Shahbaz Bhatti: The legacy of Pakistan’s modern-day martyr

Share this:

Ten years ago today, I woke up and, as usual, switched on the radio and turned on my computer. Within seconds I received the news that I had long feared and expected, though hoped would never happen: the assassination of my friend Shahbaz Bhatti.

For over five years from 2004 to 2009, I worked side by side with Shahbaz. Not a week went by without a phone call, often several, and almost daily email exchanges.

He was then a young and courageous Catholic grassroots activist, the co-founder of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. We traveled together in Pakistan several times, and on one occasion we missed a bomb in Islamabad by just five minutes. We had been in a meeting with others in the Marriott Hotel over dinner and had left moments before the explosion.