Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
March 2, 2011
I am shocked and outraged by the assassination today of Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. This was an attack not only on one man, but on the values of tolerance and respect for people of all faiths and backgrounds championed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father.
I recently had the opportunity to meet Minister Bhatti. He was a patriot and a man of courage and conviction. He cared deeply for Pakistan and dedicated his life to helping the least among us on Earth. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
The United States remains committed to working with the government and people of Pakistan to build a more stable and prosperous future for all -- a future in which violent extremists are no longer able to silence the voices of tolerance and peace.
(BELOW FROM PAKISTAN STATE TV)
Setting aside its routine business the National Assembly observed two minutes silence to pay homage to Shahbaz Bhatti.
Speaking in the National Assembly Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani underlined the need to chalk out a joint strategy to curb extremism and militancy. He paid rich tributes to Shahbaz Bhatti for his services for interfaith harmony. He said extremists are defaming Pakistan by their evil deeds. The Prime Minister said a meeting of the parliamentary leaders and D.C.C. will be convened as it is an issue of National Security. He suggested that the issue should be discussed at the flour of the house from tomorrow, so that the parliamentarians could make their proposals. The house will now meet tomorrow at 10 am.
President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti terming it a heinous act.
He vowed that such acts would not deter the government from eliminating extremism and terrorism. President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the killing. The President, who is in Karachi, immediately sought a report about the incident.