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"A Bad Beginning for Pakistan in 2011"

A supporter of Pakistan People's Party mourns the death of Punjab's governor Salman Taseer who was shot dead by one of his guards, at a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Jan. 4, 2011.
AP Photo

"A Bad Beginning for Pakistan in 2011"

Op-Ed, Asia Society

January 5, 2011

Author: Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security

 

Why Salman Taseer's murder is a setback for democracy

 

 Amid political turmoil following key resignations from Pakistan's ruling coalition, the country received a jolt with the brutal assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer at the hands of a terrorist identified as Malik Mumtaz Qadri-his official security guard, who targeted Taseer on the pretext of his bold criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law.

Taseer called it "black law," and religious extremist elements misinterpreted this statement as anti-Islamic. His political opponents and some local media outlets also criminally used the opportunity to defame and discredit him with malice. Taseer was also a vocal critic of human rights violations, especially those pertaining to minorities. His barbaric murder is an attempt by bigots to silence all those who want free speech and are challenging intolerance in society. This is a setback for democracy in Pakistan.

Continue reading: http://asiasociety.org/policy-politics/governance/national/bad-beginning-pakistan-2011

 

For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.

Full text of this publication is available at:
http://asiasociety.org/policy-politics/governance/national/bad-beginning-pakista
n-2011

For Academic Citation:

Abbas, Hassan. "A Bad Beginning for Pakistan in 2011." Asia Society, January 5, 2011.

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