Pakistani Governor Assassinated By Own Security Guard, Allegedly Because of Governor’s Opposition to Blasphemy Punishment

The Washington Post reports:

The governor of Pakistan’s largest province was assassinated Tuesday at a genteel market in the nation’s capital — allegedly by one of his own security guards ….

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said one of the governor’s guards surrendered to police after the shooting and told them he was angered by Taseer’s recent public endorsement of a pardon for a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

That position had earned Taseer threats from Islamist parties, who held a strike last week against proposed changes to the nation’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws. Taseer stood by his stance, posting on Dec. 30 on his Twitter account: “I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing.” …

Militancy “has infiltrated and creeped into every segment of society, whether they are police force or army or bureaucracy,” Khwaja Asif, a leader of the political opposition, told Pakistani reporters Tuesday. “This intolerance has become a sort of disease in our society.” …

“Extremist people are not in the majority,” Taseer said [in an interview last June following the massive bombings of two minority sect mosques in Lahore]. “This is a very narrow minority, but … they are always prepared to do and die. That is their strength.”

Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.