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Time to bring assassins to justice

It is time for Pakistan authorities to bring perpetrators of violence to justice, argues Mustafa Qadri in The Guardian.

  • Pakistan
  • March 4, 2011
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Despite repeated climbdowns by the Pakistan government to appease extremists over the blasphemy laws, the minorities minister’s assassination proves there is no room for compromise. It is time for Pakistan authorities to bring perpetrators of violence to justice.

The federal government was quick to respond to the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti with much stronger criticism of extremism than that which followed Salmaan Taseer’s murder on January 4. President Asif Zardari condemned the “heinous act” and vowed that the government would continue to “stand firm” against extremists. But the Pakistan government has been on the back foot for the past few months: it has largely retreated from any talk of addressing the widely recognised problems with the blasphemy laws; it has failed to “stand firm” against violence from radical groups, and it has, by and large, failed to protect and promote the rule of law.

Sadly, Pakistan’s most powerful institution, the army, remains silent on this issue as it did following Taseer’s assassination, even though it has issued statements on other matters of national interest in the past. The country’s largest opposition political party, the Pakistan Muslim League, has also stayed quiet.

- Mustafa Qadri

Shahbaz Bhatti: a victim of mob rule (The Guardian)
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