AJC Decries Assassination of Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister

Mar 02, 2011, 10:36 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC denounced the assassination of Shabaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister of minority affairs. He was the only Christian serving in Pakistan's Cabinet.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO)

"The cold-blooded murder of Shabaz Bhatti by Islamic extremists is a setback for those in Pakistan who aspire to build a democratic society that protects minorities and freedom of expression," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

The killing of Bhatti outside his home in Islamabad is the latest murderous attack on Christians in the region, coming after terror attacks on Copts in Egypt, and Christians in Iraq as well as in Pakistan.

"The assault on Christian minorities across the Muslim world is outrageous, and deserves urgent international attention to ensure the safety of these historic communities," said Harris.

Bhatti publicly opposed Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, which makes it a crime to utter any derogatory remarks about the prophet Muhammad, the Koran or Islam.

Bhatti is the second senior Pakistani official murdered this year after opposing the blasphemy laws. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated on January 4.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee