a country where the most wealthy crook is the president, where religious fanatics are not answerable to anyone, where industrialists evade taxes, and where feudal lords abuse peasants.

    However, these problems are acknowledged by every Pakistani citizen. What is not acknowledged nearly enough, is the most dangerous group in Pakistan, the military. What has this military done? It has usurped power, waged unprovoked war on its neighbors, hanged a democratically elected leader, excised the most populous province by unleashing genocide on the people it was supposedly protecting, created sham governments only to collapse them later, etc etc. Worst of all, this military sowed the seeds of radicalism, extremism, and terrorism.

  43. Kafir Per Pakistani Law says:
    March 3rd, 2011 6:21 am


    From Dawn News Media Gallery:
    “Almost 100 people, including the famous writer H.M Naqvi and Human Rights Minister Nadia Gabol, gathered chanting, “This is terrorism, not Islam,” holding signs that stated, “Murderers are not Muslims,” ……..”

    I wonder where were writer H.M Naqvi and Human Rights Minister Nadia Gabol, when their beloved hero Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto declared me Kafir in Pakistani Supreme Law book??????


    Personal Disclosure:
    I hold belief that:
    1-There is no God but Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (SAWS) WAS HIS LAST AND GREATEST PROPHET.
    2-No new or old prophet can come after Rasul Allah SAWS.
    3-I consider all reciters of Kalima-Shahada as Muslims.
    4-I do NOT belong to Qadiani organization headed by their Khalifa residing in England, that holds belief that thousands of prophets can come after Rasul Allah SAWS (nauzubilah), but they will only come in their Qadiani organization.

  44. Eidee Man says:
    March 3rd, 2011 7:13 am


    when you started this blog, did you in your wildest imagination think that you will be writing this many obituaries?


  45. HMD says:
    March 3rd, 2011 7:41 am

    Very sad indeed. He was a very brave man.
    Mr. Bhatti should be posthumously awarded the highest honors for bravery in Pakistan — he knew the dangers, and what was coming his way. That didn’t stop him from preaching tolerance and respect for justice.
    Pakistan is losing all the good and brave ones. All who will be left in the end will either be poor with no means of escape or the ones who rightly deserve culling.

  46. Meengla says:
    March 3rd, 2011 8:43 am

    So George Fulton–the pride of Pakistani tolerance. A white-man living in peace inside Pakistan who projected Pakistan’s tolerant image is leaving Pakistan.
    I’d say a good-call. Better leave before its too late. Already some bloggers are calling him a ‘Two Faced CIA’ agent. It is a slippery slope for him. Slick like a guillotine’s fall.

