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Taliban Murder Christian Government Minister In Pakistan

March 2, 2011

March 2 2011- Militant Islam Monitor-The Minister of Minority Affairs in Pakistan, the only Christian minister in government, was gunned down by the Taliban today. He was a member of the ruling Pakistani People's party headed by Asif Ali Zardari,the widower of Benazir Bhutto.Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was critical of the Pakistani blasphemy laws which mandate death for anyone who "insults Islam or is critical of the Prophet Mohammed" He was threatened by Muslim extremists and police found leaflets near the scene of the attack warning that those opposing the blasphemy laws would meet the same fate.

"Former Punjab University Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi says the violence has strengthened domestic and international fears that religious extremism is growing in Pakistan. It will also be seen by the international community as evidence of the government's inability to provide security to its citizens, says Askari."

Bhatti is the second minister to be assassinated for opposing the blasphemy laws. Two months ago Salman Taseer, a Muslim who openly criticized the blasphemy laws, was gunned down by his own bodyguard who is being hailed as a hero by Islamists.

Also see"Assassination Of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer- Pakistani Islamists Silence Critic Of Blasphemy Laws".

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at