by Timothy Tay
The only Christian in the nation’s parliament, Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, was shot dead in his car as he was driven away after visiting his mother on Wednesday morning.This incident follows a similar slaying of Salman Taseer, a liberal politician who was gunned down in Karachi by one of his guards (read editorial below).
Pakistan’s Taliban and al-Qaeda factions had claimed responsibility for the assassination.
“As a Christian, I believe Jesus is my strength. He has given me a power and wisdom and motivation to serve suffering humanity. I follow the principles of my conscience, and I am ready to die and sacrifice my life for the principles I believe,” said Shahbaz Bhatti, on a recent visit to Canada.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was shocked and outraged by this assassination and Christianity Today reported her saying, “I recently had the opportunity to meet with Minister Bhatti. He was a very impressive, courageous man. He was a patriot. He was a man of great conviction. He cared deeply for Pakistan and he had dedicated his life to helping the least among us.
When I spoke with him, he was well aware of the drumbeat of threats against him. Despite those threats, when the Pakistan Government was recently reshuffled and the cabinet shrunk, he agreed to continue his work as the Minister for Minorities Affairs. And on behalf of the United States, I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his colleagues.”