Today marks the third death anniversary of martyr Shahbaz Bhatti. World is condemning 42-year-old Bhatti’s murder 3 year ago and religiously aggravated hostility that continues to effects minorities.
Shahbaz Bhatti was appointed as Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs on 2 November 2008 and the only Christian member in the Pakistan’s cabinet.
During his era as the Federal Minister, he took various steps in support of religious minorities. These integrated the launch of a national campaign to promote inter-faith harmony, the proposal of legislation to ban hate speech and related literature, the proposed introduction of comparative religion as an academic curriculum subject, the introduction of quotas for religious minorities in government posts and the reservation of four Senate seats for minorities. He also organized the organization of a National Inter-faith Consultation in July 2010, which gathered senior religious leaders of all faiths from across the country and outcome in a mutual announcement against terrorism.
He was gun downed to death by alleged Islamist terrorists on March 2, 2011 while he was on his route to a government meeting in capital Islamabad. At the place of drastic brutal incident pamphlets were found that have the name of the Islamic extremist Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab on it and stated, “Anyone who criticizes the blasphemy law has no right to live.”
The blasphemy laws Bhatti opposed were embedded in Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code. These sections are oftenly distorted to target religious minorities across Pakistan. This law allows Islamist extremists to defend the slaughter of minorities and publicize their belief that killing a “blasphemous” person earns a blissful compensation in Heaven. The laws carry no terms to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy.
Today, while remembering Shahbaz Bhatti, worldwide events are organized to honor his efforts and his sacrifices he made for Pakistan’s no represented minorities. IVC said “Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti laid his life fighting for the persecuted and demoralized Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan on therefore it is important for all of us to celebrate his life and the legacy he left behind on the day that he was martyred.”
Now his brother Paul Bhatti has taken his legacy and working to full fill Shahbaz Bhatti’s mission.