Pakistan Minority Affairs Minister Assassinated
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Mar 2: Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who had sought changes in the controversial blasphemy law, was Wednesday assassinated in a gun attack here, the second top leader of the ruling PPP to be killed this year for demanding reform of the harsh statute.
42-year-old Bhatti's car was ambushed near his residence by three to four gunmen in Sector I-8 at about 11.20 am local time in a brazen attack.
Only Bhatti and his driver Gul Sher were in the car and the minister was not accompanied by any security guard at the time of the attack, police said.
Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan's Cabinet, was the second senior leader of the ruling PPP to be assassinated in nearly two months. On January 4, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down by a police guard who was angered by his opposition to the blasphemy law.
"There were three to four attackers who intercepted the minister's car a short distance from his home. The attackers targeted only the minister and not the driver," Islamabad police chief Wajid Durrani told reporters.
The driver ducked below the dashboard as the gunmen fired indiscriminately at the minister. At least eight bullets hit Bhatti, Durrani said.
The gunmen escaped after the brazen attack. Bhatti was rushed to Shifa International Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani condemned the killing of Bhatti and pledged that such acts will not deter the government from eliminating extremism and terrorism.
Zardari, who was in Karachi, said in a message that the government would "continue to stand firm in its stance and would not bow to the extremists and terrorists."
The extremist elements are trying to destabilise the country but such attempts will fail, he said.
Gilani, in a separate message, said the persons involved in "this heinous crime will not be spared at any cost."
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
- PM arriving Friday
- Allotment to start after inauguration
- Militant killed in Tral encounter
- British envoys call on Malik
- 'OMAR’S REMARKS BIZARRE'
- Herath celebrated in Valley
- I’m impartial,unbiased: Speaker
- Pakistan Minority Affairs Minister Assassinated
- Hopeful of sustained engagement with India: Tehmina
- NHPC, PDC agree to pay water usage charges
- Kashmir losing to Himachal on fishing tourism
- Farooq, Omar bereaved
- One more spell of rains, snowfall Highway Closed
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Srinagar, Mar 2: A university lecturer, hailing from Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, was found dead inside his rented accommodation here today, a police spokesman said. Body of Muzher Ahmad More
- Srinagar City
City gets Grandeur
SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI
Srinagar, Mar 2: From cosmetics to expertise, this beauty salon promises everything of international standards right here in this summer Capital. Grandeur, The Beauty Salon inaugurated Wednesday comes More
Jammu, Mar 2: Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Mian Altaf Ahmad today said that it is the responsibility of every individual to protect forest wealth and ensure environment friendly More
- News in Brief
Srinagar, Mar 2: A youth who was bitten by a stray dog last week in Pampore succumbed to his injuries today. Shakeel Ahmad Shah, son of Abdul Salam Shah of Tulbagh Pampore was bitten by the dog near More
Jammu, Mar 2: J&K government is making last ditch effort to persuade centre to release the funds in one go under the next year’s annual plan on the plea to avoid delay in completion of development More
FOCUS ON JK YOUTH
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Mar 2: An expert group headed by former RBI Governor C Rangarajan for formulating a comprehensive job plan for youth of Jammu and Kashmir will submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh More