January 04, 2011
Pakistan: Governor of Province of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, Assassinated
For speaking out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws
Lahore, PakistanThe Talibanisation of Punjab
The governor of Pakistan’s most populous and powerful province, Punjab, was assassinated Tuesday in the country's capital, Islamabad.
Salman Taseer was shot by a member of his personal security detail while in Kohsar Market, a posh area of the capital popular among foreigners, authorities say.
"[His security guard..(Update: identified as Malik Mumtaz Hussain..ed] confessed that he killed the governor himself because he had called the blasphemy law a black law," said Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Mr. Taseer drew anger from Islamists for his outspoken opposition to the country's blasphemy laws, which have recently led to a Christian woman being sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad. The killing comes at a time of political crisis for the country, as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government, in which Taseer was a key leader, struggles to hold on to power after a key coalition partner quit the government Monday