Chairwoman Hautala strongly condemns the assasination of Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities in Pakistan, who died after two gunmen reportedly opened fire on his car in Islamabad. [:]
It is a tragedy that the charged atmosphere surrounding the freedom of religion in Pakistan has claimed yet another victim, Chairwoman Hautala said.
Ms Hautala had an honour to meet with minister Bhatti on 19th of May 2010 to discuss freedom of religion and rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan. In the meeting Mr Bhatti acknowledged that Pakistan faces tremendous challenges in the field of promotion of human rights and freedom of religion. Europe has also a way to go in ensuring rights of people of different religions, in this work we have today lost an invaluable partner, Chairwoman stressed.
For those of us who worked with him, it is now imperative to make efforts in promotion of freedom of religion greater than ever; his work must live on. Great effort must be make to pursue justice and greater tolerance.
Giving her condolences, she added; “My thoughts remain with the family and those close of Mr Bhatti at this difficult and deeply sad time.”