The brutal killing of Shahbaz Bhatti is shocking. He was a lone Christian in the Cabinet of Pakistan as Minority Affairs Minister. He was killed because he opposed blashphemy law in the country. He was a vocal supporter of the reliogious freedom of minority and majority both.
But in Pakistan’s theocratic set-up any act which goes against the Islamist is intolerable. Even the religion practised by non-Muslims of their own is seen as anti-Islamic and targeted by Muslim religious fanatics. The religious intolerance is increasing very fast in Pakistan. Shahbaz Bhatti was allegedly killed by Taliban militans if the pamphlets thrown by them around the site of the killing are anything to go by.
Within two months of killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer by his own guards for the same reason that he also opposed blaphemy laws and supported the religious freedom of minority in Pakistan, Bhatti has been killed. Because the religious fanaticism is so strong in Pakistan that any voice other than the voice of Islam is silenced. Several other persons who opposed blaphemy laws were also killed there.
The international community, especially the world’s sole super power the US, should clearly know that the government in Pakistan is itself dependent on fundamentalist elements fully supported by the army. The moment Pak Government starts acting against the forces of religious intolerance, it would collapse. The condition in Pakistan is shocking for the international community. But the matter of the fact is that why the US despite being well aware that Pakistani government is controlled by fundamentalist forces in the form of its military and it can not do against its wishes, it is pumping financial packages to keep it running. Now the time has come for the US to come out in open and sincerily make effort to bring Pakistan on the right track. The increasing religious intolerance in Pakistan would not only pose danger to neighbouring countries but to the entire world community.
Though the US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the international community in expressing their outrage at the assassination of Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, it is required up on them to prevail over the world to act against Pakistani religiously strong establishment. No civil socieity would ever tolerate what is happening in Pakistan. When Minister and Governor are killed for speaking against blasphemy law, how a common individual of minority community dare to speak against the majority. US must take serious note of increasing religious intolerance in Pakistan.