Pakistani Governor Murdered by His Own Security for Opposing Blasphemy Laws

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Photo: Governor House Handout/EPA

Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, was shot and killed by a member of his own security detail yesterday at a strip mall in one of Islamabad's poshest, foreigner-friendly neighborhoods. His attacker turned himself into the police, confessing that he shot Taseer because he sought to remove Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Taseer, a member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, recently defended a Christian woman sentenced to death according to the country's relatively recent blasphemy laws, which were put in place during the dictatorship of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. Islamist parties disapproved of Taseer's calling for the law to be repealed as well as his attempts to organize a public demonstration using Twitter. Taseer was appointed governor in 2008 after the fall of Pervez Musharraf's military government when the PPP came into power. Not that it's social media's fault, but his death is probably not going to make the top of the list for ways that Twitter is helping organize progressive uprisings in the Middle East.

Pakistan Governor Shot Dead In Capital [WSJ]