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Monday, 11 April 2011

Minorities demand formation of commission to probe Bhatti's murder

APMA have sent this press release from the Daily Times Pakistan:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Terming slain federal minister for minorities' affairs Shahbaz Bhatti 'Shaheed-e-Haq', the representatives of various minority communities said that Bhatti had represented the interests of religious minorities in the country and stood for the vision of Pakistan's founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah characterised by pluralism, religious freedom, and the rule of law. They demanded that the government constitute an independent judicial commission to probe in the tragedy of March 2, 2011.

They strongly condemned the tragic assassination of late Bhatti and hoped his sacrifice does not go in vain. All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) Saturday organised the memorial services and condolence reference for the assassinated minister at D-Chowk in front of parliament house. Members of religious minorities from across the country attended the event.

Addressing a massive crowd of over 3000 persons holding banners, placards, and photographs of Bhatti, speakers said Shahbaz Bhatti was a global ambassador of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for interfaith harmony who was identified with the party's face of tolerance, harmony, and respect for minorities in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan and the PPP manifesto.

Participants of the service chanted high pitch slogans in the sad remembrance of their dear Quaid and paid tribute to Mr. Bhatti for rendering his services in order to seek the basic rights for all. They strongly condemned the tragic assassination of late Shahbaz Bhatti and demanded to constitute an independent judicial commission to probe in the assassination. Participants emphasized that the silence was not an option and time had come that the individuals and groups who believe in peace, freedom, and human dignity must stand up and make their voices heard against the hard-liner, extremist and violent minority within Pakistan. They demanded the Government to formulate constructive steps in order to bar the misuse of blasphemy laws and to abolish all discriminatory laws that are based on the disparity of religion and faith.

In his telephonic address, newly elected Chairman of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) Dr. Paul Jacob Bhatti said Bhatti was a brave defender of all religious and ethnic minorities of Pakistan. "His death is a great loss to Pakistan and those who are committed to promote tolerance and religious freedom in the country," he said. Paul said Bhatti was passionately committed to ensure fundamental rights for the minorities in Pakistan with gusto. He promoted peace and interfaith harmony. Every religion relays the message of love and peace and there is no room for violence and bloodshed in any religion, Paul added.

Advocate Tahir Naveed Ch, Najmi Saleem, Parvaiz Rafiq (MPA) Punjab, Saleem Khursheed Khokar (MPA) Sindh, Jaffer George (MPA) Baluchistan, Prince Javed (MPA) KPK, Assiya Nasir (MNA), Michael Javed, Khalid Gill, Naveed Amir Jeeva, Akmal Bhatti, Shamaun Gill, and Manzoor Ghori addressed the gathering. They stressed the objective of Bhatti was to defend and protect the rights of minorities in the light of Quaid-e-Azam's vision.

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