Strangely mute: NA fails to formally condemn murder

Published: March 4, 2011

National Assembly fails to come up with joint resolution condemning murder of Shahbaz Bhatti.

ISLAMABAD: 

The National Assembly failed to come up with a joint resolution condemning the murder of minorities affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday, repeating its failure to formally condemn the murder of Salmaan Taseer two months ago.

The house was meeting a day after the minister’s coldblooded killing in the heart of Islamabad, allegedly by homegrown Taliban from Punjab for his support for reforming the blasphemy law.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani did announce a three-day period of mourning for Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, but only after emotional speeches demanding this were made by a couple of Christian members and a token walkout by all parties.

Pakistan’s parliament has  previously been swift to pass condemnation resolutions concerning perceived blasphemy incidents in Europe, though not the murder of government officials only a few miles away.

That there was no attempt made to introduce such a resolution, even by the so-called liberal parties, will be seen by many as a sign that legislators fear antagonising the extremists.

“I announce three days of national mourning,” the prime minister said on the floor of the house. “The national flag will fly at half mast.”

Earlier, Asia Nasir, a Christian member of the National Assembly from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), set the tone for the day when she addressed the portrait of Quaid-i-Azam, overlooking the house, and pleaded for him to notice the state of minorities in his country.

“At the time of the creation of Pakistan, we (the minorities and the Muslims) were all one. But today, we feel we are out,” said Nasir. She said the Christian community would give its reaction after the funeral of Bhatti.

Akram Masih Gill of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, quoting a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about the protection of minorities, held the government responsible for Bhatti’s murder. “He was not provided adequate security despite his repeated requests,” said Gill.

“We pay equal taxes yet we are discriminated against. No one from the minorities can become the president or the prime minister. Today, our children want to leave this country as they feel more insecure than ever,” he added.

Abdul Qadir Baloch from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz played down an attempt by certain members of religious parties, including Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F, to link the killing to the Raymond Davis case or a foreign hand.

“I fail to understand why it is being associated with the Davis case. These are our own failings and we should admit it,” said Baloch, a retired army general.

After others gave a range of views about who was behind Bhatti’s murder, Bushra Gohar of the Awami National Party, supported by many members, demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the killing.

Additional reporting by Umer Nangiana

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Ashraf R
    Mar 4, 2011 - 9:36AM

    Nothing confirms the radicalization of Pakistan as this report does. The all-powerful NA refuses to pass a resolution to condemn the brutal murder of Bhatti. What can be expected from the helpless masses? This is a shame and the true state of affairs in Pakistan is there for the entire world to see. Pakistan has turned into a nation of brutal thugs. Free Davis, what he did is no longer a crime in Pakistan. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Mar 4, 2011 - 10:11AM

    I am sorry Pakistani friends, its a shame to the whole humans !!!Recommend

  • pakshia
    Mar 4, 2011 - 11:25AM

    today we shias stand united with our christian brothers.also Ahmed brothers let us fight this battle together with hindus and sikhs we cannot allow this FROM sunnis we will fight them all together we can bring every sunni to their knees just like iraq and bahrainRecommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:02PM

    The parliamentarians do not have enough guts to stand and condemn the ruthless murder of Shahbaz Bhatti , similarly they refused to say fateah for Taseer in Senate.I believe they all should wear BANGLES and DOPATAS and stay at home. Recommend

  • Sahar
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:09PM

    How about we stand united as Pakistanis and get rid of these fundamentalists..unity is needed so lets not bring in sectarianism Recommend

  • Rohail
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Shame on Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Mar 4, 2011 - 12:55PM

    What a bunch of gutless people! Maybe Pildat should focus their capacity building efforts on engendering basic human values in this bunch of low-life scumRecommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Mar 4, 2011 - 2:24PM

    Mr. Rohail, I would just like to correct you, its not shame on Pakistan, but same on all of us, Pakistani’s.

    Pakistan is made up of people & we all are shameless people. Our present leaders can’t even condemn a plain murder in the name of Islam. This is not Islam, I do not believe in this type of Islam & I am ashamed of being called a Pakistani today as I was on the day of Gov. Tasser’s murder.

    We don’t need condemnation, but action!!!! This madness needs to be stopped & people spreading this madness by bullets, bombs or their hate speech & some with their justifications.

    Now I like to see the so called democratic leaders, the independent judiciary & media to deliver on all their tall claims.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 4, 2011 - 2:38PM

    What’s so surprising ? They truly are our representatives! Where is the display of public outrage —– nation of enuchs with a parliament of the same kind!Recommend

  • Aitum Bumb
    Mar 4, 2011 - 4:12PM

    This is truly pathetic.
    A bunch of mad dogs rule your house.Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 5:36PM

    Another shameful day for Pakistan and Pakistani’s. But what do you expect from the elected leaders many of whom are in the assembly by pretending to have a degree in other words they lied and broke the law or got elected because they head up a tribe and poor souls in the tribe could not vote any one else or else???? So dear fellow Pakistani’s how can a person who himself has broken the law in the first instance can condemn someone else who is breaking or have broken the law. Recommend

  • Arshad
    Mar 5, 2011 - 12:44AM

    If the present government in punjab complete its term, financial corruption may be less but Talibans will have strong grip in the province. The fact is, just see the demonstration of power by these Talibans since they are in power. Recently in Gujranwala after Lahore. Their MPAs keeping gunmen from banned organizations. Army of lions led by stag will not be the army of lions. Recommend

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