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'Red warrants for Shahbaz Bhatti's assassins issued'

26 December, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rehman Malik said on Sunday that red warrants for the assassins of former federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti had been issued and soon they would be brought to justice.

"The two assassins are activists of the banned outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba. They managed to reach the Middle East. However, we are making efforts for their arrest and will bring them back to the country," he added.

He was talking to the media after a Christmas cake cutting ceremony here at the Fatima Church. Rehman Malik said Bhatti sacrificed his life for principles adding that his services for interfaith harmony would long be remembered.

He felicitated the Christian community on Christmas and said, "The PPP considers Christians their brothers and not a minority". He said Christians played an important role for Pakistan's independence and after that their contributions for the development of the country were highly commendable.

He said after the independence of Pakistan, the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had stated that followers of all faiths would be free to practice their religions. Today followers of all faiths in Pakistan enjoy religious freedom, which shows that the current government believes in religious freedom, he said.

The minister said he had participated in today's ceremony as he wanted to share Christian community's happiness. To a question he said that law and order in the country had improved and that was evident from the current political environment in the country. He said the government made foolproof security arrangements for today's gathering of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Karachi.

However, he asked all the political parties to avoid using provocative language against each other as it was against democratic norms. He said neither he nor any member of his party ever used harsh words against PTI chief Imran Khan.

"In democracy, there are certain ethics and parameters and others should follow these," he said.

He warned that PPP would also revise its policy if others did not stop using improper language against its leadership. To a question about intelligence agencies, he said that as per Charter of Intelligence Agencies those did not come under the interior ministry.

To another query regarding Shahbaz Taseer's whereabouts, Malik said he was kidnapped from a busy area of Lahore and there were conflicting reports about his location.

End.

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