Jason Kenney on Shahbaz Bhatti

In Canada last month, the Pakistani politician predicted his own murder

Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani cabinet minister assassinated yesterday, told a Canadian politician on a visit to Ottawa last month that he expected to be killed and asked for help to be extended to his family after he was dead.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told Maclean’s he experienced, during his conversations with Bhatti in early February, “a truly eerie feeling” that Pakistan’s minister of minorities was living “under the shadow of death.”

The threat to Bhatti—the only Christian in President Asif Ali Zardari’s cabinet—was no secret. Yet he told Kenney that his pleas for more security had been ignored, which prompted Kenney to urge him not to return to Pakistan until he was given more protection.

Bhatti was almost certainly shot by Muslim extremists over his calls for changes to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, a strict prohibition against speaking against the prophet Muhammed, which is used as a pretext for persecuting religious minorities, including Christians.

In January, Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province and another courageous advocate of changing the blasphemy law, was killed by his own government-employed bodyguard.

It was Taseer’s death that led Bhatti to travel a few weeks ago to Europe, the U.S. and Canada, seeking international support for his advocacy of human rights for religious minorities in Pakistan, an overwhelmingly Muslim country of 180 million people, where Christians make up less than 5 per cent of the population.

An edited transcript of my interview yesterday with Kenney:

Q. You hosted Shahbaz Bhatti in Ottawa on Feb. 5-6. How did that visit come about?

A. When Salman Taseer was murdered, the jihadi organizations said, One down, two to go. The two other top targets for them became Shahbaz Bhatti and Sherry Rehman. Rehman is the former minister of communications and friend of Benazir Bhutto. She had introduced a bill in the Pakistan house of assembly to fundamentally change the blasphemy laws. She has since withdrawn the bill out of fear. We invited [Bhatti] to Ottawa essentially as an expression of solidarity and support for religious minorities in Pakistan.

Q. What did he tell you on the visit about his situation?

A. While he was here he explained to us that he was not being given adequate or additional security, even after the assassination of Governor Taseer. He said he was deeply concerned about this. He even asked us to lobby the Pakistani government to provide additional security.

I said, If you don’t have sufficient security, you mustn’t go back, you’re putting yourself in imminent danger. He said, I know that, but I have no choice but to go back and support my brother and sisters. And he said, When they kill me, please do what you can to take care of my family. He told me this three weeks ago.

I had this truly eerie feeling being around him of being in the presence of someone under the shadow of death. There was no doubt in his mind that he was going back to face potentially lethal violence. It was only for him a matter of when and not if.”

Q. You knew him somewhat before these conversations, didn’t you?

A. We have common friends in human rights circles. I met him in January 2009 when I traveled to Islamabad. I spent the better part of a day with him there. He was extraordinarily generous. Part of the focus for my trip was advocating on behalf of religious minorities. Extraordinarily brave man. We’ve kept in touch, met at a couple of conferences.

Q. Beyond his public persona, how did he strike you?

A. There was no artifice about him. He was capable of being joyful and had quite a lively sense of humour, but very, very earnest, I guess I’d say. He was more demonstrably spiritual than most Catholics. After we had a private meeting he always wanted to pray.

But wasn’t narrowly sectarian as a Christian leader. When I met him in Islamabab he emphasized the importance of economic development programs for religious minorities in general. One of the reasons they are vulnerable is that they are often very poor. He was talking about micro-loan programs for all of these communities. He always talked about the Sikhs, the Hindus, the Ahmadiyyas, and not just the Christian community.

He was a very big-hearted person. One of the few political people I’ve met in whom I never saw a flicker of malice.




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Jason Kenney on Shahbaz Bhatti

  1. So, I presume his entire family will be brought to Canada for protection.

  2. So, I presume his entire family will be brought to Canada for protection.

  3. Did anyone help his family?

  4. Did anyone help his family?

  5. Al Jazeera has posted the video he wanted shown after his death. Now he is a martyr. Sure hope we can help his family.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTBqUJomRE

    "This is concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan," Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, said.

    "The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan."
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/03/20

  6. Al Jazeera has posted the video he wanted shown after his death. Now he is a martyr. Sure hope we can help his family.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTBqUJomRE

    "This is concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan," Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, said.

    "The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan."
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/03/20

    • Everything in the Youtube video is designed to fool the sheeple. He is undoubtedly a CIA/Mossad/MI5 actor who is used as a tool to fool Canadians.

      "Al-Quaeda" (a CIA/Mossad created entity) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsUtvOW6SR0
      and the
      Taliban (who has nice ties with the Bush dictatorship) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv5AKw6gwXg

      Obama (Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss!) was supposed to end the Wars, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn134-KLL7Y

      People, wake up! You are being duped by the Zionists who control the media and do psyops to change your opposition to war and watch out for the impending False Flag that they will do as we head towards their World War. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=229649036http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osp1873RdPg

      • YESSSSS I AGREE WITH YOU!!!!

        ELVIS IS ALIVE AND THE CIA FAKED THE LANDING ON THE MOON.

        Also, the internet doesn't exist… it's a plot by the CIA/MOSSAD to take over the world. The only truth lies in Kaddhafi, Osama Bin Laden, Pop Tarts and the religion that kills anyone who doesn't agree with it.

        WAKE UP!

      • Oh Yeah! Have you recently checked whether your parents are Mossad Operatives too? Beware, all your neigbour are more likely all Mossad operatives and Zionists too! Booh!

  7. Religious fundamentalists are cleansing their countries of anybody who doesn't agree with their psychosis, this would normally be opposed by radical leftists in the liberal left – but they admire the absolute power and control over people that the fundamentalists have, so they'll give'em a pass.

  8. Religious fundamentalists are cleansing their countries of anybody who doesn't agree with their psychosis, this would normally be opposed by radical leftists in the liberal left – but they admire the absolute power and control over people that the fundamentalists have, so they'll give'em a pass.

    • Thank you for speaking on behalf of the liberal left. As a self-identifying liberal, I deplore violence of all kinds except in self defence.

      • That is currently the reason the mullahs are using to destroy everyone who doesn't agree with them. Self Defense. They come here demanding "human rights" but deny them to the minorities in their own countries.

        • I meant real self defence against immediate threats of violence.

  9. Thank you for speaking on behalf of the liberal left. As a self-identifying liberal, I deplore violence of all kinds except in self defence.

  10. Everything in the Youtube video is designed to fool the sheeple. He is undoubtedly a CIA/Mossad/MI5 actor who is used as a tool to fool Canadians.

    "Al-Quaeda" (a CIA/Mossad created entity) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsUtvOW6SR0
    and the
    Taliban (who has nice ties with the Bush dictatorship) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv5AKw6gwXg

    Obama (Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss!) was supposed to end the Wars, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn134-KLL7Y

    People, wake up! You are being duped by the Zionists who control the media and do psyops to change your opposition to war and watch out for the impending False Flag that they will do as we head towards their World War. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=229649036http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osp1873RdPg

  11. YESSSSS I AGREE WITH YOU!!!!

    ELVIS IS ALIVE AND THE CIA FAKED THE LANDING ON THE MOON.

    Also, the internet doesn't exist… it's a plot by the CIA/MOSSAD to take over the world. The only truth lies in Kaddhafi, Osama Bin Laden, Pop Tarts and the religion that kills anyone who doesn't agree with it.

    WAKE UP!

  12. Rehman, 50, was joined in her lonely struggle by two men – the Punjab governor, Salmaan Taseer, and the minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti. Now both of them are dead and worries are growing that Rehman is next. "Make no mistake: she is in grave danger, like nobody else," one friend said.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/02/sherr….

  13. Rehman, 50, was joined in her lonely struggle by two men – the Punjab governor, Salmaan Taseer, and the minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti. Now both of them are dead and worries are growing that Rehman is next. "Make no mistake: she is in grave danger, like nobody else," one friend said.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/02/sherr….

