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March 3, 2011

‘Murder a conspiracy to divert attention from Davis issue’

World

AFP
March 3, 2011

LAHORE: Religious parties have condemned the murder of Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, terming it a conspiracy to divert the public opinion from the Raymond Davis issue and increase pressure on Islamabad for the release of the US spy.
Religious leaders said it was possible that the CIA and other foreign secret agencies were behind the murder, adding that the murder was a deep conspiracy to achieve multiple objectives -- like discrediting the peaceful protest movement of the religious parties for the protection of blasphemy laws and igniting a renewed religious hatred in the country to achieve ulterior motives.
Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan said the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti seemed to be a conspiracy to divert public opinion in Pakistan from Raymond David issue and to give it a new direction. He said there was a strong possibility that the CIA was involved in the murder to intensify pressure on Islamabad for Raymond’s release.
JUP president Dr Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair said the killers of Shahbaz Bhatti were those elements who were trying to bring into discredit the peaceful, successful movement of religious parties which had thwarted the western conspiracy aimed at amending the blasphemy laws.
Talking to The News, he termed the murder a grave conspiracy against Islam and Pakistan, saying the religious parties movement was aimed at averting such incidents of violence by enforcing the laws governing the blasphemy of sacred religious figures of all religions.
Chairman Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Sahibzada Fazal Kareem suspected the involvement of both the foreign and domestic elements in the murder, calling for an independent investigation into the incident.
He insisted that the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti should not be linked to that of Salmaan Taseer. Position of Shahbaz Bhatti was quite different from that of the former Punjab governor, he said and added that there was no point in it (Bhatti’s murder) after the

success of the religious parties’ movement for the protection of blasphemy laws.
Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool convener Maulana Ameer Hamza suspected that it was the work of Blackwater operatives roaming about freely in Pakistan in the garb of diplomats. Bishop of Lahore and Moderator Church of Pakistan, Dr. Alexander John Malik, said murder of Shahbaz Bhatti was not a loss to one family or minorities, it was a loss to the country and the society as a whole. Terming it a deep conspiracy against the country, he said the incident had added to the sense of insecurity among the minorities.

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