Light has gone out of our home: Salman Taseer's daughter



Islamabad: Shehrbano Taseer, the younger daughter of slain Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, says the "light" has gone out of their home following his assassination by a police guard for opposing a controversial blasphemy law.

"A light has gone out in our home today," Shehrbano said in a message posted on micro-blogging website Twitter. She thanked everyone for their condolence messages, saying the loss was not just personal.

"Thank you to each and every single person who sent messages of condolence. This is more than just a personal loss; it is a great loss for Pakistan," she tweeted.

President Asif Ali Zardari's daughter Aseefa "saluted" Taseer for his bravery.

"Salman Taseer R I P we salute you," she tweeted. Her elder sister Bakhtawar retweeted several messages condoling the death of Taseer.

Taseer, an outspoken critic of the blasphemy law and an advocate for tolerance, had aggressively used Twitter almost on a daily basis to air his views on a variety of issues.

A candlelight procession was held in Islamabad this evening to protest the brutal killing of the Governor.

Scores of civil society activists, Pakistan People's Party activists and some of Taseer's followers on Twitter were among those who marched from the capital's famous bookstore Mr Books to Kohsar Market, where the Governor was shot dead yesterday.

Taseer's supporters placed bouquets and candles at the spot where he was shot and named it "The Taseer Square" while shouting anti-Nawaz Sharif and pro-Bhutto slogans.

Kohsar Market, a popular hangout for diplomats, journalists and the well-heeled, wore a deserted look with almost all shops being shut.

On the other hand, hate messages on several Facebook pages floated to "celebrate" the assassination swelled.

The trend had some sane bloggers worrying. Ahmer Naqvi, who blogs at karachikhatmal.blogspot.com, wrote: "when I clicked through their profiles (fans of Taseer's killer), they were also fans of stuff like Enrique Iglesias, Family Guy, 300, Coke Studio, the Godfather."

Some other "modern voices" wondered if it would be okay to speak out in Pakistan after the brazen killing of Taseer.

"I wish we could get the (blasphemy) law repealed because that would be the only thing which would make these lunatics think they failed; but the way things are going, it would be like killing one germ when there are a thousand more, reproducing by the second. And for that we risk our lives by speaking out? I lost all faith in my country today," wrote a reader in response to Naqvi's post.

PTI