  14. If there is a flicker of light to glimpse in Pakistan's future as a country, I have not seen it yet. The scariest part is we have not witnessed the half of it yet, more likely the darkest is yet to come.

  15. If there is a flicker of light to glimpse in Pakistan's future as a country, I have not seen it yet. The scariest part is we have not witnessed the half of it yet, more likely the darkest is yet to come.

  16. That is currently the reason the mullahs are using to destroy everyone who doesn't agree with them. Self Defense. They come here demanding "human rights" but deny them to the minorities in their own countries.

  17. I meant real self defence against immediate threats of violence.

  18. Oh Yeah! Have you recently checked whether your parents are Mossad Operatives too? Beware, all your neigbour are more likely all Mossad operatives and Zionists too! Booh!

  19. This is an open letter I sent a few days ago to__Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, Chairperson of Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop of Lahore____Dear Archbishop Saldanha, ____Your Grace, as striving to be faithful Catholics in Canada, we are in union of prayer and solidarity with the suffering Church in Pakistan. ____Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti is a Martyr and a Saint. He blessed Canada with his presence less than a month ago and bore witness saying, “I love Jesus Christ I am willing to sacrifice my life…” so openly. In Canada, this is something not even Canadian priests or bishops will do openly, let alone politicians. The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church. ____I am not from Pakistan, My large family and many friends are members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Catholic Church. We want our brother in Christ to be held up as a shining example, especially to Catholic politicians, Bishops, Priests and the Catholic Faithful the world over, We want him to be declared a Saint. Please present his cause to the Pope as soon as possible. ____Although a miracle is not necessary for a martyr to be proclaimed a saint

  20. This is an open letter I sent a few days ago to__Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, Chairperson of Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop of Lahore____Dear Archbishop Saldanha, ____Your Grace, as striving to be faithful Catholics in Canada, we are in union of prayer and solidarity with the suffering Church in Pakistan. ____Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti is a Martyr and a Saint. He blessed Canada with his presence less than a month ago and bore witness saying, “I love Jesus Christ I am willing to sacrifice my life…” so openly. In Canada, this is something not even Canadian priests or bishops will do openly, let alone politicians. The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church. ____I am not from Pakistan, My large family and many friends are members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Catholic Church. We want our brother in Christ to be held up as a shining example, especially to Catholic politicians, Bishops, Priests and the Catholic Faithful the world over, We want him to be declared a Saint. Please present his cause to the Pope as soon as possible. ____Although a miracle is not necessary for a martyr to be proclaimed a saint

  21. continued: I have already asked for a miracle for 13 months old Joseph Maraachli of Windsor Ontario whose parents at this very moment have a fight of their own with the authorities to keep their baby alive.

    In Canada we have an impoverished Church. We too are a suffering Church in a different way. We are tired of politics under the guise of misguided charity. Please pray for us too that God gives us the courage to stand up for our authentic Catholic Faith without compromising the Truth Who is Jesus Christ Himself as Saint Shabaz Bhatti did when he visited us in Canada less than a month ago and bore witness to Christ with his blood before the month was over.

    Asking your blessing and prayers
    In union of prayer and sacrifice in Jesus

    Saint Shahbaz Bhatti pray for us
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/03/will-the-vatica

    Reply

  22. continued: I have already asked for a miracle for 13 months old Joseph Maraachli of Windsor Ontario whose parents at this very moment have a fight of their own with the authorities to keep their baby alive.

    In Canada we have an impoverished Church. We too are a suffering Church in a different way. We are tired of politics under the guise of misguided charity. Please pray for us too that God gives us the courage to stand up for our authentic Catholic Faith without compromising the Truth Who is Jesus Christ Himself as Saint Shabaz Bhatti did when he visited us in Canada less than a month ago and bore witness to Christ with his blood before the month was over.

    Asking your blessing and prayers
    In union of prayer and sacrifice in Jesus

    Saint Shahbaz Bhatti pray for us
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/03/will-the-vatica

    Reply

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