Just yesterday i talked about Pakistan going through volatile times and today Pakistan proved me right. Governor of Punjab Mr Salman Taseer was shot dead in Islamabad by one of his own security guards today on 4th Jan 2011.
He was governor of the largest state of Pakistan. He belonged to PPP and for obvious reasons the PML(N) govt in the state was not very happy with him. He was constantly attacked verbally by Law Minister of Punjab Mr Rana Sanaullah. The verbal exchange went out of limits of decency very frequently.
He was from a very liberal family and he also took a stand against the notorious blasphemy laws of Pakistan which are used without impunity against the minorities. The very latest case which was also the reason of his killing was Aasia Masih's case. Aasia Masih , a poor christian lady was sentenced to death by a lower court in a blasphemy case against the prophet of Islam. He called the blasphemy laws as black laws and went to her house and took her clemency petition to convey it to the president.
He made a lot of enemies for his action. He may have not been popular or a righteous leader but i appreciate his courageous stand against the persecution of minorities in the garb of the draconian blasphemy laws. Pakistan lost one of the most powerful and vocal liberals in their society. He will surely be missed.
He was killed by his own apparently very religious elite security guard who thought that governor has done blasphemy himself by speaking against the blasphemy laws. Apparently blasphemy law is holier then the text in Quran now.
This incident will have a huge negative impact on the liberal wing of the country, they surely will be scared in coming all out for the support of the minorities.
I cannot stress enough how important the investigation of this case is. Country needs to know who the real killer is. Story could be as simple as it looks like, but there could be other angles too which needs to be investigated. PML(N) never liked him and their relations with Islamic religious fanatics is well known. On their indication it is really easy for religious leaders to brainwash a religious and gullible elite security guard. He could be killed due the the fatwa given against him by some mullah. Agencies need to answer who posted him for the security of the governor.
If this whole incident Asia Bibi is the biggest loser among the surviving. If a powerful governor who comes for her aid gets killed for that reason then which other leader or social worker will come for her help. I wonder if any judge will have guts to release her even if she is proven not guilty. She is condemned to death already with Mr Taseer's death.
May be there is a silver lining above these gloomy clouds of fear . May be the corrupt opportunistic politics of PPP will come as help in disguise. PPP likes self victimization and do politics on their dead leaders. Now they got one more to brag about, i really hope that they do a hell lot of politics of Mr Taseer's death and make him a 'Shaheed'. They call Benzir a shaheed even though she didnt die for a cause, she wasnt killed for taking a stand, but Mr. Salman Taseer took a stand against injustice very well knowing the consequences which ultimately took his life. May be he will be proven "Mr Bhutto" for the liberals and may be they can gather more support by politicizing his death.
Cold-blooded killing of Mr Taseer yet again exposes the nexus between the security establishment and the Islamic religious extremist parties in Pakistan. The tree they planted during Afghan Jihad era is still apparently bearing poisonous fruits. Lately other cases have taken place which strengthen this theory. case in point Attack on Ex-President Musharraf and attack on GHQ.
This case though has suppressed the fact that government just yesterday went in to minority. New year has just started and one of the most powerful and popular leader of Pakistan is no more, lets see what else this year brings.