Tribune’s Gamechangers 2011: Salmaan Taseer

A death that defined a year of rising radicalism.

Express January 08, 2012

Killed in the fight to defend a Christian woman from Pakistan’s Blasphemy laws, Taseer’s assassination by his own guard, Mumtaz Qadri set the tone for a turbulent, violent year that featured a rising trend of silencing voices speaking up for minorities, or against the religious right.

All hope of amendments to the Blasphemy laws came to an end following the assassination, but more alarmingly, the jubilant reaction to the assassination by large sections of Pakistani society provided insight into the growing radicalization in the country. While a small minority marked Taseer down as a martyr, the vast majority termed his death as justified.

Quote of the year: "I was under huge pressure sure to cow down before rightist pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing." – Salmaan Taseer


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