BeyondHeadlines News Desk
Islamabad: Close to the heals of Punjab Province Governor Salman Taseer’s assassination, Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead today morning in Islamabad. This is the second on a high-profile Pakistani who had raised voice for reformation of harsh blasphemy laws, which impose the death penalty for insulting Islam.
The minister’s Private Secretary Fahad said that federal minister succumbed to his bullet injuries on his way to hospital. After reaching a nearby hospital, he was pronounced dead, he added. His driver, Gulsher also confirmed that the minister died while on his way to hospital.
Bhatti, who was a member of People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP), was reportedly receiving life threats for seeking changes in Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. The minister was on his way to office when unknown assailant opened gun fire on his car.
Not any group has so far claimed the responsibility for the attack, but private Pakistani TV channels showed pamphlets at the scene of the killing that were attributed to the Pakistani Taliban warning of the same fate for anyone opposing the blasphemy laws.
On January 4, 2011, Punjab Province Governor Salman Taseer was shot dead by one his bodyguards when he was getting into his car at a market. Taseer was also killed because of his opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.