Death of Pakistani Leader Stuns Many New Yorkers

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The assassination of Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, by one of his own armed guards Tuesday is hitting home for Pakistanis in New York.

Qudus Malik, an attorney in New York and volunteer for a Muslim group, said members of the Pakistani community told him they were shocked by the news of the governor's death.

"I think a lot of people feel that they have lost a friend when it comes to promoting the rights of minorities as well as just the civil dialogue in Pakistan," Malik said.

Taseer was a vocal, secular governor, who fought for the rights of women and minorities in Pakistan. He was also a vocal opponent of Pakistan's so-called blasphemy laws, which Malik said can carry harsh penalties for those who make statements deemed offensive against Islam.

"One of the concerns that people in the U.S., I think, have, is that this is going to really hurt and maybe even silence the few voices that were speaking up against these laws," Malik said.

The main suspect being held in Taseer's slaying objected to his opposition to the blasphemy laws, according to The Associated Press.


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Comments [2]

Len MacBeath from Winnipegm MB

I am appalled at the news of Salman Taseer's assassination in Pakistan. He was a man of courage and conviction, who fought to the rights of women and minority groups. He was the man who promised to protect Asia Bibi, the Christian lady who has been in prison since June 2009 on alleged blasphemy charges. It seems apparent that voices raised against extreme Islamic clerics and lay people risk being silenced or liquidated.

Jan. 05 2011 02:17 PM

I condemn Gov. Salman Taseer's murder in the strongest terms. This is another very sad day in the history of Pakistan which arose due to the Blasphemy law. This law is against humanity.

Jan. 05 2011 02:11 PM

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