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Social Issues
Remembering Salmaan Taseer
January 4, 2012
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One year ago today Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, was assassinated. Prior to the murder, Mr. Taseer had come under attack for his defence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death under the country's blasphemy laws. The assassin - one of Taseer's bodyguards - told police that he murdered Taseer because of the governor's opposition to those laws.

Today in Pakistan, candlelight vigils were held to commemorate the date of the killing. Here are some images of the mourners.




Mr. Taseer was not only an outspoken political actor, but a highly entertaining Twitter user. The Express Tribune printed some of their favourite examples of his sharp online wit today - see the link below.

In February, 2011, George sat down for an exclusive interview with Shehrbano Taseer, Salmaan's daughter, in her family home in Lahore, Pakistan, several weeks after her father's death.

Taseer was not the only Pakistani politician assassinated last year for his opposition to his country's blasphemy laws - on March 2, 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti was killed. Mr. Bhatti was a Catholic, and at the time the only Christian serving in the Islamic state's cabinet.

In early February, less than a month before he was killed, Mr. Bhatti was in Canada, where he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said "the Prime Minister was deeply affected" by the meeting and by Mr. Bhatti's subsequent murder. Kenney cited the example of Mr. Bhatti in his recent announcement that the government is working to establish an 'Office of Religious Freedom' as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

According to the government, the new Conservative office will publicly criticize regimes that mistreat religious minorities around the world.

Related stories on

Tweeters You Should Follow in Pakistan

WFP Pakistan Flood Relief Update


BBC on Salmaan Taseer's Assassination

The Express Tribune on Taseer's Twitter Feed

The Globe and Mail on the 'Office of Religious Freedom'


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