-- Nasir Khan
On January 4, 2011, Pakistani politician and governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by an Islamist fanatic. Mr. Taseer opposed the infamous blasphemy laws and stood for the rights of the underprivileged, socially downgraded and politically powerless Christians in a predominantly Muslim country, who have been frequently targeted by anti-social Muslim religious extremists. For his bold political stand and public views, his life was in danger; he was apprehensive of an attempt on his life at the hands of any misguided extremist. As we know, a vicious and brainwashed extremist goon killed him. His death reminds us of the deplorable fanaticism, intolerance and apathy in Pakistan.¨¨
The so-called blasphemy laws of the brutal dictator General Zia strengthened the hands of religious maniacs in Pakistan. We demand that all these barbaric laws be annulled and all people of Pakistan irrespective of religion, creed, or ethnicity be treated equal in law and in society. This should happen not by pious wishes but in practice. At present religious persecution, oppression and religious discrimination in Pakistan is growing. This destructive and insidious phenomenon violates basic human rights of the citizens of Pakistan and also violates the UN Charter.