    I am going to post his full article.–i/

    ————–Quoted Part Begins————–
    For the past nine years, I have been in a dysfunctional relationship. My liaison started somewhat unexpectedly, quickly becoming an all-consuming passionate love affair. My partner reciprocated strongly, bestowing deep affection and adoration upon me. Blinded by love, I was naive to her failings. Yes, at times she was self-destructive, irrational and grossly irresponsible, but I hoped by appealing to her nature’s better angles she could change. Instead, as the years progressed, and, supported by her ‘friends’ in the media, she corroded, simultaneously displaying signs of megalomania and paranoia. Once the relationship turned abusive and I feared for my life, I decide to call it quits. Today, the divorce comes through. Her name is Pakistan. And today, I am leaving her for good.
    This was not a difficult decision to make. In fact, I didn’t make the decision. It was made for me. You do not chart your own destiny in Pakistan; Pakistan charts it for you. It’s emigration by a thousand news stories. I am aware that bemoaning the state of Pakistan as a final shot appears churlish and arrogant. After all, I have the luxury to leave — many others do not. Nor do I want to discredit the tireless work of the thousands who remain to improve the lives of millions of Pakistanis. They are better men and women than I. Pakistan has also given me so much over the years. It was Pakistan who introduced me to the love of my life. And it was upon her manicured lawns that we married, and upon her reclaimed soil that we set up our first home. She brought the love of a new family and new friends into my life. And it was Pakistan that witnessed the birth of my son, Faiz — named after one of her greatest sons.
    She embraced me like no other gora post-9/11. I appeared in a documentary/reality series titled “George Ka Pakistan”. It allowed me to explore the country. I ploughed fields in the Punjab, built Kalashnikovs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (probably couldn’t do that now), and mended fishing boats in Balochistan. The culmination of the series saw the then prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, confer Pakistani citizenship upon me, after the viewing public voted overwhelmingly to make me one of them. I was their George. Fame and affection followed.
    But that love was conditional. Conditional upon me playing the role cast — the naïve gora. The moment I abandoned the Uncle Tom persona and questioned the defined establishment narratives — whether through my television work or columns — excommunication began. No longer a Pakistani in the eyes of others, my citizenship evidently was not equitable to others.
    So, as I depart, I could go with my reputation tarnished, but still largely intact. Or I could leave you with some final words of honesty. Well, true love values honesty far more than a feel-good legacy. So here goes.
    Pakistan, you are on a precipice. A wafer-thin sliver is all that stands between you and becoming a failed state. A state that was the culmination of a search for a ‘Muslim space’ by the wealthy Muslims of Northern India has ended up, as MJ Akbar recently pointed out, becoming “one of the most violent nations on earth, not because Hindus were killing Muslims but because Muslims were killings Muslims”.
    The assassination of Salmaan Taseer saw not only the death of a man but also represented for me the death of hope in Pakistan. I did not mourn Taseer’s death. I did not know the man. But I mourned what he represented — the death of liberal Pakistan. The governor’s murder reminded us how far the extremist cancer has spread in our society. A cancer in which I saw colleagues and friends on Facebook celebrate his murder. A man murdered for standing up for the most vulnerable in our society — a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. He committed no crime. Instead, he questioned the validity of a man-made law — a law created by the British — that was being used as a tool of repression.
    In death, the governor was shunned, unlike his killer, who was praised, garlanded and lionised for shooting Taseer in the back. Mumtaz Qadri became a hero overnight. But Qadri is not just a man — he’s a mindset, as eloquently put by Fifi Haroon. Fascism with an Islamic face is no longer a political or an economic problem in Pakistan, it’s now become a cultural issue. Extremism permeates all strata and socio-economic groups within society. Violent extremists may still make up a minority but extremism now enjoys popular support. As for the dwindling moderates and liberals, they are scared.
    Pakistan does not require a secret police, we are in the process of turning upon ourselves. But then what do you expect when your military/intelligence nexus — and their jihadi proxies — have used religious bigotry as a tool of both foreign and domestic policy. It is ironic that the one institution that was designed to protect the idea of Pakistan is the catalyst for its cannibalisation. Christians, Ahmadis, Shias and Barelvis have all been attacked in the past year. Who will be next? Groups once funded and supported by the state have carried out many of these attacks. And many jihadi groups still remain in cahoots with the agencies.
    So as I leave Pakistan, I leave her with a sense of melancholy. Personally, for all my early wide-eyed excitement and love for the country and its people, Pakistan has made me cynical, disillusioned and bitter over time. I came here with high hopes, adopting the country, its people and the language. I did find redemption here — but no longer.
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.

  47. MQ says:
    March 3rd, 2011 10:28 am

    خزاں کیا، فصل گل کہتے ہیں کس کو، کوئی موسم ہو
    وہی ہم ہیں، قفس ہے، اور ماتم بال و پر کا ہے

    What autumn, what spring, whatever the season
    We live on caged, lamenting our freedom to fly

  48. Zaheer says:
    March 3rd, 2011 10:39 am

    It is a sad sad day for all of us. May Shahbaz Bhatti’s soul rest in peace.

    P.S… Thank you Adil for speaking up when so many remain silent (and despite past threats). You are a courageous man and this website gives us all hope that our conscience has not yet died fully.

