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Punjab Governor Salman Taseer Assassinated In Islamabad

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The BBC's Aleem Maqbool: "Police say it was one of his own security force that shot him"

The governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, has died after being shot in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

Mr Taseer, a senior member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was shot near a market popular with wealthy Pakistanis and foreigners.

He was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.

Police say he was shot by a member of his own security detail as he got out of his car.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Islamabad, says Mr Taseer was one of Pakistan's most important political figures and his death will further add to political instability in the country.

The PPP-led government is dealing with a political crisis that erupted after a coalition partner quit.

It is unclear what motivated his assassin.

Mr Taseer had recently spoken out against the country's blasphemy law, prompting protests by Islamists.

Punjab is Pakistan's most populous province.

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Apparently this guy (the dead one) fathered a child with some Sikh women.

Do us proud they do....

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A Son's Journey: Aatish Taseer

NEW DELHI: Unusual is his second name. Aatish Taseer , author and son of Pakistani politician Salman Taseer who was killed on Tuesday by his own personal guard, sees himself as a “cultural Muslim”. It is a strange expression that, to an extent, explains his usual Indo-Pakistani family history and his efforts to close the gap that had arisen between him and his father.

Born in London in 1980 to Taseer, the slain governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, and renowned Indian journalist Tavleen Singh , a Sikh by faith, Aatish always wanted to discover the faith of his father, Islam. In fact, he went on to write a book with a strong tone of the “unusual” about it, Strangers to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands. It was based on a journey he took some two decades after he was born, chasing an obsession: his absent father. As a kid, all he ever had of his father was a photograph. He grew up in Delhi with his mother before he was sent to a residential school in Kodaikanal.

Brought up in a Sikh family in Delhi, where his cousins wore turbans while he was made to feel specially unusual without them, Taseer Jr was destined to make that eight-month tour — to Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia and finally to Pakistan, where he met his father.

He had said in an interview: “I wanted only to understand the distances that had arisen between my father and me. The reason I wanted to do this was because I felt instinctively that there was something deeper behind those distances, something that would help illuminate a situation wider than my own personal context.” The purpose of his trip was also to parley on equal terms with his father by gaining knowledge of how a person who doesn’t practice the religion can still call himself a Muslim.

After meeting his father, he said in an interview that he “overcame the estrangement” with his father, a secular Muslim in Islamic Pakistan, who died in the same way India’s former Prime minister Indira Gandhi died: at the hands of his body guard . But the estrangement with Pakistan, the country of his father’s birth and political activity, endured.

In Strangers to History, he has written about how history was being distorted by religious leaders in order to justify the notion that Muslims are persecuted. “It is comforting for them,” he had been quoted as saying. He had said that he felt Wahhabism represents a tendency within Islam — and perhaps also in other forms of organised thought — to close its doors, and retreat within itself, when it is faced with a political or intellectual threat too great to confront. The book presented a pessimistic picture of the state Islam is currently in. He also described his father’s expression of “moderate Muslim” as being “too little moderation and in the wrong areas”.

Now, 30, Aatish, has been highly vocal about losing faith in Pakistan, where his loyal-to-the-country-unto-the-last father died a bloody death on Tuesday, in one of the most high-profile assassinations after former Pakistan prime minister Benazir’s Bhutto’s death in 2007. Nine bullets were fired at him; three in the chest, four in the neck and two in the stomach.

For the son, who had a brief “royal” affair with Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince of Kent, it is the same thing: familiarity of the unusual.

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Ulema press not to offer Taseer’s funeral prayers

Most religious parties avoid outright condemnation; Sajid Mir, Piracha assail murder

KARACHI: Leading Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan (JASP) in a joint statement have asked Muslims not to offer Namaz-e-Janaza nor try to lead funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.

In a joint statement issued here they have also asked not to express regrets or sympathies over his assassination. Those issuing the statement include the JASP Central Ameer Prof Syed Mazhar Saeed Shah Kazmi, Allama Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, Allama Zamir Sajid, Pir Khalid Sultan, Pir Ghulam Siddiq Naqshbandi, Allama Syed Khizr Hussain Shah, Alhaj Amjad Chishti, Allama Ghulam Sarawar Hazarvi, Allama Syed Shamsuddin Bokhari, Pir Syed Ashiq Ali Shah Jilani, Mufti Muhammad Iqbal Chishti, Allama Fazal Jamil Rizvi, Agha Muhammad Ibrahim Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Maulana Muhammad Riaz Qadri, Maulana Gulzar Naeemi, Allama Syed Ghulam Yaseen Shah, and over 500 other ulema and honorable muftis attached to the JASP.

Those favouring the person indulged in blasphemy are themselves blasphemous, they announced. Paying glowing tributes to Malik Mumtaz Hussain, and his courage, who killed Governor Salman Taseer, they said he is lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and is a ‘Ghazi’. Mumtaz had revived the 14-century-old tradition of Islam and put their head high in pride. It was only Prophet (PBUH) who could forgive any act of blasphemy but none other could ever do it.

They asked the rulers to save their faith by announcing that they would desist from attempting to amend the law of blasphemy. Asim Hussain adds from Lahore: Leaders of majority of religious parties desisted from expressing their views on the murder of Salman Taseer, while others gave a guarded response, saying the slain Punjab governor had been inviting such kind of reaction for quite some time.

He had continuously been violating the constitution of Pakistan by supporting an amendment to the blasphemy laws and interfering in the judicial process of the blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi, though he knew well that Muslims were very touchy on the matter, they said while talking to The News.

Some religious leaders like Jamiat Ahle Hadith President Prof Sajid Mir and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Farid Piracha, however, condemned the murder saying Islam forbids people to punish even the criminals by taking the law into their hands.

Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) President Abdul Khair Mohammad Zubair said Islam strictly forbids taking the life of anyone without judicial or state order, but added that Salman Taseer had shown utter disregard for the religious sentiments of the entire nation.

The mobile phone of Sahabzada Fazal Karim, chairman Sunni Ittehad Council, remained switched off throughout Tuesday evening. A spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan said he was not feeling well and could not be available on phone. The spokesman also expressed his helplessness to obtain any formal statement on the issue saying that any statement on the matter would be issued on the next day after consultations. Other main leaders of the Sunni Ittehad Council - Haji Hanif Tayyeb, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali, Sarwat Ijaz Qadri - were also not available.

Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM) leaders held an emergency meeting after receiving the reports of murder of Salman Taseer. The meeting, chaired by Razaul Mustafa Naqshbandi, continued for two hours. Later, in a statement the TNRM said Taseer had been violating the laws of the land by supporting a blasphemy convict, Aasia Bibi, from day one. His irresponsible acts from the high office of the Governor of Punjab were inappropriate and offending 170 million Muslims of the country.

Meanwhile, Sunni Tehrik Lahore President Mujahid Abdul Rasool said Muslims should not attend the funeral prayers of Salman Taseer since he had wilfully committed blasphemy and shown disrespect towards protecting the honour of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

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Looks like the assassin is more popular than the dead fellow:


Seems like the Paks are imitating the 'Singh assassin' style.

Edited by dalsingh101
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