Thursday June 20, 2024

Taseer and his sacrifice for humanity remembered

By Ebad Ahmed
January 05, 2016

Vigil held for late Punjab governor who was murdered for speaking out against controversial blasphemy law


Several citizens participated in a candlelight vigil at Do Talwar, Clifton on Monday to mark the fifth death anniversary of Salmaan Taseer, the late Punjab governor who was murdered by his security guard for defending a Christian woman accused of committing blasphemy and criticising the controversial law under which she was charged.

The Pakistan People’s Party’s social media team, Team PPP, which is supervised by Bakhtawar Zardari, organised the event.

Maleeha Manzoor, a student of SZABIST and the one of the organisers, told The News that basic aim of the vigil was to send across the message that terrorism would be denounced no matter what the cost.

Her co-organiser, Nabeel Nabi, said though vigils were organised on previous Taseer’s death anniversaries too in collaboration with civil society groups, there was a much larger response this time.

“We are the only party in Pakistan which dares to challenge extremism despite losing our leaders and loyalists,” he said. “This vigil is to commemorate the legacy of Salmaan Taseer and reaffirming our commitment to eradicating extremism from the country.

Besides ordinary citizens and rights activists, many PPP leaders, activists and supporters from Malir and members of its minority wing also participated in the vigil.

Muhammad Waqas Ali, an office-bearer of the PPP media cell, said the party’s youth, who were set to join the central leadership, were unequivocal in condemning terrorism and the misuse of religion.

“Our religion must not be dictated by the so-called custodians of the faith,” he added. 

Malik Hameed, a party activist present there with his daughter - who he has named Maryam Bhutto after the party’s slain leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto - said irrespective of the rising challenges for the party throughout the country, it was the inspiring leadership of the Bhutto family and their stance for a pluralistic and inclusive State which made it different than others.

Maula Bakhsh Chandio, a PPP leader and the adviser to the chief minister on information, said the party wanted to carry forward the mission of pursuing a rationale society and a State in which any sort of radicalism had no space.