Monday, August 22, 2011

Pakistani Christians reject murder claims

Christians believe Pakistan’s Minister for
Minority Affairs was assassinated by
religious extremists.
Christian leaders in Punjab province, Pakistan, reject claims by police that the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Minister of Minority Affairs, had no religious instigation, reports the Union of Catholic Asian News.

Investigators say they believe the murder of the Christian leader was in relation to a bitter land dispute with relatives. They have publicly concluded that the assassination of Bhatti was not religiously motivated.

Supporters of al-Qaida and Tehrik-i-Taliban claimed responsibility for Bhatti’s murder on March 2 in Islamabad.

Bhatti was in support of changes to the country’s controversial blasphemy laws. Many Pakistani Christians have been falsely accused under Law 295C of blaspheming Mohammed or the Qur’an, a crime punishable by death. Courtrooms packed with militants have often pressured judges into returning a guilty verdict or continuing trials indefinitely.

Paul Bhatti, advisor to the prime minister on minority affairs and brother of the slain leader, said he plans to appeal for a judicial commission to continue the investigation.

For more information on Shahbaz Bhatti’s death, click here. To read the full report, click here.

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