International community condemns Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination

Published: March 3, 2011

Condemnations on Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination pour in from Clinton, Kerry, Munter and others. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

I was shocked and outraged by the assassination. It was also an attack on ‘the values of tolerance and respect

US senator John Kerry:

Today’s act of terrorism is particularly chilling. Bhatti  was a brave defender of all of Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minorities and his death is a loss to his country and his family.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay:

I urge the government of Pakistan to support Bhatti’s and Taseer’s positions on the blasphemy laws, to do otherwise will simply encourage similar acts of violence and lawlessness as a means of scaring governments off from making much needed human rights reforms.

The Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi:

The attack was a new act of violence of a terrible gravity, our prayers for the victim, our condemnation of the act of unspeakable violence, our closeness to the Pakistani Christians subject to hate, we add an appeal concerning the dramatic urgency of the defence of religious freedom.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter:

The US condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti. On behalf of the American people, I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and to all Pakistanis. His death is a loss for all who believe in the values for which he gave his last full measure of devotion.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague:

I am appalled by the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. This was a cowardly attack on a democratically elected minister and an attempt by extremists to silence free speech and debate in one of the world’s largest democracies.

British High Commissioner Adam Thomson:

I am horrified by Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination in a callous, cowardly attack this morning. His death is a loss to Pakistan and a deep wound inflicted on Pakistani society. It poses questions about what kind of society Pakistan wants to become.

German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle:

I have just heard this news with great dismay. Shabaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the Pakistani government, was passionately committed to the rights of minorities in Pakistan, showing great personal courage. His death has shocked us.

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

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