Islamabad honoured Salmaan Taseer’s grave sacrifice for the freedom of thought and speech in Pakistan by remembering him on the anniversary of his assassination.
Though some call it a sacrifice, others feel it is more of an injustice, which unfortunately has changed little in its wake.
During a candlelight vigil organised outside the National Press Club, Ahmed Durani, 23, said, “Even though I think such acts of remembrance are important, I still feel empty, because I look at the state of the country and find that not much has changed since his assassination. Maybe things are even worse.”
Others echoed these sentiments. Ali Kazmi, 22, elaborated that “295-C [the blasphemy law] should be abolished not only because it is misused but also because it is a by-law in itself, which creates further complications and issues”.
In addition to remembering Taseer, the vigil addressed other injustices taking place in the country, such as honour killings in Balochistan, genocide of Hazaras at the hands of the Taliban and subjugation of transgenders. A victim of the blasphemy law, Asia Bibi, who received full support from Taseer, also came under discussion. Notable speakers included Tahira Abdullah and Marvi Sirmed.
Alongside the vigil, friends and well-wishers of Taseer held a remembrance ceremony at the site of his assassination in Kohsar Market. They lit up the market carrying candles in baskets, adorning it with bouquets of flowers and pictures of Taseer.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