After Pakistan’s latest assassination, apathy

Fasih Ahmed in Newsweek Pakistan:

Shahbaz-bhatti “Shahbaz, from your blood revolution will come!” Thus the protesters outside the Lahore Press Club some four hours after the assassination on Wednesday of Shahbaz Bhatti, federal minister for minorities. If this scant, disorganized protest—some clutching umbrellas, others holding up blood red crucifixes as irate motorists splashed by—is any indication, this crowd is more likely to be at the wrong end of any revolution here in Pakistan.

Despite the widely known threats to his life, which started in 2009 after Pakistani Christians were massacred in the small Punjab town of Gojra, Bhatti was not traveling with his security detail when he was attacked. Like Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the Punjab who was assassinated barely two months earlier, also in Islamabad, Bhatti was slain in an audaciously public manner. Bhatti, 42, had just left his mother's house for a cabinet meeting when a white Suzuki Mehran stopped his black Corolla. Wajid Durrani, inspector-general of capital police, says three men stepped out and opened fire. Bhatti was shot 30 times, according to the autopsy, including in the head. His driver survived the attack.

“Bhatti's ruthless and cold-blooded murder is a grave setback for the struggle for tolerance, pluralism and respect for human rights in Pakistan,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, country representative for Human Rights Watch. “An urgent and meaningful policy shift on the appeasement of extremists that is supported by the military, the judiciary and the political class needs to replace the political cowardice and institutional myopia that encourages such continued appeasement despite its unrelenting bloody consequences.”

More here.