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Protest: CFD, HRW condemn the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti

March 2, 2011

CFD statement and Human Rights Watch comment on the murder of Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti. Note: Protests held at Karachi Press Club 5.30 pm and Lahore Press Club 3.00 pm today.

CFD vehemently denounces the cold-blooded murder of the Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, who was under constant threats from religious extremists due to his efforts to stop the misuse of blasphemy law. We demand that his killers be caught and brought to justice.

CFD also demands that Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer be tried and punished according to law. All cases of murder must be dealt with as murder and not justified on ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ pretexts.
There must be zero tolerance for any incitement to violence or murder and all such cases must be dealt with according to the law. We demand that action be taken all those people, ‘tehreeks’ and organisations inciting violence and murder. The government must take strong action against those who use religion for political purposes.

Hate-mongering through the pulpit, on television talk shows, pamphlets and banners have cost us another life and still more are under threat. The government must act immediately to put a stop to this. It must protect its officials and the citizens of Pakistan.

Human Rights Watch comment on Shahbaz Bhatti assassination:
Shahbaz Bhatti’s ruthless and cold-blooded murder is a grave setback for the struggle for tolerance, pluralism and respect for human rights in Pakistan. In articulating the position that the blasphemy law, as currently framed, engenders abuse and required review, Bhatti was only doing his job and reiterating the stated position of the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party until it reneged on the same on December 30, 2010.

Bhatti’s murder is the bitter fruit of appeasement of extremist and militant groups both prior to and after the killing of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on January 4. An urgent and meaningful policy shift on the appeasement of extremists that is supported by the military, the judiciary and the political class needs to replace the political cowardice and institutional myopia that encourages such continued appeasement despite its unrelenting bloody consequences.

Human Rights Watch calls upon the Pakistani government to apprehend and hold Bhatti’s killers to account, charge under the law those who incite hatred and violence and ensure protection for those, such as former information minister Sherry Rehman, who continue to be publicly threatened by extremist actors.

For further comment or information please contact the Human Rights Watch representative:
Ali Dayan Hasan in Pakistan +92-300-8425125 (mobile)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Maryam permalink
    March 5, 2011 10:03 am

    Here is what Quaid-e-Azam said in address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 ….

    “If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor… you are free- you are free to go to your temples mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state… in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to Muslims- not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state” … am I missing something here???

    And what do you say about the Christian Air Force pilot, who rather than be captured by having to ditch his aircraft on his way back from a sortie deep inside India, chose to crash his plane into a string of enemy aircraft preparing to give chase to his squadron, leaving his children orphaned?? He didn’t do so by thinking that he was first and foremost a Christian.

    Wing Commander Mervyn Leslie Middlecoat (1940 – 12 December 1971) did so because he was first and foremost a Pakistani and he knew that his children and his widow would survive and live on as Proud Pakistanis first…

    If Pakistan is only for Muslims… it is tantamount to washing our hands of all the non-muslims that lived and died for this very country…. Should we not shout out PRAISE for Dr. Abdus Salam – the only Nobel prize winner from Pakistan … because he was Ahmadi….

    Is this the Pakistan your elders and mine gave so many sacrifices for?????

    Is it no longer worth fighting for?

    We have to get Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan back. Period.
    (Sadiq Y Yalmaz).

    This note was written by by my husband yesterday.
    This was my reply:
    Yes,indeed – am MORTIFIED, more so every second, by these lunatics who are beyond shame…and SO humbled,at how truly PAKISTANI non-Muslims can be – this is an OFFICIAL forum :…..God help them,and us all!!

  2. readinglord permalink
    March 5, 2011 2:01 am

    I appreciate the concern you evinced and the efforts you are making to put an end to this barbarism in the name of religion, but, excuse me dear, its time has passed and, in my view, such appeals to those who have either no will or capability to deliver, are of no avail now, except to provide new targets to the murderers. In fact, as everybody knows, one of the addressee of the OL, the joker Interior Minister, had publicly avowed to commit vigilante murder by shooting any body whom he considers to have blasphemed. They are all petty timeservers when the situation in which we have fallen today requires a leader like Kamal Ata Turk or a party of Mujahiddin-e-Khalq, to defend ourselves from this cruel barbarism. Or, perhaps, we can appeal to the UNO to save us from these criminals against humanity.

  3. Nadir El-Edroos permalink
    March 2, 2011 1:05 pm

    Hear! Hear!

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