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Blasphemy And The Governor Of Punjab

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 10 November 2012

A documentary-drama set in Pakistan about the assassination of the Governor of Punjab over his stance on the blasphemy laws.

On 4 January 2011, self-made millionaire businessman and Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, was gunned down in a parking lot of a popular Islamabad market. He had been leading a campaign to amend Pakistan's blasphemy laws, after an illiterate 45-year-old Christian woman Asia Bibi, from a village in his district had been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Within hours of his death, a Facebook fan page for the assassin Mumtaz Qadri had over 2000 members, before site administrators shut it down. When Qadri was transferred to jail, he was garlanded with roses by a crowd of lawyers offering to take on his case for free. President Asif Ali Zardari, an old friend of Taseer's, didn't go to the funeral for fear of inflaming public opinion. Leaders of state-funded mosques refused to say funeral prayers for the slain governor.

Owen Bennett-Jones speaks to Taseer's family and friends, and the family of the assassin.

The programme includes both interview material and dramatic reconstructions.



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