Taking a stand: Bilawal’s stance different from PPP leaders

Published: January 12, 2011
Law Minister Babar Awan said Taseer's murder had no religious motivations. Other party leaders have called it a ‘political murder’.

Law Minister Babar Awan said Taseer's murder had no religious motivations. Other party leaders have called it a ‘political murder’.

KARACHI: While Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has taken a strong stand about the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and the rights of minorities, PPP leaders and members of the cabinet have avoided discussion on Taseer’s stance about the blasphemy law.

Even though the assassin confessed he had killed Taseer for his opposition to the blasphemy law, Law Minister Babar Awan said his murder had no religious motivations. Other party leaders have called it a ‘political murder’.

Hours after Bilawal’s speech, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani reiterated that the government would not be amending the blasphemy law.

On Tuesday, Taseer’s daughter Shehrbano Taseer wrote in the Guardian, “The ruling party – my father’s party – continues to equivocate,” when it comes to the blasphemy law. PPP’s manifesto for the 2008 election states, “The statutes that discriminate against religious minorities and are sources of communal disharmony, will be reviewed.”

After religious groups began campaigning against pardoning Aasia Bibi or amending the blasphemy law, the government backed down. It has attempted to appease religious political parties, such as former ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl, by declaring that it had no plans to amend or strike down the law.

The PPP disassociated itself from Taseer’s support of Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy, and MNA Sherry Rehman’s private member bill proposing amendments to the blasphemy law. Interior Minister Rehman Malik reportedly told Rehman that her life is in danger and she should leave the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Tippu
    Jan 12, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Seems like Bilawal is the only pakistan politician left with any balls to call a spade a spade. All the rest are sell outs!! Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Jan 12, 2011 - 10:17AM

    PPP trying to play a dirty game of politics. This was not a political murder. For once, PPP should face the truth and reprimand it.Recommend

  • Hussain Mirza
    Jan 12, 2011 - 10:34AM

    The government, through avoiding the case of Salman Tasseer and essentially Aasia Bibi, is showing how much it cares about the Pakistani people and country. Pakistan was founded upon a secular basis by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who himself said that the people have rights to their own religions and that the government wouldn’t interfere. What ever happened to that? What happened was that radical, uneducated Imams and Mullahs have become vocal and persuaded a majority of the country who are also uneducated and illiterate about parts of the Qu’ran and other scriptures that do not even exist (such as blasphemy), and of course this uneducated populace will believe everything that the religious clerics will say because they are more religious. Secularism is the only viable path for Pakistan and God willing, it will follow that path. If anyone disagrees, another example of a country that is largely Muslim and secular is Turkey, and look where it is in comparison to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:23AM

    Its amazing that the media still takes anything our esteemed Law minister says seriously with his constant flip flopping.

    As for Mr.Rehman Maliks assertion that MNA Sherry Rehman leave the country.. its just plain ridiculous. In his statement he proves that he has no faith in his own law enforcement officials in providing her with safety and security. If he cannot protect an MNA, then what faith must the general public have in the law enforcement agencies of this countries for securing our welfare

    Should we all just collectively pack our bags and leave the country? Is that the message that he is trying to send is that when faced with a threat, we should just all run away and hide!!!

    As a citizen of Pakistan and as a MNA Sherry Rehman should have a right to sponsor any bill she chooses as per the constitution. She is also entitled to be protect by the state. Recommend

  • parvez
    Jan 12, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Bilawal has much to learn. Recommend

  • kk tiger
    Jan 12, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Bilawal’s statement is heartening. Millions of pakistani youth will surely stand shoulder to shoulder with Bilawal to save our beloved country from mulla’n gardi and other fools denigerating our religionRecommend

  • Raza
    Jan 12, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Courageous and right one.
    1. No one should be allowed to disgrace Prophet (saw).
    2. No one should be allowed to take law in one’s hand.
    3. No one should be allowed to put KUFAR fatwa on others.
    4. Minority should be given due respect.
    5. Minority must not provoke sensitive issues.
    6. Majority must be more responsible.
    7. Justice system must be improved.
    8. Rationality in society is need of hour.
    9. No one should be allowed to misuse any law but specially 295-C, as it involves our hearts and minds.Recommend

  • Disco Molvi
    Jan 12, 2011 - 5:10PM

    10. No PAkistani Muslim should be allowed to disgrace the religions of Pakistani Minorities.
    11. A law should made in the same vein as 295-C to safeguard the minorities religions from any insults by Pakistani Muslims, as minorities also have hearts and minds. This will bring about religious harmony.Recommend

  • amjad
    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:37PM

    Normally I would not have agreed with Bilawal, as I believe his grand father is responsible for the dismemberment of Pakistan and destroying everything in the name of roti, kapra aur makan. and by pursuing socilistic policies. (Nationaliztion of industries, banks & especially the private colleges and universities). and that his own father is corrupt. But on the murder of Salman Taseer his stand is abolutely correct. Any one condoning political or religious murders, bombings & sucide bombing is nothing but a criminal. I also read that some leader of sunni tehreek has threatened daughter of deceased governor not to mourn the death of her own father. This guy should be ashamed of himself, do these mullahs have guarentee that on the day of judgement they will be granted jannah. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) told her beloved daughter that she will be on her own that day and at the mercy of Almighty. These, mullahs brings nothing but shame to this beautiful religion. May Allah give guidence to all of us and have mercy on this nation.Recommend

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