  49. March 3rd, 2011 10:43 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook page:

    - “The voice of Islamabad is that this is done by those having Links with The Agents Linked with Raymond Davis to Divert the Nation’s Attention and let UN give the Chance to Blacklist Pakistan as irresponsible and propagandize Pakistan as Violator of Human Rights”
    - “e careful in giving or Quoting your Opinion
    Quote only the responsible thinking.
    We are victim of terrorism and panic created by the people like Raymond Davis…
    Fifth Columnists are amongst us and making rumors to destabilize and demoralize us”
    - “I would like to repeat one of the most poignant sentences I have read on Pakistaniat or anywhere for that matter, ” The violence we condone breeds the violence we condemn”. We cant have it both ways. Selective application of laws and rules is the reason we are in this mess.”
    - “Mian ankhayan kholnay kaa time aageya haay .. Stop blaming others .. apnay giraban maay jhank ker deykhoo pehlay!!”
    - “The cost of cowardice – my two cents on Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination
    - “Right-wing Islamist parties, looking for an issue to rally their supporters, have campaigned against any change to the laws, accusing those who seek to amend them of blasphemy – and creating an environment that led to the latest killings.”
    - “Consistent silence, false promises & inaction of the Political Government on the matter of containment of this social menace is more painful then the death of the innocent!”

  50. Atlanta Roofing says:
    March 3rd, 2011 10:57 am

    What a brave man! Such a noble testimony. He surely saw it coming and was steadfast. Such an inspiration to all who profess the Christian faith. May he be in the Kingdom.

  51. March 3rd, 2011 11:22 am

    First of all, this is not a “Deadly Intolerance” in the spirited meaning as the title of this blog shows. This is clearly done “by the enemies of Pakistan” to “Blacklist Pakistan as irresponsible and propagandize Pakistan as Violator of Human Rights”.

    Government should come forward with something very clear in respect of target killing be it may involve high profiles or commons.

  52. Maqbool says:
    March 3rd, 2011 5:25 pm

    First of all let me make it clear that I unequivocally condemn this murder. Not just this but all murder.

    However, we are probably reading too much into this incident. Tragic as it is, such murders are not uncommon in Pakistan. All life is equal. Therefore, it is also just another criminal incident and should be treated as it is. This is not any kind of deadly intolerance as it is being made out to be; nor Pakistan is a failed state.

    Pakistan Zindabad! Allah hu Akbar!!

  53. Maskeenel says:
    March 3rd, 2011 7:54 pm

    A good place to vent. No one takes note of this site. We have been given a good venue to express our thoughts and feeling. If and when all these people who have good heart and mind take upon themselves to come on the streets of Pakistan then there might be some resolve to this matter. Till then those who have good designs will be overshadowed by the boisterous crowd which is ready to tear the town apart.

  54. Aziz says:
    March 3rd, 2011 8:28 pm

    Yousuf Gilani said…”“Such acts will not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism,” he said, adding that the killers would not go unpunished.”

    Mr PM, the correct punishment for the culprits would be to alter the blasphemy. Please do the right thing and change the law. I don’t care if the “actual” culprits are caught or not. The root is that stupid law. Lets change it and deal with anybody who tries to stop it.

    Be a man…do the right thing Mr Gilani. Afterall, you and Kayani are the one most powerful people in the world according to Forbes Magazine.

  55. bangash says:
    March 3rd, 2011 8:38 pm

    Pakistan is a country where Ahmedis are legally discriminated against, Christians and Shias are regularly killed, and Sunnis who are liberal are hated and murdered, so those who are claiming Shahbaz Bhatti murder is not linked to “intolerance” are living in fool’s paradise.

  56. Sameer says:
    March 4th, 2011 1:16 am

    Rasheed says – “Instruction revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him):

    Wa ta’aamulladheena ootul kitaaba hillullakum; Wata’aamukum Hillullahum.

    Meaning that the food of the peopl of the Book (Jews and Christians) is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.

    So where does not letting Christians eat Muslims’ food come from? Are these filthy low-life vermin cockroach Mullahs and their followers superior to Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam?”

    What about Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs? Is their food off limits for Muslims?

