WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, today released the following statement in response to the assassination of Shabbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minority affairs minister:
“I want to pay tribute to Shabbaz Bhatti who was brutally murdered today in Pakistan. I had the opportunity to meet with him on two occasions to discuss his efforts on behalf of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan. He was an inspirational and tireless advocate for a more understanding and tolerant Pakistan. His death is a tragedy for his country and for all those confronting extremism around the world.
“The leaders of Pakistan cannot stay silent in the face of brutal extremism that is tearing the country apart. The government of Pakistan has an obligation to bring Mr. Bhatti's killers to justice and to enhance their efforts to defend the forces of moderation and tolerance.”