Minister Kenney remembers the assassination of Pakistan’s Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti

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Ottawa, March 2, 2012 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following today to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Pakistan’s Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti.

“On this day last year, Shabaz Bhatti, the former Minister of Minorities in Pakistan, was assassinated in broad daylight as he was leaving his mother’s house in Islamabad. I am profoundly saddened as I reflect on how the life and work of this brave man came to such a brutal and untimely end.

“Shahbaz Bhatti was a champion of freedom and of all those who are persecuted for their faith. He knew that his work made him a target, but he refused to leave Pakistan or to cease working to promote interfaith harmony and tolerance in a dangerous environment.

“As the first and only Christian minister in the Pakistani government, he understood personally the importance of protecting religious and ethnic minorities. He worked tirelessly to defend religious freedom in Pakistan and around the world, not least through his fearless public condemnation of his country’s blasphemy laws.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Shahbaz Bhatti. I offer them to the people of Pakistan as well. We will forever remember his courage and leadership.”

For further information (media only), please contact:

Candice Malcolm
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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