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Remembering a liberal


Remembering a liberal

  • Citizens organise candlelight vigil despite threat to their lives

Staff Report (Pakistan Today; 06 January 2010)

KARACHI: More than a hundred people showed up on Wednesday at the Karachi Press Club for a candlelight vigil organised in memory of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and to commemorate his stance in favour of the minorities of Pakistan and against the blasphemy laws.

Participants of the vigil comprised citizens from various social strata and represented almost every shade of the religiosity spectrum. All of them, however, stood for a repeal of the blasphemy laws, or at least procedural amendments as suggested by former federal information minister Sherry Rehman. They chanted slogans against the misuse of laws by fanatics (‘Qatil qatil mullah qatil’ – the mullah is a murderer) and called for drastic punishment for those responsible for Taseer’s brutal killing (‘Zaalimo jawaab do, khoon ka hisaab do’).

Despite the grave danger to the lives of those who stand against the blasphemy laws, as evidenced by Salmaan Taseer’s assassination on Tuesday, no security was provided to the protestors in Karachi. Undeterred, they went around the press club, and also circled Zebunnisa Street and Zainab Market in Saddar, much to the horror of shopkeepers who gawped at the protestors chanting slogans against fanatics and fanaticism.

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