Death Anniversary vigil for Salman Taseer attacked in Lahore
A candle light vigil organized by the civil society members in the memory of Late former governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, at Liberty Chowk on 4th January 2015, was attacked by some religious extremists. The leading Human Rights Defenders  Samson Salamat,  Saeeda Diep,  Abdullah Malik,  Zafar Malik, Farooq Tariq, Marvi Sarmad and  Irfan Mufti, were present on this occasion.  It was a peaceful vigil being done when some unknown religious extremists crashed the vigil. The armed attackers terrorized the peaceful protestors and as a result many were injured. They also attacked the camerapersons and reporters of the different TV channels for reporting the event.  The police was informed immediately but the attackers fled in presence of the police.

The News spread immediately and the civil society activists gathered in huge numbers and protested against the incident and vowed to continue their struggle against religious fundamentalism and Talibanization. Samson Salamat, Abdullah Malik, Jugnu Mohsin, Farooq Tariq, Madeeha Gohar, and Zafar Malik spoke to the protestors and demanded the immediate arrest of the perpetrators. An application has been filed with the police, however the case was registered so far. Approximately 40 people had been taken into custody.

Samson Salamat- Director Centre for Human Rights Education at this occasion said that this terrorist attack cannot stop us from our struggle for a peaceful Pakistan and we will not give up to Talibanization and other religious extremists.
 Abdullah Malik, President, Civil Society Network said that this is a terrorist attack and a clear failure of the government who claims to fight terrorism and extremism. This has not happened in Waziristan but it has happened in the Roundabout of Liberty in Lahore and the police is not able to stop the attackers. 
Salman Taseer was a governor of Punjab who opposed the country's blasphemy laws and he himself became victim of this law. He was shot 27 times by his own bodyguard, on 4th January 2011 by his own security guard Mumtaz Qadri, who disagreed with Taseer’s disagreement to Blasphemy Laws. He was assassinated in Islamabad. It was his 4th death anniversary. Salman Taseer's stance against the law gained notoriety when he filed a mercy petition for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani court under the penalty of blasphemy in 2010. Taseer also had a strong desire to see the blasphemy law, or as he termed it "the black law" changed, which is the suspected reason that his bodyguard, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, killed him.
The attack on Taseer’s vigil was condemned by Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed , MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, President QAT Ayaz Latif Paleejo and many other Political, Social and Human Rights Activists.
“Four years after his death, Taseer still remains a controversial figure in Pakistan. Although many blasphemy law traditionalists may not have liked his political motives, that doesn't make it right to attack a vigil in his honor, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting”, Pervaiz Rashid. "No one has a right to resort to violence in such ceremonies," Rashid said.
Altaf Hussain urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to arrest the attackers through the help of footage. Altaf Hussain said that the attackers who chanted slogans in favor of murderers wanted to foil Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He once again called on the authorities to eliminate Talibanization.




Media links of attack on civil society: