Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Pakistani victim: ‘Salmaan Taseer came here and he sacrificed his life for me’

Sentenced to death for blasphemy, Aasia Bibi’s hopes rested on the liberal politician killed this week. Andrew Buncombe gives the first account of her despair at the murder

The Independent, January 8, 2011

 Reuters: Followers mourn Governor Salmaan Taseer in a candlelit vigil yesterday 
The Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy broke down in her prison cell and wept inconsolably when she learnt of the assassination earlier this week of Salmaan Taseer, the outspoken politician who had visited her in jail and demanded that she be pardoned.

Aasia Noreen, commonly known as Aasia Bibi, had been greatly buoyed when the Governor of Punjab province travelled to Sheikhpura jail last November and told her he would take up her case with Pakistan’s President, Asif Ali Zardari. But when she learned he had been gunned down, apparently because of his opposition to blasphemy laws which had placed her behind bars, the 45-year-old mother-of-two fell into despair. “She kept crying throughout the day. She kept saying. ‘That man came here and he sacrificed his life for me’,” said a prison source. “She said, ‘I know that everything that has happened is because of me. I know in my heart of hearts, that person came here for me and what I feel now, no one else can feel’.”

Continues >>

1 comment:

Dr Nasir Khan said...

The assassination of Salmaan Taseer at the hands of a religious manic is a shocking reminder about the state of affairs in Pakistan where the ignorant clerics and religious preachers have poisoned the minds of the majority of their countrymen with their nefarious and anti-human views of Islam.

Right from the time of the partition of India in 1947, a process of leap in the dark had taken shape under the guise of Islamic 'ideology' that was propagated by the chief ideologue of Islamism, Maulana Maudoodi. He founded the Jamaat-e-Islami as a well-organised political party that has infected Pakistan deeply. Other religious organisations and sectarians also joined the race and drove Pakistan to the abysmal situation in which the country finds itself. Democratic forces in the country have been cowed down to the extant that they do not dare to defy the religious maniacs any more. The clerics and imams have a free hand to utter any nonsense that comes to their mind by attributing it to Islam.

By giving in to the Islamists the net of ignorance will tighten more and any dissenting voices will be stifled brutally as happened in the case of Salmaan Taseer. If the democratic people within and outside Pakistan want to see an end to the worsening situation in the country, they will have to stand against all the religious maniacs and their vast network of religious institutions and places of worship which they use to indoctrinate and mislead people. Pakistani religious minorities, especially Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis, have suffered a lot under the discriminatory laws and most of the Muslims show apathy to their condition. The so-called blasphemy laws, promulgated by the Pakistani political establishment, have been merely a cover to advance Islamist fascism and intolerance in this age.