Analysis & Opinions - Asia Society

A Bad Beginning for Pakistan in 2011

| January 5, 2011

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.

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For Academic Citation: Abbas, Hassan.“A Bad Beginning for Pakistan in 2011.” Asia Society, January 5, 2011.