Salmaan Taseer: The death of a governor

A message to all those who believe in justice and humanity, that intolerance is on the verge of devouring us.

Zarrar Khuhro January 04, 2011
In life, Salmaan Taseer was never afraid of controversy and was never one to remain silent even when his stance on issues like militancy and the blasphemy law brought the venom of the right wing pouring on to him.

Known as much for his ubiquitous dark glasses as his continuous sparring with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he was a man you could love or hate, but never ignore.

In a time when obscurantists and terrorists have tried to silence our voices and strike off the heads of those who dared oppose them, Taseer spoke without fear, condemning the blasphemy law and those who stood in its defence, despite the very real threat of violent retribution.

His death is more than a political assassination. It is a message to all those who believe in justice, law and humanity, that the cancer of extremism and intolerance is one that is on the verge of devouring us. It is a call for us to remain silent and supine in the face of terror, to bow our heads before the edifice of fanaticism or else have our heads struck off.

His blood is not just on the hands of the man who fired the shots; the collective guilt must be borne by all those who have rallied in the support of the ‘blacker than sin’ blasphemy law. Equally guilty are all those parties and politicians who have, whether through fear or conviction, resisted any attempts to change and amend this dark legacy of Ziaul Haq.

We are also to blame who, in our own complacency and detachment, have ceded our religion to brutal murderers.

Salmaan Taseer died a martyr’s death, killed for a cause he truly believed in and we are so much poorer for his absence.
Zarrar Khuhro The writer is editor of The Express Tribune Magazine
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


vlad | 13 years ago | Reply i think that your country is descending into chaos. you are killing people for speaking out loud. you are lower life forms than animals. what the hell is there that makes you want to kill people that speak out loud and take you out of the dark ages?
Zaryab Khan | 13 years ago | Reply Can any of the so-called liberal intellectuals tell me whats wrong in the blasphemy law for which you call it "blacker than a sin"? Has any of you even seen its text once? Can anyone tell me on what basis you say Aasia Bibi is innocent even after the court has sentenced her? Do you know the facts of the matter? Did you record the court hearings and the material and evidences presented and discussed there? Can any of you share these? If not, then shame on all self-proclaimed "intellectuals". Please gain some knowledge before forming views let alone expressing them.
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