News / Asia

Pakistani Governor Killed in Islamabad Shooting

An intelligence official interrogating the suspect, identified as Mumtaz Qadri, Commando of Pakistan's Elite force, right, who allegedly killed Punjab's governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad, 04 Jan 2011
An intelligence official interrogating the suspect, identified as Mumtaz Qadri, Commando of Pakistan's Elite force, right, who allegedly killed Punjab's governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad, 04 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio

The governor of Pakistan's Punjab Province has been assassinated, allegedly by one of his security guards in Islamabad.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik says the slain governor, Salman Taseer, was returning to his car after visiting a shopping center in the Pakistani capital when one of his armed guards sprayed him with bullets.

Witnesses say the Punjab Governor fell down and the attacker dropped his gun before surrendering to police.

Interior Minister Malik told reporters an investigation has been ordered into the incident.

The minister says the assassin told investigators he killed the Punjab governor because of Taseer's opposition to Pakistan's controversial Islamic law of blasphemy.  

Governor Taseer was making efforts to secure the release of a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court for making derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammad.

Taseer's actions along with recent demands by human-rights groups to reform the Islamic law to prevent its misuse have angered religious parties in the country. Islamic groups have also staged street protests in recent days to warn the government against amending the law.

Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, while speaking to VOA, condemned the killing as a barbaric act. He defended the slain Punjab governor for speaking against the misuse of the Islamic law of blasphemy.

"This cowardly act of violence cannot stop people who believe that this law (blasphemy law) is being misused as a tool to victimize the innocent people of Pakistan," Bhatti said. "And I ask the government and other law enforcement agencies to investigate all those who instigated the people and issued (the) decrees against the governor."

The assassination of the provincial governor is the most high-profile killing of a political figure in Pakistan since former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto died in an attack three years ago.

The assassination of Governor Taseer took place as Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is scrambling to keep his ruling coalition in power. His government has lost its majority in parliament in recent weeks, after two of its partners quite the governing coalition.

The country's main opposition party headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it would not force a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Gilani.  

But speaking after a party meeting in Islamabad, Mr. Sharif demanded the government must reverse its recent hike in petroleum prices, cut government expenditures by 30 percent and take legal actions against ruling party officials allegedly involved in corruption.

The opposition leader set a three-day deadline for Prime Minister Gilani to accept the demands and then show progress within 45 days. Opposition parties have made similar demands in recent months but the Pakistani government has dismissed allegations of poor governance and corruption.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid