PAL-C Condemns Taseer’s Assassination, Calls for Protection of Religious Minorities

 

Washington , DC: “The Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) strongly condemns the assassination of Pakistan's Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. Early reports indicate that Governor Taseer was assassinated by one of his guards for "criticizing the country's blasphemy laws." Governor Taseer was also prominent in his defense of Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy, “ says a press statement. It adds:
There is no acceptable moral rationale either within Islam or within the Pakistani social understanding that allows for this type of assassination. The state of Pakistan has created opportunities for dissent through civil engagement with the political and judicial system; unilateral violence cannot and must not be used.
The moral framework of both Pakistan and Islam call for an upholding of the rights of religious minorities. If we look to the Qur’an we find the famous verse, "Let there be no compulsion in religion..." [Qu’ran, 2:256] and if we look to the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam, in his August 11, 1947 speech after being elected the first Governor of Pakistan, that sentiment is echoed again, clearly and forcefully:
"Now if we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor ... If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make."
Let us together, condemn this assassination, and then together, move forward to the happy and prosperous Pakistan that all of its citizens deserve.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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