Foreign Policy Blogs

Minorities Minister Assassinated: Another Assassination Charged to Blasphemy Laws

Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan’s contagion across the Kush, is bent on taking down the government in Islamabad by destroying the foundational liberal and multicultural bases that it had long promised to cherish.  Militants have shot and killed the minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, a man who had for some time challenged the fundamentally intolerant and morally insecure and ailing blasphemy laws

Talk of changing the Zia-ul Huq era blasphemy laws has provoked the Taliban to sharpen its edge and to cut into its government opposition in clinically murderous ways.  You see, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian man charged with protecting the religious minority populations of Pakistan was shot right outside his home, eight bullet wounds in his punctured body for taking a stance against the blasphemy laws, now surely set to remain as it is: water proof ink washed over injudicious beliefs.

After the liberal leader Salmaan Taseer was gunned down in early January, Bhatti is the second senior leader in Zardari’s government to have been assassinated, allegedly for his avowed desire to change Pakistan’s morally repugnant blasphemy laws.  However, recently Mr. Bhatti signaled grave reluctance to face off against the fundamental doctrines in Pakistan to support changing the blasphemy law.  His life had been threatened, a threat though then deemed credible, was earlier today put into action.

It’s not so much that people the world over do not know that the Taliban are irreconcilably intolerant murderers.  It’s that when they do murder their chosen target, a liberal voice, the murder and the facts behind it and its consequences seems heavier, sequentially and causally.  It’s not so much that a man has been killed; its rather a man has been killed who is near ir-replacable.  Indeed, with each assassination, there are likely fewer and fewer men and women who would stand to be swapped into those leadership roles that now invite black murder.

I’ll have more thoughts, narrative and analytical, on this piece of news later in the day.  For now, I can only relate to you the news and the heaviness of its revelation.



Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link:

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