Time-line: Politicians under attack in Pakistan

By AFP
Published: March 2, 2011

Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti earlier said he had been receiving death threats since the Bibi case. PHOTO: AFP

A short time-line of attacks on prominent Pakistani politicians in recent years:

Wednesday March 2, 2011: Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti is shot dead in his car in Islamabad. A Roman Catholic, Bhatti had opposed Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law.

January 4, 2011: Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab Province, is assassinated by one of his guards in Islamabad. A member of the Pakistan People’s Party of President Asif Ali Zardari, Taseer had also fought the blasphemy law.

September 16, 2010: Imran Farooq, a founding member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of Pakistan’s largest political parties, is murdered in London, where he lived in exile.

August 2, 2010: Raza Haider, a provincial legislator for the MQM in Sindh, where his party is part of the ruling coalition, is shot dead in Karachi, sparking riots that kill more than 40 people.

July 24, 2010: The son of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain was killed by unidentified gunmen near Nowshera. He was the only son of Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

July 14, 2010: Habib Jalib, a top leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) and former senator, was shot dead as he sat outside his brother’s shop reading a newspaper. The leader was popular in the province and was a significant voice speaking in support of greater autonomy for the province.

October 6, 2008: A suicide bomber kills 18 people and wounds Pakistani politician Rashid Akbar Nowani, a minority Shiite MP from the main opposition party in the town of Bhakkar in Punjab province.

October 2, 2008: A suicide bomber blows himself up at the house of Asfandyar Wali Khan, head of the Awami National Party in Pakistan’s ruling coalition, killing four people but missing the politician.

December 27, 2007: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is killed in a shooting and suicide bombing, along with nearly two dozen of her supporters, as she leaves a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

Two months earlier another bomb aimed at killing Bhutto had left 139 people dead among her supporters.

Reader Comments (35)

  • Bilal
    Mar 2, 2011 - 5:00PM

    There is a vast majority that is revelling in hte notion that the politicians are no longer untouchable. Maybe the fear of their own lives (rather than the fear of God) will make them put more thoughts into their actions! Recommend

  • nirvana
    Mar 2, 2011 - 5:57PM

    Politicians as well as people should be able to express themselves without fearing for their life. I hope these extremists will be executed.Recommend

  • Hamid
    Mar 2, 2011 - 6:20PM

    It is surprising that the murderers of Shahbaz bhatti missed the chance of being declared ghazis by simpling handing themselves over to police. The precedent exists and the lawyer community would have stood up for them as one.Recommend

  • Mar 2, 2011 - 6:21PM

    What i say on this occasion,
    have no words, really have not.

    Circumstances,instigating me to say some thing,
    but what I say,
    compelled me more and more,should say.

    Never interfere in the the affairs of others,
    religion is personal affairs.
    if any one want to settle score there are many other option for that.

    We shouldn’t touch sensitive issues,
    which create problems.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Mar 2, 2011 - 6:51PM

    Well if people were being prosicuted for unfairly, then the minorities minister had the right to express his concerns! Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana
    Mar 2, 2011 - 7:05PM

    Dearest People of the World, We all know a country which has posed to have the ability of doing anything in any part of the world even if we dont take the name we all are aware of the country a helper, supporter and evrything nice you know is their claim but they have actually played hell everywhere. But doing all this they are ultimately moving towards claiming to be the (Naouzobillah) God. But relax God is God and has the power to set this one right too. These days Muslims of the world are facing the worst of that country trying everything to prove how bad Muslims are they cant take care of their minorities even. By doing all this this country is finally hanging herself higher. Recommend

  • faqir
    Mar 2, 2011 - 7:12PM

    This is a great disservice to humanity, freedom of speech, religion and conscience. Thugs (non-state actors with active patronage from rogue elements) have turned islam as a gangsterism where you will be executed if you don’t agree with “their perverted ideology”. Clear and stern action against these elements will define the future path of security and integrity of pakistan.Recommend

  • Sajid
    Mar 2, 2011 - 7:14PM

    This happens when there is no law in country..and its so clear, none from these murderers has been brought to justice… no body even know who was/were they, except mr. qadriRecommend

  • ba ha
    Mar 2, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Heavenly soccer game score: Evil 2 Good 0.Recommend

