EOPM Condemns the Assassination of Governor of the Punjab Province in Pakistan

By European Organization Of Pakistani Minorities, PRNE
Monday, January 10, 2011

BRUSSELS, January 11, 2011 - European Organization of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM) expresses its
condolences to the family and followers of Mr Salman Taseer, Governor of the
Punjab Province in Pakistan, following his cold-blooded and brutal
assassination for standing up against extremist forces trying to disrupt the
democratic fabric of Pakistan and for his efforts to secure a presidential
pardon for AsiyaBibi, a poor Christian woman condemned to death by a
Pakistani court for having allegedly committed blasphemy.

While the ruthless killing itself was a cowardly and shocking act, the
support and adulation showered on the murderer, who was a member of the elite
security force responsible for guarding the Governor, reveals the sad state
of affairs in Pakistan. Reports suggesting that the murderer had links to
Dawat-e-Islami and even Taliban.

Tolerance within the country of such illegal
acts seeking to promote mass violence against minorities will encourage more
such cowardly and ruthless attacks on them.

The credibility of the Pakistani government and its agencies are at stake
and EOPM calls on the Western Governments and International Agencies to
encourage Pakistani leaders to gather political courage to take up issues
which would resolve the misery of the Pakistani minorities.

EOPM calls on the Pakistani government and its agencies to stop the
policy of appeasement of extremists and terrorists which would only encourage
further acts of violence and bloodbath. EOPM is of the view that if Pakistani
government does not act, it would force the moderate politicians, leaders,
media and human rights defenders to lose courage and this would further
escalate the process of radicalisation.

EOPM urges Pakistani government to take bold steps and repeal the
Blasphemy Laws and give adequate protection and security to those who stand
up for the downtrodden, weak and the voiceless. Strong action in the
investigation of the assassination and punishment of perpetuators of the
heinous crime would sent the right signals and also change the perception
that Pakistani government and its agencies are probably more of the problem
rather than the solution.

EOPM is of the opinion that the case of AsiyaBibi is just one example of
the systemic problems facing the country which has been further exposed by
the mindless killing of the Honourable Governor who will go down in history
as a martyr for his courage and conviction. The year 2010 has seen several
monstrous acts of violence and bloodshed perpetuated against the minorities,
including attacks on places of worship. The minorities in Pakistan will
continue to bear the brunt of violence against them including the fall out of
this assassination making their existence even more miserable, with radicals
gaining further ground as a consequence of the act unless the Pakistani
government acts or is forced to act by the Western countries.


Media Contact Details: Humayun Sunil, Project Coordinator, info at eopm.org, European Organization of Pakistani Minorities, +32-808-6857

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