Pakistani Minister Was ‘Ready to Die’
4 Μαρτίου 2011
As my colleagues Salman Massod and Jane Perlez report, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minorities minister, was shot dead on Wednesday morning as he left his home.
Al Jazeera has obtained this video of a recent interview with Mr. Bhatti, who was the only Christian member of Pakistan’s cabinet, insisting that he would not be stopped from opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy law, despite threats to his life by Islamist extremists:
In the interview, Mr. Bhatti said of Pakistani Islamists:
They want to impose their radical philosophy in Pakistan and whoever stands against their radical philosophy, they threaten them. When I’m leading this campaign against the Shariah laws and for the abolishment of [the] blasphemy law and speaking for the oppressed and marginalized, persecuted Christians and other minorities, these Taliban threaten me.
But I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given his own life for us. I know what is the meaning of [the] cross and I’m following … the cross.
I’m ready to die for a cause. I’m living for my community and suffering people and I will die to defend their rights. So these threats and these warnings cannot change my opinion and principles. I will prefer to die for my principles and for the justice of my community rather to compromise.
This video report posted online by Pakistan’s Express Tribune on Wednesday includes footage of Mr. Bhatti’s car, riddled with bullets:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ipe1N9fjVk&feature=player_embedded]