  57. Anwer says:
    March 4th, 2011 7:17 am\story_4-3-2011_pg3_4

    Murder most foul —Shahid Saeed

    Pakistan’s Christians have given more to this country than this country has given to them. From Wing Commander Cecil Chaudhry (Sitara-e-Jurat, Tamgha-e-Jurat), who protected the airspace of this country, to Air Vice Marshall Michael John O’Brian, from the melodic Benjamin Sisters to the great human rights and peace activist Julius Salik, from A Nayyar whose melodious rendition of “Utho meri duniya” remains one of the best recitations of Iqbal, to Iqbal Masih, the young boy who broke the shackles of bonded labour and became a global symbol of hope, from Wing Commander Mervyn Middlecoat (Sitara-e-Jurat, Sitara-e-Basalat) to Ruth Pfau, Hilal-e-Pakistan, the legendary woman who has fought leprosy in this country, to Air Commodore W³adys³aw Józef Marian Turowicz — the man who headed SUPARCO in its days of glory and the father of our space and missile programme. The list goes on and includes great men like Bishop Anthony Lobo, Bishop John Joseph, Justice A R Corenlius, Air Vice Marshall Eric Hall (Hilal-i-Jurat, Sitar-e-Jurat), Joseph Francis, the great photo-journalist F E Chaudhary, GoC 23 Div Major General Noel Israel Khokar, and countless others besides the hundreds of great teachers who have, continue to, and will go on to further enlighten students at the historically magnificent missionary and convent schools in this country.

  58. Anwer says:
    March 4th, 2011 11:38 am

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2011.

    Strangely mute: NA fails to formally condemn murder
    By Zia Khan

    The National Assembly failed to come up with a joint resolution condemning the murder of minorities affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday, repeating its failure to formally condemn the murder of Salmaan Taseer two months ago.
    The house was meeting a day after the minister’s coldblooded killing in the heart of Islamabad, allegedly by homegrown Taliban from Punjab for his support for reforming the blasphemy law.
    Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani did announce a three-day period of mourning for Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, but only after emotional speeches demanding this were made by a couple of Christian members and a token walkout by all parties.
    Pakistan’s parliament has previously been swift to pass condemnation resolutions concerning perceived blasphemy incidents in Europe, though not the murder of government officials only a few miles away.
    That there was no attempt made to introduce such a resolution, even by the so-called liberal parties, will be seen by many as a sign that legislators fear antagonising the extremists.
    “I announce three days of national mourning,” the prime minister said on the floor of the house. “The national flag will fly at half mast.”
    Earlier, Asia Nasir, a Christian member of the National Assembly from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), set the tone for the day when she addressed the portrait of Quaid-i-Azam, overlooking the house, and pleaded for him to notice the state of minorities in his country.
    “At the time of the creation of Pakistan, we (the minorities and the Muslims) were all one. But today, we feel we are out,” said Nasir. She said the Christian community would give its reaction after the funeral of Bhatti.
    Akram Masih Gill of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, quoting a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about the protection of minorities, held the government responsible for Bhatti’s murder. “He was not provided adequate security despite his repeated requests,” said Gill.
    “We pay equal taxes yet we are discriminated against. No one from the minorities can become the president or the prime minister. Today, our children want to leave this country as they feel more insecure than ever,” he added.
    Abdul Qadir Baloch from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz played down an attempt by certain members of religious parties, including Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F, to link the killing to the Raymond Davis case or a foreign hand.
    “I fail to understand why it is being associated with the Davis case. These are our own failings and we should admit it,” said Baloch, a retired army general.
    After others gave a range of views about who was behind Bhatti’s murder, Bushra Gohar of the Awami National Party, supported by many members, demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the killing.

  59. March 4th, 2011 6:03 pm

    Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

    5:32 Holy Quran

    Allah may help and guide us all, Ameen.

  60. spsyed says:
    March 4th, 2011 9:38 pm

    Pakistani minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, was assassinated on his way to work in Islamabad Wednesday 02 March 2011. Bhatti, a Catholic Christian, was the Pakistani cabinet’s only Christian member. Christians make up an estimated 1.5% of Pakistan’s 182m population. Bhatti was attacked in his car by three or four gunmen. Bhatti, who often turned down any need for security, was not accompanied by his guards or the security escort vehicle.

