Big surprise here. “Police try to downplay murder of Shahbaz Batthi. Fears for Asia Bibi,” by Jibran Khan for AsiaNews, March 12 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Islamabad (AsiaNews) — Recenet [sic] statements by the inspector General of Police, Wajid Ali Durrani, reveal a worrying attempt to cover up the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistani minister for minorities. The inspector said in a press conference that the Catholic minister, threatened several times by radical Muslims for his position on the blasphemy law may have been killed because of a “personal enmity”. “We are examining the details of the situation, since he had bad relations with some local groups,” said the inspector, adding that a more detailed report will be issued soon.
The bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Mgr. Anthony Rufin has rejected the statement out right, saying it is motivated by the “failure of the Islamabad police to arrest the culprits. They are trying to direct attention in another direction. The police in Islamabad are trying to find a scapegoat to save themselves, and hide their failure. It is clear that Shahbaz Bhatti was under threat from extremists. He was martyred for speaking in favour of an amendment of the blasphemy law. ”
The bishop adds: “Previously, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik has tried to escape responsibility by saying that his ministry was not in charge of providing an armoured car, the Cabinet of Ministers has however said that it had instructed the Ministry of Interior to give Bhatti a bulletproof vehicle. This tragic event has united Christians throughout Pakistan. The game of the shirking responsibilities, or attempts to deflect the issue will not affect our struggle. We will not let the blood of this martyr be spilt in vain”….