NEW YORK (January 4, 2011) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the assassination today of the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer.
In a statement issued early Tuesday by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General also described Mr. Taseer as a “prominent leader whose death is a loss for Pakistan,” and extended his condolences to the family of Mr. Taseer and to the people and government of Pakistan.
According to media reports, the Punjab governor was gunned down by one of his own bodyguards as he stepped from his car in Kohsar market in Islamabad. Upon surrendering to authorities, the assassin is reported to have voiced opposition to the reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws – an issue that Mr. Taseer was said to firmly support.
The news comes on the heals of President Barack Obama’s condemnation of the terrorist attack in Pakistan on December 25, 2010.
“I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Khar, Pakistan. Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Program distribution point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity,” Obama stated. “The United States stands with the people of Pakistan in this difficult time, and will strongly support Pakistan’s efforts to ensure greater peace, security and justice for its people.”