Press Statements

On the Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs, Pakistan

New Delhi: 2nd March 2011:  The brutal assassination of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, Minority Affairs Minister of Pakistan in Islamabad today is a cowardly act perpetuated by forces which are bent to terrorise minorities across Pakistan and silence the voices of sanity. The murder of Mr Bhatti and others and persecution of minorities in Pakistan is a blot on the record of that country and shows that Pakistan has failed to protect its citizens.

It is shocking to know that Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, who was facing death threats since long, was not under security cover, despite being a federal minister, at the time of his brutal murder. The killing of an important leader of minorities in Pakistan who was also an important minister shows the threats and pressures under which minorities are living in Pakistan.

The assassination of Mr. Bhatti has exposed the casual attitude of the Government of Pakistan towards the threats Mr. Bhatti had received in the past. After the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was also killed for the same reason for which Mr. Bhatti has been assassinated, the indifference of the Government to Mr. Bhatti's security is shocking.

Mr. Bhatti's killing has also raised serious questions about the survival adn safety of the minorities in Pakistan. There have been press reports from the interior of the country about abduction, false implication in Blasphemy cases and killings of members of the minority communities on a daily basis.

We request the Government of Pakistan to immidiately apprehand the culprits responsilble for the assasination of an important leader of the minorities and of Pakistan and ensure the protection of the common citizens of the minorities in the country.

Anuradha Kapoor, Editor, Kashmir Times
Asif Khan, General Secretary, NEEDS, Mumbai.
Aziz Burney, Editor, Rashtriya Sahara Urdu
Cedrik Prakash, PRASHANT, Ahmedabad
Fr. Dominic Emanuel, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, Delhi
Farooque Shaikh, Actor, Director
Hasan Kamaal, editor, Urdu Daily Sahafat, Mumbai
Javed Anand, Co-Editor, Communalism Combat,  Mumbai
John Dayal, Secretary General, All India Christian Council, New Delhi
Manzoor Alam, General Secretary, All India Milli Council
Navaid Hamid, Secretary, South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM)
Niaz Farooqui, Secretary, Jamiat Ulama e Hind, New Delhi
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Mumbai
Ram Puniyani, Mumbai
Sajan George, President Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC)
Sajid Rashid, Editor, Naya Waraq, Mumbai
Seema Mustafa, Resident Editor, Sunday Guardian, New Delhi
Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD
Teesta Setalvad, Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace
Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette
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Released by:
Navaid Hamid
Secretary, South Asian Council for Minorities
Member, National Integration Council (NIC) India
9811643929

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