Salmaan Taseer, the last man who stood against the injustice of the State – by Naeem Shamim

Source: Al Ufaq

I could hardly believe my senses as the news was unfolding itself in the most atrocious manner possible but sadly, it was. It started with a red ticker reporting an incident of loud gunfire in Islamabad. It then turned out that a VVIP was being targeted in the capital. Later it was updated that the person on the barrel end of the guns was none other than the Governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer whose death had been called upon by thousands of Imams and Mullahs four days prior in Friday Sermons and post congregation rallies. A few more moments and I read with wet eyes on my drawing room TV screen the news that sent shivers down my spine.

Salman Taseer had been assassinated apparently by one of his guards who in his nonsensical mullah intellect accused him of blasphemy for his act of siding with a poor Christian lady Asia Bibi and for calling the draconian Pakistani Blasphemy laws as Black Laws. It was horrendous to visualize the scene in the mind’s eye – Mumtaz Qadri was spraying bullets on an unarmed Taseer upon whose security he was assigned. Several other guards stood like statues and did nothing to stop the aggressor’s hand.

With my heart hammering in my chest, limbs shivering and with a semi paralyzed brain I started to browse the Pakistani TV Channels where I found anchorpersons and newsreaders either applauding or justifying the barbarism. Similar was the case on my Facebook where one my closest friends had made a very derogatory and provoking remark about Mr.Taseer. An hour or so later it spread like forest fire and most of my friends were singing songs of glory for the inhumane beast, the assassin Mumtaz Qadri. Not just a few on the internet, the much learned and able lawyers who bang their chest. like Tarzans in claiming the credit of bringing democracy to the country also garlanded Qadri upon his arrival in the courts.

Frankly, I lost all hope in my people that evening. They were officially being the worst creatures under the canopy of the heavens now. The Islam being professed and practiced in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan had began to resemble the barbaric rituals of the pagans of Arabia and cannibals of Africa – actually this was even more barbaric and brutal.

Today as an year has drawn to a close, the man responsible to serve justice in the province that Taseer once governed is now defending his murder in the same courts. Asis Bibi continues to rot behind bars and Mumtaz Qadri has become the hero of the masses. While Pakistan is being ruled by the Mullahs rule via mosques and madrassas there is literally no hope left for sanity to prevail.

It is indeed a state of piety and shame, hopelessness and haplessness that the Judge who sentenced Qadri to death received death threats and had to be sent out of the country for security reasons.

This did not end on Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti another sitting minister and the last voice against the blasphemy laws was also silienced by like minded mullahs in March the same year. Unlike Taseer’s , Bhatti’s murderer’s remain unidentified and undetected.

The assassination of Salmaan Taseer was a very emotional moment and as a poet it forced me to wet the tip of my quill and scribble a few lines that I read out in a Mushaira later. I am grateful to Atif S Ahmad who had added slides to the audio and has almost depicted what I had in my mind while writing.

May the soul of Salmaan Taseer rest in peace.

I leave you all with the video and best wishes for the New Year.



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