Shahbaz Bhatti: Yet another hero falls

Published: March 3, 2011
Bhatti remained a strong critic of the misuse of blasphemy laws enacted by former military ruler General Ziaul Haq, knowing his stance might cost him his life. PHOTO: FILE

Bhatti remained a strong critic of the misuse of blasphemy laws enacted by former military ruler General Ziaul Haq, knowing his stance might cost him his life. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Born on September 9, 1968, to a Christian family in Punjab, Shahbaz Bhatti was the only non-Muslim minister in the Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) coalition government.

Bhatti remained a strong critic of the misuse of blasphemy laws enacted by former military ruler General Ziaul Haq, knowing his stance might cost him his life.

The slain minister was one of the founding members of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) in 1985 and was a representative of the religious minorities in Pakistan. He joined the PPP in 2002. He tabled a bill in the National Assembly Secretariat in 2008 that called for the doubling of minority seats in the national and provincial assemblies, and proposed that seats also be allocated to minorities in the Senate.

After being inducted into the federal cabinet in November 2008, Bhatti said in his first statement: “I have devoted my life to the struggle for human equality, social justice, religious freedom, and to uplift and empower the religious minorities of Pakistan.”

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

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (24)

  • sadiq khan
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:31AM

    The only christian minister now killed also.Why doesnt the ppp officially take out the white from the pakistani flag & make it all green or rather more appropriately paint the white strip in red.Green & red are the real colours of the pakistani flag.If you’re not muslim then your blood’s red is the only colour for you.Recommend

  • abul sami
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Rest in peace shahbaz,you gave your life in a most worthy cause.
    These reigious barbarians must be fought or they’ll wipe out all the sane,rational voices in jinnah’s pakistan.
    Salman taseer & shahbaz bhatti:the true sons of the soil.pakistan is proud of you.Recommend

  • muhammad adnan
    Mar 3, 2011 - 2:46PM

    shaheed salman taseer,shahzad bhatti,sherry rehman,asma jehangir,sheharbano taseer are all the heroes of pakistan.These people are the real pride of pakistan.May allah grant a place in heaven to taseer & bhatti & may he protect the rest from the brutality of our bloodthirsty maulvis.

    Separation of mosque & state is the only way to save pakistan.if religion is allowed to continue to step & interfere in the affairs of the state,the present horrific state will continue.Recommend

  • muhammad saad
    Mar 3, 2011 - 2:53PM

    this country was on a downward spiral ever since the religious barbarians decided to change its name to “islamic republic of pakistan” instead of jinnah’s original “republic of pakistan”.

    separate religion & the state.Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 3, 2011 - 6:27PM

    Saad is absolutely right, its high time to separate religion from state while keeping the fundamental islamic values intact. Recommend

  • sammy
    Mar 3, 2011 - 11:25PM

    evil are the people who killed him !! may god give his mother and family the strength to bear this loss . his death is a loss for all pakistanis who believe in freedom and democracy . Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 3, 2011 - 11:27PM

    @muhammad saad

    Get a life, when Ayub Khan removed the Word Islamic, people took to the street.
    Pakistan IS and WILL remain an Islamic Republic whether you insaaniyat kay thaykaydaar like it or not.Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 3, 2011 - 11:29PM

    @muhammad adnan:

    Yes there all “heroes” of insaaniyat kay thaykaydaar! LOL. Blasphemy Law should NOT change and liberals should accept it. Like it or not.Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 3, 2011 - 11:32PM

    So your saying that by removing the word”Islamic” from Islamic Republic of Pakistan and removing all provisions of Islam in constitution Pakistan will become Paradise. What a joke!Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 2:30AM

    Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination is highly condemnable. A charming personality, late mr. Bhatti was actively working for the minorities. The whole nation is mourning his untimely death.
    However, some foreign dignitaries, especially Britain’s prime minister Mr. David Cameron, are using undiplomatic and strong language while expressing condolences on the death of mr. Bhatti. This is a high profile murder case. Hardly a couple of months ago the governor of punjab, mr salman taseer was also assassinated. Mr cameron didn’t utter condolences on his death though he had strong connection with britain, his mother and aunti were britain-born, one of mr. taseer’s son is born in britain. Mr Cameron and pope benedict have expressed condolences on the death of mr. bhatti because the victim was a roman catholic christian.The pakistan government should protest against the language used by mr.cameron on mr. bhatti’s death.Recommend

  • RR
    Mar 4, 2011 - 2:43AM

    The assailants should (among other offenses) be tried under the blasphemy law for dropping pamphlets ,at the assassination site ,with the name of the holy prophet p.b.u.h. on the pamphlets, on the floor.If that’s not sacrilegious , what is? Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 10:25AM


    Tell that to the terrorists….they do not care what any of us think. They will continue to kill their fellow Pakistanis. The Mullahs are corrupt and brainwashing everyone they can, which is only achieved when the majority of the society remains ignorant. How do the majority of Pakistanis remain ignorant? They fight education….real education of the masses, not censored state sponsored textbooks that lie to our youth about the world.

