Pakistani PM orders probe into minister's murder
Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the murder of Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, on Wednesday and ordered through investigation to bring those responsible to justice, Xinhua reported.
Bhatti was traveling to the Prime Minister's office to attend cabinet meeting when gunmen opened fire on his car near his residence in the capital Islamabad.
He was dead on arrival at hospital, doctors said.
Taliban could be behind the attack as leaflets issued by a branch of the Taliban in Punjab province were found near the ambush site. The gunmen fled in a car after the attack, witnesses said.
Bhatti, a Christian, had received death threats after calling for changes to the blasphemy law.
The Prime Minister said in a statement that the culprits involved in this heinous crime will not be spared at any cost.
He said that the death of Shahbaz Bhatti is a great loss to the country as well as the government at a time when the whole nation was trying to build bridges between the believers of different faiths and sects in order to establish peace and harmony.
He said that the nation is united to fight such elements who want to create disruption in the society and spoil the image of the country.
The government, he added, is committed to the protection of every citizen against the onslaught of extremists and militants.