  • Village Idiot
    Mar 2, 2011 - 7:41PM

    Welcome to the land of Dead.Recommend

  • Mar 2, 2011 - 8:02PM

    Did American CIA agents, US military soldiers, Israeli-Zionist Mossad, Indian-Hindu RAW or foreign terrorist mercenaries, who are now illegally operating in Pakistan, kill Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani-Christian PPP Minister/politician, in Islamabad to divide or destabilize the Pakistani Nation, to turn Christians against Pakistan and to recruit Christians to fight against Pakistanis? Pakistan Army, police and intelligence agencies should deeply investigate and answer this journalistic question.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Mar 2, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Yet another sad day in the history of Pakistan; a country that has been sold to the west by our incompetent and corrupt leaders.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Mar 2, 2011 - 8:57PM

    After this incident it will be difficult to find people speaking against fundamentalists. Pakistan is moving towards dark ages.Recommend

  • MastMaula
    Mar 2, 2011 - 9:06PM

    Religion has blinded the people of Pakistan. The country is heading towards a darker fate at a lightning speed. Save it before this black hole engulfs the last ray of light from the land of pure.Recommend

  • Mir
    Mar 2, 2011 - 9:31PM

    Dont worry they are killing one so called blasphemer to make 10 more. Everyone has already given up on this non practicing religion. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 2, 2011 - 9:35PM

    No doubt this is a Hindu-Jew-Al-Qaida-Taleban-Shia-Ahmedi-Catholic-Protestant conspiracy to defame Sunni Pakistan.Recommend

  • chrono
    Mar 2, 2011 - 9:48PM

    @syedadeeb I hope you’re being ironic like Babloo because unfortunately it isn’t responsible to blame the country’s own extremism on foreigners.Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 2, 2011 - 10:23PM

    Strange people are shocked at all. Nothing new. Pakistan has been cleansing its minorities for past 60 years, and have reduced them down to 2% from above 20% at independence.

    This is what you get under a theocracy. And to think Theocrats want Kashmir to be part of Pakistan or independent because of its Muslim majority is to push its minorities to the same bottomless pit where the remaining Minorities of Pakistan exist.

    Sad story. :-(Recommend

  • khalid shaikh
    Mar 2, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Today i am ashamed to be muslimRecommend

  • Mike Newton
    Mar 2, 2011 - 11:17PM

    I would call this guy ” Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti”. what was his fault? The only reason he was killed is that he was christian and spoke against man made blasphemy law. But can some one appreciate the courage of this guy, who spoke against all infidel Mullahs. Can islam give right to these mullah to decide the fate of another human being with out any cast, race and religion. Today i cried on the death of a Pakistani christian. I hated the fact that i was born in pakistan, where there is no religious tolerance and respect for any other religion. I would call Shahbaz Bhatti, a Hero and role model.

    May God rest his soul in peace. Amen. Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Mar 2, 2011 - 11:24PM

    @ khalid shaikh and others who seemed to have lost hope – Don’t despair, agree what happened was extremely regrettable but that does not make your country or religion bad. Yes, your country is at the precipice but the only ones who can bring it back from there are common people like you all. Don’t lose hope ever. You guys paint everyone and everything in black or white. Its not as simple as that. One CIA operative caught and the Americans are bad. Well don’t forget they are also the one who respond to the calls of your flood victims. All countries in the world have good as well as bad people and all people do some good and some bad deeds. Recommend

  • M shah
    Mar 2, 2011 - 11:27PM

    We are nothing but a barbaric nation who can see his leaders dying Recommend

  • rebel without religion
    Mar 3, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Act: CIA helped Taliban and armed them.
    Result: 9/11 and more.

    Act: India armed LTTE.
    Result: rajiv gandhi got killed.

    Act: Pakistan created exremist jihadis to bomb indian cities in garb of kashmir.
    Result: you have news like this one. Pakistan is burning in its own fire. Theres a news of suicide attack almost everyday.

    Synopsys: violence is a snake which bites its own creator, and does it real hard, be it anyone.
    God doesn’t want violence, our ego does!Recommend

  • Mar 3, 2011 - 12:33AM

    CIA behind Political killings in Pakistan.Recommend

  • abdul
    Mar 3, 2011 - 2:39AM

    very sad, stop killing of innocent.please.Recommend

  • Imran Khan
    Mar 3, 2011 - 4:15AM

    “July 24, 2010: The son of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain was killed by unidentified gunmen near Nowshera. He was the only son of Mian Iftikhar Hussain.”

