KABUL, Afghanistan — Pakistan’s religious minorities minister, the only Christian in the country’s cabinet, was assassinated Wednesday by suspected Islamic militants, the second high profile killing this year as Pakistan faces a surge of extremism.
Shahbaz Bhatti was traveling to work in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, when his car was ambushed by gunmen, officials and reports said, who sprayed the vehicle with bullets.
Bhatti had campaigned for reform of the country’s draconian blasphemy law, which is used to victimize Christians and other minorities. Leaflets left at the scene of the killing threatened the same fate for anyone else who wanted to change the blasphemy law. The Pakistani Taliban reportedly claimed responsibility.