The bravest are surely those who have a clear vision for the future and work towards it, in the face of terrible danger. Governor Salmaan Taseer, Lion of the Punjab, was one of our best and bravest. His cruel assassination is a dark day in Pakistan’s history, and a terrible tragedy to befall the progressive movement.
He had unshakable principles that he categorically refused to recant. He believed in equality of all people, and his final days were marked with sharp criticisms of the brutal blasphemy laws that sentenced a woman to be executed. He believed in democracy, in the power of the people, and in the rule of law. For his courageous stands, he suffered the wrath of the religious right who would burn effigies and issue fatwas against him. Pakistani extremists are celebrating, while our religious parties are deafeningly silent.
However, we cannot afford to be silent.
Governor Taseer was outspoken against the mindset that accepts extremism. We have to continue his work; we must have a Pakistan at peace with itself and the world. Rest in Peace, Governor. Your message and your struggles have not been in vain.