The assassination of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, by one of his own security guards is a big blow for Pakistan and the world as well. The situation of Pakistan, which already reeling under political turmoil, has gone from bad to worse. Salman Taseer, known for his liberal and progressive ideology, ran into the wall of religious zealots, loosing his life in a bid to make space in the country for those having moderate and modern mindsets. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is struggling to stay in power as a minority government, lost its mainstay.
Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the security guard, killed Taseer because he was furious with Taseer’s standpoint about Pakistan’s contentious blasphemy law and his defending of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy. It is also reported that several persons, including lawyers, congratulated Qadri for his action, shouting slogan: “We are ready to sacrifice our life for the prestige of Prophet Muhammed.” It spells message that Pakistan is prominently dominated by religiously bigoted minds.
It is disappointing that main political parties shy away from reacting on fundamentalists’ saber-rattling, who rhetorically say that the blasphemy rule is tantamount to condemning Allah. The non-committal of main political parties is in a sense spurring religious fanatics and allow the polity for getting more radicalized, which will have a far-reaching political ramification and also destabilize Asian continent.
The killing of Taseer suggests that there is no space for people harbouring liberal views and the country is awfully dominated by religious fanatic people. The incident sketches bleak future for Pakistan. Needless to say that the present political leadership is completely inefficient and is swayed by fundamentalists. If leaders of Pakistan do not awake from slumber and cut their umbilical chord from fundamentalists, the country will be pushed to edge and anarchism will that push it to its doomsday. Undoubtedly, it is not enough that the assassination of Taseer should be condemned rather there should be earnest efforts to free the country from albatross of the fundamentalists and the religious zealots. If internal turmoil and unstable governance go on, innocent aawam of Pakistan will be at the receiving end and suffer the most at the end. The people of Pakistan should show their maturity and have vision for being citizens of a developed and democratic country so as to keep pace with other developing nations and bestow a peaceful and vibrant Pakistan on their GenNext.