Candlelight vigil: ‘Bhatti, you are still with us’

Published: March 7, 2011

Children participating in the candlelight vigil in honour of slain Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM

ISLAMABAD: 

Wearing black bands around their head and arms, Christian activists observed a candlelight vigil in memory of the slain Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti on Sunday.

The memorial was held here in sector I-8/3, at the site where the minster was gunned down last Wednesday.

“Many of us are here with crushed hearts but we know that you [Bhatti] are still here with us,” said Pastor Stephan Barnard, as he prayed for the deceased minister.

“Often people blame  God for the sadness of the world and reject any possible hope that could be spoken into it.

However, in the realities of a broken world with broken people, the ultimate hope and answer is God’s grace, which is free to all, at even the lowest point of despair.”

Meanwhile, scores of Muttahida Quami Movement Christian workers joined the memorial and started chanting slogans like “Bhatti teray khoon se inqlaab aay ga” (Bhatti, your blood will bring a revolution).

“Tum kitney bhatti maro gey, har ghar se bhatti niklay ga,” (You might have killed Bhattis but his mission carries on) said a young mother, Aasia Bibi, at the vigil.

“My son will follow your mission,” she said, as her three-year-old son, Yashwa Masih, slept in her arms. “Whenever we asked him for help he never let us down. How can we ever forget him?” she added.

Ishtiaq Masih, also at the candlelight vigil, said, “Bhatti did not care about our status and treated everyone equally.”

He added, “Even though I am a sanitary worker, it was never difficult for me to approach him.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2011.

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