Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination: Protesters say they could be next

Published: March 3, 2011

Protesters outside the press club. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: “Killers, killers!… [they] are killers,” read the placards outside the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday. Human rights activists, civil-society members and people of different faiths held a protest on the call of the Citizens For Democracy to protest the assassination of Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in Islamabad.

Jamalud Din Rajput, the Pakistan Christians League president, broke into tears as he recalled the support of the Christians at the time of Partition. “We did not vote for Pakistan for this day.” It’s not one man or a few people, it’s the mindset that killed Salmaan Taseer and now Shahbaz Bhatti, he said. “Our villages are being burnt, our people killed. What justice is this?”

Former MPA Michael Javed demanded the Quaid’s Pakistan, the “Democratic Republic of Pakistan”.

Standing in line with the protesting Christians, Omar Farooq, a businessman, voiced what was going through everyone’s head. “Tomorrow if I say something that someone doesn’t agree with, I will also be killed. When people can kill with so much impunity in the capital, no one is safe.”

Sabeen Mahmud, the director of PeaceNiche T2F, said that unless more people come out and protest, there won’t be any change. “There are hardly 200 people here,” she pointed at the crowd. This is another attempt by the extremists to silence the truth and those who dare to work for the rights of minorities, claimed the protesters.

Activist Sherbaz Khan said the country is overwhelmed by religious extremism. “Anyone who speaks the truth is unsafe.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • zoya
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:16AM

    yup we are next
    but we are ready to DIE for the TRUTHRecommend

  • zoya
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:17AM

    How many are they Going to KILLRecommend

  • muhammad farhan
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:22AM

    these people protesting are the bravest people in the world at this moment.they are standing up against the religious terrorists who want to make us live like barbarians .
    We have to take a public stand to save our society before these religious savages impose their barbaric ideology & laws on all of us.Recommend

  • Mar 3, 2011 - 9:53AM

    “Killers, killers!… [they] are killers,”
    What means by THEY????Recommend

  • Imran
    Mar 3, 2011 - 10:21AM

    “Democratic Republic of Pakistan” This is crap Pakistan was, is and will always be “ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN” INSHALLAH

    Now come to the killing of Taseer and Bhatti, Punjabi Talibans have claimed the responsibility fair enough, but where all the findign comes from? why soo many killings in Punjab and KP? Why was Raymond Davis staying in Lahore? Why Aaron Mark DeHaven was in Peshawar? how many more contract killers out there? Recommend

  • Mar 3, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Rakht-e-Dil baandh lo, dil-figaaro, CHALO
    Phir ham hee Qatl ho aaeyin yaaro, CHALO!Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi
    Mar 3, 2011 - 12:09PM

    Well, as an ardent libertarian I believe it’s better to die standing than to live on your knees. I find consolation in the fact that if I get killed, at least I’ll die alongside brave friends of mine. I suppose that doesn’t make much sense, but it gives me comfort to know that there are people out there who are like me and that I’m throwing my lot in with them. It’s a sweet feeling of solidarity.Recommend

  • Muzzammil
    Mar 3, 2011 - 2:33PM

    @ Imran – you are exactly the kind of people that will be responsible for the extinction of this country, if it ever happens. This was never the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Pakistan was never created in the name of Islam. It is people like you who are ignorant and think that basing a country in the name of religion will give you an easy path to heaven. Islam was not supposed to have ANY role in the functioning of this country’s affairs. Try reading history books for a change.

    If you disagree with the above notion, then you disagree with the existence of Pakistan. And that is treason. You should be on trial for that crime.Recommend

  • Reasoner
    Mar 3, 2011 - 4:15PM

    @Imran:
    Tell us, if Blackwater/CIA was responsible for Jang-e-Sifeen (fought between armies of Ali and Mouwiya) or was it responsible for the target killings of Shias during 90′s and which is still on-going or is Blackwater/CIA responsible for the suicide bombings ??? Tell us who are Hakeemullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain ? Are they CIA agents or Islamic warriors ??? Who was Mumtaz Qadri, a CIA agent ????Recommend

  • Mar 3, 2011 - 5:44PM

    @Imran, please look at what the mullahs are doing in Pakistan and how we Pakistanis hide behind conspiricy theories whilst they ravage the nation and its future – please face up to the molvi problemRecommend

  • eric
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:59PM

    without any doubt after six decades, I can comment “Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, it is not a Pakistan you dreamed of but a country of Muslim militants where rights of religious minorities are crushed. Now your liberal democratic Pakistan is declared as Islamic Republic of Pakistan where Muslims are burning Christians alive, killing innocent peaceful Christians, attacking Churches, enforcedly converting Christian women, gang raping teen age Christian girls and persecuting under Islamic laws”Christians are treated like slaves in a country for which they voted in Round Table Conferences and before Boundary Commission.Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 3, 2011 - 11:29PM

    @Imran:
    100% agree with you.

    Blasphemy Law should remain, liberals should accept that.Recommend

  • True Indian
    Mar 4, 2011 - 1:18AM

    To Stop this only one way, send back all Pakistani from all over world , Do not give them visa or immigration.Recommend

  • Minority
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:38PM

    According to Islamic law anyone who converts from Islam is a heretic deserving death and anyone who converts from another religion to Islam deserves no punishment. Similarly, there is now a law against defamation of Islam, but no law for the defamation of other religions. This is a knockout blow for any religion which claims even a small measure of justice and equality.

    Perhaps, the US and other civilized nations should also implement a “Blasphemy Law”, so that anyone who converts to Islam or insults any religion except Islam be stoned to death. Only then would the extremists in this country understand what it feels like to be a minority.Recommend

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