    Fascinating! No?Recommend

  • lehumanist
    Mar 3, 2011 - 4:18AM

    This murder is another example of the decadence in Islamic world in general and in Pakistan in particular. The muslim nation is like a dysfunctional family who is refusing to accept that it needs therapy. Even on this comment page there are people who are apologizing for these “ignorant and murderous people” who kill in the mane of the prophet who never ever even curse any one who harmed him in any way and these killer thugs have the audacity to kill in the name of that amazing person called Mohammed (PBHM).
    This mindset represents a Islam distorted and disfigured in order to accommodate down right medieval and tribal values and customs. The prophet would never allow a girls’ educational institution to get bombed at let alone murder people in his name. These people are sick. Philosophically and theologically speaking, all the Mullahs type who are spearheading these Taliban type and Lashkars are virtually ignorant and suffer from the cancer of “easy certainty”. They have studied nothing except a terrible version of Islam passed on to them drenched in horrible customs and norms. There is hardly anything courageous and gallantry let alone Islamic to kill a person in ambush without warning and run away with covered faces shouting Allah Akbar. It is spineless and cowardly. Perhaps one day the people of Pakistan will wake up against this evil disguised under the name of Islam.Recommend

  • lehumanist
    Mar 3, 2011 - 4:20AM

    Bulls eye hamid.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 3, 2011 - 6:12AM

    Rebel without religion:
    Well said
    Act : With India’s help, Srilanka wiped out LTTE
    Result : No more violence in Srilanka and South india

    Act : When will USA or Pakistan wipe out Taliban

    Act : When will Pakistan take action on Jihadi groups: or Will Pakistan ?Recommend

  • iceman
    Mar 3, 2011 - 7:10AM

    @Saifullah
    u never learn, ppl like u are forced to believe so to existRecommend

  • MerlinMedic
    Mar 3, 2011 - 7:22AM

    @Abdul-Mughis Rana

    The US doesn’t do anything to prove how bad Muslims are or are not; you do it to your selves. Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Mar 3, 2011 - 7:51AM

    @Khalid Shaikh:

    Bhai, nothing is to be ashamed off of being Muslim. I am a Hindu and you are a Muslim. We have our own paths to search the divine force. Whether, you call him Allah, Ishwar or God ..!!
    The problem is that there is lot of condemnation of barbaric murder. However, it is unfortunate that the sane voices in Pakistan are absolutely silent for the cause for which late Mr. Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti laid their lives i.e. blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

    When we go through entire nation’s web sites, now a day all sane voices have become silent for this religion based biasness. Surprisingly, no leader, writer or politician is commenting over Blasphemy Laws as they exist in Pakistan and are being used to fragment the social cohesiveness. It appears murderers are right, and if not that, then entire nation has come under the grip of fear psychosis to speak out against such one sided provisions of law.

    The silence on blasphemy laws is death of a cause in Pakistan and it appears that in present dispensation of Pakistan only the voices of Salman Taseer & Shahbaz Bhatti were wrong. If that be so they were rightly needed to be silenced ….. ??? How do we blame wrongdoers, I am confused …. ??? Can somebody enlighten me?Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer Farooq
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:47PM

    I think its one of the weak points of Muslims that we cant tolerate anyone who utters unsuitable words for our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and we have seen over the past years some Eurpeon countries are continuously hurting the beliefs of Muslims. I dont know what pleasure they acquire by commiting such actions wethr it be Denmark or any other country,Muslims have protested against them whenever such activity has been initiated by them. Now it has become a common thought that Muslims cant resist themselves if anyone would say bad about their Prophet (P.B.U.H) now any enemy who longs to destroy Muslims can make the most of it and i think they are doing the same and we have the recent examples in Pakistan and we need to understand it that they are not us they are someone else……Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 4, 2011 - 7:12PM

    @Muhammad Umer Farooq

    one of the weak points of Muslims that we cant tolerate anyone who utters unsuitable words

    All I can say is P.B.U.Y (Peace Be Upon You), so that it’ll allow prophet to really rest in peace, instead of PBUH wishes of so many Muslims worldwide.

    I am sure Prophet doesn’t care who makes fun of him, for he’ll be far above that. He wouldn’t have wanted so many muslims to loose their peace over such matters either.

    So, PBUY.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 5, 2011 - 2:57AM

    I bet Sherry Rehman is next on that unfortunate list. Many other liberals too will be on that list soon, by the looks of things unfolding in Pakistan.Recommend

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