    More than 99.9% of Muslims, including top political and religion figures, condemned the assassination. “This is a concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan,” according to Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistan prime minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and interior minister Rehman Malik visited the victim’s family to offer condolenaces on behalf of 180m Muslims. A US funded, armed and trained terrorists claimed they were responsible for the target killing, proving barbaric Christianity is not a religion of peace. It is certainly not one of tolerance.

    Christian crusaders continue to bomb, impose wars on, inade and occupy Muslim countries, and persecute Muslims who don’t provoke other people’s faiths or beliefs. The country’s blasphemy law has been in the spotlight since a Christian, Asia Bibi, provoked Muslims. However, no-one convicted under the law has been executed in the country.

    On 04 January 2011, Punjab governor Salman Taseer was shot dead by one of his bodyguards in the country’s federal capital. On 27 December 2007, former primie minister and leader of Pakistan People’s Party Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

    On Thursday 27 January 2011, American under cover agent, Raymond Allen Davis, killed two men in Lahore. Davis was masterminding more terrorist activities in Pakistan, according to his retrieved telephone call logs. Top-secret CIA documents show that Davis (born 02 Oct 1974) was providing nuclear fissile material and biological agents to groups of banned terrorists, killers and bombers hired by the USA government officials as part of the 915 year old Christian crusade, or the NWO-PNAC mission to destabilise and disarm Pakistan. Davis was employed by the American under cover agencies, but this information is still withheld on the gag orders of American politicians and NWO-PNAC fans. The documents show Davis had links with the terrorists, working on the CIA’s plan to sabotage, destabilise and disarm Pakistan. Davis also worked for clandestine American Task Force 373 (TF 373), Blackwater XE, DynaCorp and other under cover American agencies still operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. TF373 (Delta Force) is assigned to hire locals (Orange Force) to plant bombs in Pakistan, destabilise and leave the country without adequate defense. Davis, his gang of terrorists and through various front organisations were deeply involved in activities detrimental to Pakistan’s national interests. All this and more makes it an uncompromising national security issue in Pakistan.

    Davis killed two men in Lahore on 27 Jan 2011. Eyewitnesses and police probes prove that the two murders were not in self defence. Even the alleged self defence does not mean licence to kill and evade justice. Moreover, Davis never applied for and nor was he ever approved (by the Pakistan government) as having diplomatic immunity. Besides, according to a letter dated 20 Jan 2011 from the USA embassy in Islamabad, asked Pakistan foreign ministry to grant or extend Davis’ non-diplomatic business visa. So, Davis, who was on business visit visa, does not have diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution in Pakistan.

    However, undue pressure (blackmails) by the US senator John Kerry (chairman of senate committee for foreign affairs and an ex-president candidate) has ‘convinced’ Pakistan government officials and politicians to provide forged diplomatic immunity documents to the courts in the country. US secretary of state, Hillary R Clintonn recently implied that her country provides conditional aid to ensure CIA terrorists are never imprisoned and never prosecuted in Pakistan.

    American politicians don’t want Davis to face the music for his crimes in Pakistan.
    American politicians want Davis to evade justice because the court trial in Pakistan would open Pandora’s Box and set a precedent for future prosecutions. Davis was second-in-comm-and to Jonathan Banks, the former CIA station chief in Pakistan. Banks, who ordered hundreds of drone or bomb attacks on Pakistan, fled the country after his cover was blown. The threatened trials would expose other American misdeeds in Pakistan and elsewhere.

    Pakistan courts have the right to rule on the criminal case without any fear or favour, blackmails, threats, economic sanctions and political pressures. Allowing Davis to evade justice and get away with the murders would lead to a revolution or uprising in Pakistan. The courts would become laughing stock if they don’t detect the forgeries or if they cave in.

