Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Salman Taseer, Governor Punjab, assassinated by security guard over Blasphemy law





The BBC's Aleem Maqbool: "Police say it was one of his own security force that shot him"

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Islamabad, says Mr Taseer was one of Pakistan's most important political figures and his death will further add to political instability in the country.

The PPP-led government is dealing with a political crisis that erupted after a coalition partner quit.

Mr Taseer had recently spoken out against the country's blasphemy law, prompting protests by Islamists.

He was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.

His alleged assassin has been arrested.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Islamabad, says Mr Taseer was one of Pakistan's most important political figures and his death will further add to political instability in the country.

The PPP-led government is dealing with a political crisis that erupted after a coalition partner quit.

Mr Taseer had recently spoken out against the country's blasphemy law, prompting protests by Islamists.

Salman Taseer was politically close to President Asif Ali Zardari Police official Mohammad Iftikhar said Mr Taseer was gunned down by one of his own elite security force protectors in Kohsar Market, a shopping centre in Islamabad popular with Westerners and wealthy Pakistanis.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said: "The police guard who killed him says he did this because Mr Taseer recently defended the proposed amendments to the blasphemy law.
"This is what he told the police after surrendering himself."
Pakistan has seen a wave of attacks by Islamists in recent years, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Related:
Governor of Pakistan's Punjab province assassinated - CNN
Q and A with Saman Taseer - Express Tribune
Religious leaders demand Taseer’s dismissal - December 31 news item - DAWN
Outspoken Pakistani governor assassinated - Washington Post
Pakistan's very unhappy new year - BBC
Daily brief: Punjab governor assassinated - Foreign Policy
Deadly Intolerance: Punjab Governor Salman Taseer Killed - Pakistaniat.com

UPDATES:
Salman Taseer murder throws Pakistan into fresh crisis - Guardian

2 comments:

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