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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Late Pakistani Minister honored in Canada

Shahbaz Bhatti was one of Pakistan's most well-known Christian activists and the country's first Christian legislator

A park in Brampton, Canada has been named after the Former Pakistani Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti who was assassinated in Islamabad in 2011.

Mayor Patrick Brown inaugurated the “Shahbaz Bhatti Park” on July 25, 2022, in recognition of the contributions made by the former Pakistani minister. The city of Brampton administration also honored and recognized Shahbaz Bhatti’s efforts to promote religious harmony.

Shahbaz Bhatti was one of Pakistan’s most well-known Christian activists and the country’s first Christian legislator. He was elected to serve in Pakistan’s National Assembly in 2008, and from November of that year until his assassination, he served as the country’s first Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs. He was the only Christian member of the Cabinet.

Read more: Pakistan’s strong economic relations with Canada

Bhatti had been getting death threats because of his social activism since 2009. Following his support for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who was given a death sentence for blasphemy in 2010, these threats became more frequent.

He was gunned down on March 2, 2011, and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

While honoring the Shahbaz Bhatti’s memory, Mayor Patrick Brown said, “He gave his life to promote a Pakistan where law, justice and freedom and equality were principles to be respected and lived.”

“His legacy lives on in Pakistan for his fight to stand up for the religious minorities but it lives on here in Canada,” he said.