    Other analysis on

  61. Rasheed says:
    March 5th, 2011 1:27 am

    I still can’t comprehend how and why our country has gone down such a dangerous and shameless road. We are setting precedents which cannot be undone. In the future, such acts by our compatriots will come back to haunt us BIG TIME. Intolerant as we are, just imagine what would become of us if another intolerant Christian, or other non-Muslim, country decided to reciprocate in kind. Pakistanis and Muslims live in many countries where other religions are the majority and their own scriptures, or concocted interpretations by one exegete or another, DO injunct going after members of other religions. I have already learned about the attitudes of Christians abroad towards Muslims and Pakistanis changing for the worse. Don’t be surprised if a Pakistani gets murdered abroad for no other reason than angry retaliation.

    I am so deeply saddened for our Christian countrymen and women, but I can only imagine the sadness, disappoinment and anger you’d be feeling toward the majority Muslims at this time. I know that no words can lessen the feelings of your grief, but rest assured that many, many, Muslims’ hearts bleed today with yours, as if one of our own has been killed. May the Almighty forgive the sins of the noble minister and allow him to enter Paradise. He gave his life just as he said he would, just like a lamb, he believed, was sacrificed two milennia ago for humanity’s sake by men whose evil can only be paralleled by today’s Mullah of Pakistan.

  62. Naan Haleem says:
    March 5th, 2011 6:10 pm

    Yes. Once again the enemies of Pakistan have struck real hard on us. The actors playing the “Taliban” series in Pakistan have given another performance achieving multiple gains.

    Before this event, never had I read or heard that “Blasphemy” was an issue carried by so-called talibans of Pakistan. Remember that Afghani Talibans follow Deobandi sect and hence the so called TTP should also belong to the same sect. While the blasphemy issue is overwhelmingly carried by Barelvi sect of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. And we are aware of the fierce differences between the two sects on some fundamental beliefs.

    So it is incomprehensible why TTP (if they are really religious militants) should take up a battle concerning their opponent sect. Furthermore, never before did such strikers left statements of confessions on the scene of crime. Previously they had always called to some media group for accepting responsibility. It is the first time they had done this way. Looks like they want to make a quick impression that Talibans (in Punjab) had done this act and they did not want police, media, govt. or public to think on any line other than a newly enforced connection between blasphemy issue and so called Talibans.

    Thirdly, If the killers were really religious elements, how could they leave the papers on the ground with the names of Allah Almighty and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on them?

    This brutal murder of Shahbaz Bhatti seems another assault by anti-Pakistan forces playing the name of TTP with the motives of maligning Islam & its followers, creating harassment among general public and administrative entities, crippling Pakistan’s economy and forcing Pakistani establishment to bow down to western pressure on a number of issues.

    I have no doubt that anti-Pakistan forces of CIA and RAW are financing and manipulating the rogue elements playing the name and game of TTP. As exposed by the media reports and Russian secret agency that the arrested CIA agent Raymond Davis had links with so called TTP and he was responsible for providing these mercenaries with money and weapons to achieve targets set by CIA. This political murder may well be an extension of the same chain.

    By the way, did someone consider the possibility of personal enmity as a motive for murder? A thought which came to my mind while watching detective series “Columbo”.

  63. Raheel says:
    March 5th, 2011 9:57 pm

    We are a nation gone crazy. But in some ways these incidents like this and Salman Taseer are making people wakeup to and speak up against just how bad things have become. That acceptance is first step in recovery.

  64. Jafri says:
    March 5th, 2011 10:25 pm

    The Jamaatis are again defending teh real killers by suggesting some sinister hidden hands. Grow up guys. These are our demons. YOU are our demons.

  65. Azhar says:
    March 6th, 2011 9:54 pm

    Adil you are a courageous person to keep writing on this and speaking up despite the threats and the idiots who spew venom. Thank you for doing so. You are proof and your readers are that most Pakistanis are NOT haters and if we all speak out we can drown the voices of hatred around us.

  66. Irfan says:
    March 11th, 2011 6:31 am

    These are dark days for Pakistan. I pray we are able to get past these terrible days.

  67. December 2nd, 2011 3:43 pm

    I hope my countrymen have courage and come hard at corrupt systems…

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)