Wednesday, March 02, 2011

RIP Shahbaz Bhatti

via The Australian,
TALIBAN extremists claimed responsibility for the brutal murder of Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti yesterday morning, in the second political assassination linked to controversial blasphemy laws.

Mr Bhatti, the country's only Christian federal cabinet minister, was gunned down as he was being driven to work through the capital Islamabad yesterday morning and died on the way to hospital.

Hours after his death, the BBC uploaded a video recorded just weeks earlier by the outspoken moderate in which he predicted his own assassination.

In the video, Mr Bhatti, 42, says al-Qa'ida and Taliban militants want him dead because of his stand against the country's blasphemy laws. "They want to impose their radical philosophy in Pakistan. I am leading this campaign against sharia law and for the abolishment of the blasphemy law and speaking for the rights of the oppressed and marginalised, persecuted Christians and other minorities," he says. "I will die to defend their rights."
And so he did...

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