Shahbaz Bhatti remembered on 12th death anniversary

Zubair Qureshi

Minorities Alliance Pakistan (MAP) on Thursday observed a candlelight vigil in memory of former Federal Minister and assassinated leader of the Christian community, Shahbaz Bhatti on his 12th death anniversary in I-8 Markaz at the site where he was gunned down on March 2, 2011.

Minority leader, Shamaun Alfred Gill, while addressing the gathering, said lovers and friends and followers of Shahbaz Bhatti had gathered to pay tribute to his tireless struggle and sacrifice for the oppressed and marginalized communities of Pakistan. “Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti devoted his life for promoting social and inter-faith harmony among the different sects of religions in Pakistan. Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti’s sacrifice will never go in vain,” he said adding, “Bhatti represented the enlightened face of Pakistan to the whole world.
Shahbaz Bhatti dedicated his entire life to the rights of the oppressed and deprived people and he was martyred while fighting for division and discrimination in the name of religion. He will live forever and future generations will never forget his great struggle and sacrifice. Shahbaz Bhatti’s blood and his sacrifice will never go in vain.”

We condemned terrorist attacks on different places in Pakistan. The Whole nation would never allow terrorists to hijack Pakistan for their evil interests.

Gill said the country should fight terrorism with unity. We demand the maintenance of the supremacy of law and the Constitution and the protection of minorities rights by the Constitution. He said that Shahbaz Bhatti was the real representative of religious minorities. As a result of his struggle Christian youth were getting official jobs because of the 5% job quota.

Gill further said religious minorities had a clear and important role in the movement and creation of Pakistan. Religious minorities used their vote and support in favor of Pakistan. They played their role in health, education, and the armed forces. Minorities showed and expressed their full confidence in the Leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and played a key role in the formation of Pakistan, but it is a pity that after the death of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the issues of minorities and providing equal rights were brushed aside. The doors of superior government jobs and positions were closed on them. And even today, despite the clear orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, 30,000 minority employees recruitment is not being done.

Religious minorities have repeatedly requested the respective governments to record their correct number and remove concerns regarding census, the speakers on the occasion said. They termed the current electoral system for religious minorities rotten and against fundamental human rights. We should be given dual vote-casting right, they said adding the minorities cannot elect their representatives by using their right to vote. On the occasion, Asif John,Fiaz Bhatti,,Anosh Bhatti,Riffat Prince,Waqas Bhatti also addressed the mourners.