Pakistan: Police Admit Taliban Murdered Minister Shahbaz Bhatti
Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, the first-ever Christian to serve in the Pakistan cabinet, who had vigorously campaigned for minority religious rights in Pakistan -- which is 95 percent Muslim -- was killed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). ASSIST News Service says this news was told to Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee (Interior) on August 24, 2011, by Islamabad’s most senior police officer, IGP Bani Amin Khan, according to The Express Tribune. “The IGP said that the police had identified two suspects, but they had gone abroad -- to Dubai -- before they could be caught,” said a message sent by Aftab Alexander Mughal, editor with Minorities Concern of Pakistan. According to this group, Bhatti had received numerous death threats from religious extremists before his assassination. Bhatti had criticized the country's blasphemy laws, which makes it a capital crime to insult Islam, and has also campaigned for the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who has been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy and is appealing her sentence on death row.