A hero has been lost to a country that has a dire need for them.
Mr Taseer was known for his positive stance towards better equality and rights for women and for minority faith groups. Several times he spoke out against the Blasphemy Law of Pakistan most notably during the recent case of Aasia Bibi, for whom he also demanded a pardon.
Today at his funeral thousands attended as his black coffin was draped with a flag of Pakistan and carried by military helicopter to its resting place at Calvary Ground Graveyard.
Although Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik represented the government and the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, their were notable absentees. Those missing including President Asif Ali Zardari the President and close friend of Mr Taseer also missing were political rivals Nawaz and Shabaz Shariff from opposing Party Muslim League.
His death has caused mixed feelings in Pakistan and the Ulema Councils and political leaders from opposing parties have asked for a boycott of the funeral. One particular story in the Dawn illustrated the vehement response from leading Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan (JASP) - read more here:
The Daily Mail UK talked of how the very same group are one of the more moderate Muslim Ulemas that formerly spoke out against Taliban insurgency. What hope remains for Pakistan?
President Asif Raza Gillani however has declared 3 days Public holiday to commemorate the life of Mr Taseer. Moreover reigning Pakistan Peoples Party have declared a 2 week mourning period during which no party work will be undertaken as a time of mourning.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has been instructed to investigate the killing personally and to report back directly to Prime Minister Gillani.
Elements of the case are suspicious such as how one member of the elite team was able to shoot the Governor without being killed himself. He was part of a 6 man crack team that were commissioned to protect Mr Taseer. Yet when retaliation shots were fired 5 innocent bystanders were shot dead and the killer was apprehended without wound. From outward appearances it would seem that the killing was a planned assassination that involved a larger party then so far uncovered.
Whatever happens as a consequence of this incident it is true to say Pakistan has lost a lead proponent of the freedom and equality movement. This act of violence has dented the inroads previously made towards a fairer society. My fear now is that other moderate people and campaigners for justice will choose to stay silent fearing similar violent attack.
It is said that the fanatics are few in Pakistan and often it does come across a true statement. statements such as those from the Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, asking for a boycott of Mr Taseer's funeral create even more concern about the level of fanaticism and how much it permeates throughout Pakistani Society.
Today a radio programme on BBC Asia network exposed the diversity of opinion within those of an Islamic faith in the UK. Even here in the UK people who enjoy the freedoms we have are opposed to similar freedoms in Pakistan. The debate raised grave concerns about the future of nuclear- powered Pakistan, a nation with significant community polarisation, poverty, illiteracy and religious angst. Listen to the Nihal show on which I was invited to speak as a guest:
BBC radio hosted a debate on the death of Salman Taseer. Muslim comments were divided on who was a hero Governor Salman Taseer or murderer Mr Qadri. Wilson was invited as a guest on the show:
"You must be the change you wish to see in this world"
Shahbaz Bhatti Federal Minister for Minorities talks to Vatican Radio.
“I believe that this cowardly act of violence cannot create fear and cannot stop us from raising the voice for justice and raising the voice for the protection of minorities and innocent people of Pakistan.”
To listen to the complete interview please click on link below