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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid