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.