The assassination of Salman Taseer yesterday by multiple gun shot wounds from one of his own elite security guards has opened new concerns about whether Zakari can hold his government together.
Taseer, long known for opposing the extremism Pakistan’s Zadari’s government is trying to control, played a huge part with his willingness to speak out against the extremist.
Jailed by General Mohammed Zia Ul in the 1980’s for opposing the religious parties, Taseer had no problem continuing to oppose them in 2010. Beginning a campaign against the abuses of the blasphemy law, which could lead to death if someone spoke out against Islam, on December 26th he wrote, “Religious right trying 2 pressurerise from the street their support of blasphemy laws. Point is it must be decided in Parliament not on the road.”
On December 31st Taseer posted another note. This one stated, “I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I am the last man standing.” Shortly after that statement was made, he was assassinated my Malid Mumtaz Hussein Qadri on Tuesday, January 4th, 2010.
A supporter of President Asif Ali Zadari, his death leaves a gap in Pakistan President Zadari’s grip on the Parliament where he had already lost the majority. Just before his death, Taseer feared that the extremists were beginning to control Parliament which led him to speak out about changing the blasphemy laws.