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Global Healing Rally protests Assassination of Shabaz Bhatti

March 14, 2011, 5:16 am
Source: Pakistan Global Healing, Daily Beast & Express Tribune
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The new Global Healing program in Pakistan had barely begun when two assassinations took place in Pakistan related to blasphemy laws.

The first was on January 5th when the Pakistani Governor Taseer, was killed by his own security detail

Last week Mr. Shabaz Bhaitti, the only christian member of the Pakistani Parliament, was assassinated for his opposition to Pakistan's blasphemey laws.  Taliban groups claimed responsibility for the killing.

 

The Global Healing sponsored rally on March 6th, 2011, strongly condemned the assassination.  The rally called on the public to resist these acts of terror and promote an atmosphere of more tolerance and acceptance in Pakistan.

The event was held in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and attracted more than 5000 people from 9 Villages in the District to the event.

The program was co-sponsored by Global Healing and the United Christian Forum.

 

 

Above Photo: Mr. Nawab Farhat Ulah Khan - General Secretary of the Muslim League

 

The Global Healing initiative has called for an end to the blasphemy law which it finds contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It has asked the United Religions Initiative to give stronger support to Human Rights to end religiously motivated violence. 

See:  Global Healing Supports Human Rights

 

 

The Rally was led by Global healing Chairman (Pakistan) Mr. Patras Dewan, and many other leaders from different communities including:
 
1. Mr. salamat Allah Rakha ( Chairman United Christian Forum ),
2. Mr. Nawab Farhat Ullah Khan ( General Secretary of Muslim League)
3. Mr. Hassan Raza Bukhari ( President of Sariaki )
4.  Ms. Bushra  ( Chair Person Public Safety)
5. Mr.Younas Alam ( Chairman of Minority movement for democracy)
6. Mr. Fatah Jang  ( Human Rights Activist )
7. Mr. Samson Gulzar ( Local Christian Leader)
8. Mr . Rehmat Aftab  ( Vice Chairman of global Healing )
9. Mr. Shakaib Samuel ( Local Leader)
10 Mr. Parvez Akhtar ( member global Healing)
11. Mr AD. Sahil ( General Secretary of Global Healing)

  

 

Mr. Shabaz Bhatti was elected to the Pakistan Assembly in 2008 and was appointed the first Federal Minister of Minorities.

He as founder of both the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and the Christian Liberation Front.  He as as strong outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws and defender of Human Rights.

During is tenure as Federal Minister he took steps to support religious minorities, promoted interfaith harmony, and proposed curriculum in comparative religion to gain better understanding of different religious differences.

He began receiving his first death threats when he spoke in support of Pakistani Christians attacked in the Gorja riots in the Punjab Province in 2009.

 

The Daily Beast warns that the Taliban has already identified a target for their next assassination related to blasphemy laws.

The Daily Best reported:

"Before they sped off, the assassins dumped pamphlets at the scene of the crime. “This is a warning from the warriors of Islam to all the world & rsquo's infidels, Crusaders, Jews and their operatives within the Muslim brotherhood,& rdquo; it reads, “especially the head of Pakistan’s infidel system, President Asif Ali] Zardari, his ministers, and all the institutions of this evil system.”

 

 

Above Photo Mr. Nadeem Schail Raja - Member of United Christian and Global Healing

 

This document from the Punjabi Taliban continues: “In your fight against Allah, you have become so bold that you act in favor of and support those who insult the Prophet.  And you put a cursed Christian infidel Shahbaz Bhatti in charge of the blasphemy laws review committee. This is the fate of that cursed man. And now, with the grace of Allah, the warriors of Islam will pick you out one by one and send you to hell, God willing.”

The Beast continued saying:

The jihadists already have another target in their sights. Like Taseer and Bhatti, Sherry Rehman, a former information minister and member of the National Assembly from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, has also been declared “fit to be killed” by the Taliban for her advocacy of legal reforms to prevent misuse of the blasphemy laws. Despite the threats, she has refused to leave the country. Stepped-up security is no guarantee of one’s safety given that Taseer was killed by a policeman assigned to protect him. In his interview with the Post, Bhatti expressed as much. “I don’t believe that bodyguards can save me after the assassination [of Taseer]. I believe in the protection from heaven, so I ask the people to pray,” he said.

                                                     .                           Above Photo: Mr. Patras Dewam (Chairman Global Healing Pakistan)

 

Short documentary video of the Global Healing Rally

 

The Express Tribune collected the following responses to the assassination.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

I was shocked and outraged by the assassination. It was also an attack on ‘the values of tolerance and respect

US senator John Kerry:

Today’s act of terrorism is particularly chilling. Bhatti  was a brave defender of all of Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minorities and his death is a loss to his country and his family.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay:

I urge the government of Pakistan to support Bhatti’s and Taseer’s positions on the blasphemy laws, to do otherwise will simply encourage similar acts of violence and lawlessness as a means of scaring governments off from making much needed human rights reforms.

The Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi:

The attack was a new act of violence of a terrible gravity, our prayers for the victim, our condemnation of the act of unspeakable violence, our closeness to the Pakistani Christians subject to hate, we add an appeal concerning the dramatic urgency of the defence of religious freedom.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter:

The US condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti. On behalf of the American people, I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and to all Pakistanis. His death is a loss for all who believe in the values for which he gave his last full measure of devotion.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague:

I am appalled by the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. This was a cowardly attack on a democratically elected minister and an attempt by extremists to silence free speech and debate in one of the world’s largest democracies.

British High Commissioner Adam Thomson:

I am horrified by Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination in a callous, cowardly attack this morning. His death is a loss to Pakistan and a deep wound inflicted on Pakistani society. It poses questions about what kind of society Pakistan wants to become.

German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle:

I have just heard this news with great dismay. Shabaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the Pakistani government, was passionately committed to the rights of minorities in Pakistan, showing great personal courage. His death has shocked us.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2011.

 For More information on the  Global Healing Initiative.

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Citation

Randle, D. (2011). Global Healing Rally protests Assassination of Shabaz Bhatti. Retrieved from http://www.globalhealing.net/view/news/51cbf0c37896bb431f6a2f8d

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