Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Mar 2, 2016 / 16:38 pm
Marking the fifth anniverary of the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti on Wednesday, a Pakistani diocese has opened a process of enquiry towards declaring the late politician a martyr.
Bhatti, a Catholic and the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet, worked as the federal minister for minorities and spoke out against religious persecution, and particularly the misuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
He was gunned down by members of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan while driving in Islamabad on March 2, 2011, after more than a year of death threats.
"He spoke with faith and demonstrated courage. Thanks to him the voice of Pakistan's Christians was heard. He paved the way for us. He was a good Catholic and gave his life for his mission," Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi said at a March 2 ceremony marking the anniversary of Bhatti's death.