    The Mullahs seize our land and erect a mosque and declair it untouchable. They scream hate and intolerance from their loudspeakers and feed on the average persons fear and frustrations at lack of a decent life. They open the donation box and they are set. The only way these kafir have found to control people is with hate and constant brainwashing. They care NOTHING about this country…they ONLY care about how they can fill their pockets with money. In Islamabad alone there are mosques every 2 blocks. On Friday the sound is deafening as they compeat to be the loudest of the 5 others that are also heard within range of each other.

    Religion is the guise they HIDE behind….it has nothing to do with their motivation. The Mullah’s USE their CORRUPT versions of ISLAM to rope in the easily manipulated to do their bidding. It is Psychology 101. Fear is a strong motivator….and when the awareness of reality is not there due to lack of education and exposure to information the followers do as they are told. Mullah has become a dirty word. The long beards they sport have become a symbol of hate, intolerance, ignorance and manipulation coupled with greed and vengence. Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 12:52PM

    @Abdul Gilani:
    The word ISLAMIC was NEVER part of the Name of Pakistan BEFORE the 1973 constitution.. it was ALWAYS REPUBLIC OF PAKISAN…

    in 1973 it that word was added to APPEASE the PETRODOLLARS by trying to associate with the Arabs..

    by taking the religion out of the constitution Pakistan is going to become a COUNTRY or a DEMOCRACY instead of a THEOCRACY…Recommend

  • DIG
    Mar 4, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Trend of past killings in Pakistan for some time have taken place based on some old but disliked expression of the assasinated. But government for either political or some reasons refrain to disclose the findings.Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 2:47PM

    @Abdul Gilani:
    no removing the word ISLAM and RELIGION out of the constitution..will not make Pakistan a paradise but it will stop it from the HADITHER HELL it is right now!!

    the MULLAHs will be sent back to their HADITHER CENTERS and they will do LESS DAMAGE!!Recommend

  • Imad Pirzada
    Mar 4, 2011 - 3:12PM

    Everyone is unhappy whatever is happening in Pakistan, noone can celebrate the killing of late minister, but everytime when incident like this happens our so-called enlightened and left-wing kinda community starts pointing out Islam..Lanat Ullah hi Minal All of Them
    @Sadiq Khan: “If you’re not muslim then your blood’s red is the only colour for you”.get a life bro, u meant to say that only the none muslims are being assasinated in Pakistan, i just don’t believe that how u guys comeup with these sick remarks and who are those 10 sick minds, recommended your post:S .. but the truth is that in Pakistan non-muslims are much more safer than us
    @QuranVsHadith: u don’t deserve to comment over here since your nick shows that you belongs to a sick minded community; pervezi-cult, doesn’t even have courage to put ur original name, go and join some religious debate on the authencity of Hadiths..btw some how you are right, islamic can never be republic.. :)Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Mar 4, 2011 - 4:36PM

    Change the name of Qaddafi stadium to Shahbaz Bhatti stadium.Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2011 - 5:40PM

    @Imad Pirzada:
    here we go a HADITHER showning his TRUE COLORS!! what are you going to do next? come SHOOT ME because you dont like the words I say?

    Learn to read the QURAN!!! maybe.. just maybe ALLAH will open your eyes and mind!!Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 4, 2011 - 6:17PM


    LOL, please Ayub Khan removed the word and then had to reinstate it. Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 4, 2011 - 6:20PM


    LOL, it took centuries to remove the role of Church from State in Europe and we saw what happened. 2 World Wars in which millions died. Sorry I spit on this secularism. Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani
    Mar 4, 2011 - 6:22PM


    Fact is that a small ladeen section of society who hates the fact that ahmedis were declared kaffirs and that 1973 Constitution talked about implementing Islamic Provisions only yap against blasphemy law in name of human rights and misuse.

    Maybe they should do something about those unjustly tried under 302.Recommend

  • MKB
    Mar 5, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Killing him was wrong, killing anyone is wrong. But why is he a hero? Aren’t we a little too generous with bestowing titles like shaheed and hero on everyone? And I was wondering, in a secular world, can anyone be shaheed? Isn’t that a religious term? Recommend

  • mussarat hussain
    Mar 6, 2011 - 10:17PM

    Nothing will happen after the ‘ FALL OF ANOTHER HERO”.

    What happened after the Fall of Dhaka in 1971?

    We are being ruled by one of the most corrupt and in-efficient governments pakistan ever had, that has so far failed to bring assassins of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer who were murdered in a broad-day light What to say about “Poor” Shahbaz Bhatti who belonged to Minority community, one of the crushed community in Pakistan.

    God Bless Pakistan, God bless Shaheed Bhutto’s and Shahbaz Bhatti, amen.

    Mussarat HussainRecommend

  • DIG
    Mar 10, 2011 - 7:38PM

    @muhammad adnan: Pakistan’s problem is extremism of all sorts e.g. making of heros, is it a necessity? Stop making fool of Pakistan whosoever is terrorising we dont understand their bait. Recommend

More in Pakistan