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EOPM Condemns the Assassination of Governor of the Punjab Province in Pakistan

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by January 12, 2011 General

AsiaNet 42859

BRUSSELS, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet / –

European Organization of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM) expresses its condolences to the family and followers of Mr Salman Taseer, Governor of the Punjab Province in Pakistan, following his cold-blooded and brutal assassination for standing up against extremist forces trying to disrupt the democratic fabric of Pakistan and for his efforts to secure a presidential pardon for AsiyaBibi, a poor Christian woman condemned to death by a Pakistani court for having allegedly committed blasphemy.

While the ruthless killing itself was a cowardly and shocking act, the support and adulation showered on the murderer, who was a member of the elite security force responsible for guarding the Governor, reveals the sad state of affairs in Pakistan. Reports suggesting that the murderer had links to Dawat-e-Islami and even Taliban.

Tolerance within the country of such illegal acts seeking to promote mass violence against minorities will encourage more such cowardly and ruthless attacks on them.

The credibility of the Pakistani government and its agencies are at stake and EOPM calls on the Western Governments and International Agencies to encourage Pakistani leaders to gather political courage to take up issues which would resolve the misery of the Pakistani minorities.

EOPM calls on the Pakistani government and its agencies to stop the policy of appeasement of extremists and terrorists which would only encourage further acts of violence and bloodbath. EOPM is of the view that if Pakistani government does not act, it would force the moderate politicians, leaders, media and human rights defenders to lose courage and this would further escalate the process of radicalization.

EOPM urges Pakistani government to take bold steps and repeal the Blasphemy Laws and give adequate protection and security to those who stand up for the downtrodden, weak and the voiceless. Strong action in the investigation of the assassination and punishment of perpetuators of the heinous crime would sent the right signals and also change the perception that Pakistani government and its agencies are probably more of the problem rather than the solution.

EOPM is of the opinion that the case of Asiya Bibi is just one example of the systemic problems facing the country which has been further exposed by the mindless killing of the Honourable Governor who will go down in history as a martyr for his courage and conviction. The year 2010 has seen several monstrous acts of violence and bloodshed perpetuated against the minorities, including attacks on places of worship. The minorities in Pakistan will continue to bear the brunt of violence against them including the fall out of this assassination making their existence even more miserable, with radicals gaining further ground as a consequence of the act unless the Pakistani government acts or is forced to act by the Western countries.

http://www.eopm.org

SOURCE: European Organization of Pakistani Minorities

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