Former Pakistani Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti death anniversary observed.


Italy: The meeting was organized by Association of Pakistani Christians in Pakistan to commemorate Shahbaz Bhatti who dedicated his life as a Catholic to build peace among religions and cultures. As a Pakistani citizen he promoted equal citizenship especially reaching out the persecuted Christians and marginalized religious minorities. As a concrete contribution he negotiated with the state stakeholders to help the most far off outskirts of the society among whom he witnessed Christ with his words and actions.

Several italian organizations and Pakistani Christian organizations activists from Italy, Holland and uk participated in the conference.

Italian Senators and MPs as well listened carefully to the speakers.

Jewish friends residing in Rome and Trieste marked the event by expressing their solidarity with religious minorities of Pakistan since there are still officially 822 Pakistani Jewish voters.

A representation of Pakistani Muslims from Rome participated to commemorate federal minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Bhatti and show their closeness to Christians.

Advocate Tabassum Yousaf, who animated the conference by telling the drama of marriages and forced conversions. Yousaf defends minorities in the courtrooms but also by meeting Christian communities across the country to make women and men aware of their rights.

Adan Farhaj Spokesperson for PMRC (Pakistan Minority Rights Commission) 

 Shahbaz Bhatti  became a source of inspiration for many, especially youngsters and teenagers in 2011, and now those teenagers have become the face of Shahbaz Bhatti after so many years. It proves you can kill a leader, but you cannot kill a vision. By assassinating Shahbaz Bhatti, indoctrinated mindsets have given an opportunity to peacemakers to become more determined than ever. The solemn pledge we took has become a symbol not only at the local level but also internationally. Shahbaz Bhatti's legacy is not merely a memory; it is a beacon of hope, a symbol of power, and a testament to the power of conviction. His courageous stance in the face of adversity has inspired countless individuals around the world, and his sacrifice continues to flourish across borders.

 Even today, as we commemorate Shahbaz Bhatti's sacrifice for his community and nation, we are reminded of the ongoing challenges faced by religious minorities in Pakistan. The plight of these marginalised groups, including forced abductions, conversions, and marriages of underage girls, remains a stain on our collective conscience.

 The recent Jaranwala incident serves as a stark reminder of the harsh realities that confront religious minorities in our country. It is a grim testament to the relentless persecution and violence that they endure on a daily basis. Yet, despite the gravity of these atrocities, our state appears powerless and unwilling to confront the extremist mobs who commit these heinous crimes.

 Especially, in the wake of the Jaranwala incident, where we lost hope and fear was hovering over the heads of Christians in Pakistan. In the midst of the situation, our organisation PMRC suddenly took a bold decision like many other organisations to offer relief in four basic phases which are interlinked: Learning, Observing, Experiencing, and Action. This disaster response team of PMRC under the leadership of Chairman Khan Junaid Saqib has taken bold and decisive action to address the plight of religious minorities. Through a series of meetings and initiatives, we have sought to raise awareness, provide support, and demand justice for the victims of religious persecution. Meanwhile, Chairman Mr. Khan Saqib Junaid held a special meeting with White House officials working in the Biden Administration who are leading religious freedom projects. This diplomacy helped to involve the US embassy to take a keen interest in supporting the victims of Jaranwala. The reason I am saying this, is because it was Shahbaz who showed us the path to learn, observe, experience, and act. As I have said, Shahbaz has created many Shahbaz; those teenagers have now become mature activists like me, and are voicing their concerns from different platforms.

 Moreover, Shahbaz Bhatti's legacy lives on through our actions. His spirit of compassion, advocacy, and sacrifice continues to guide us as we strive to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Without his example, we would be lost in a sea of indifference.

 As we gather here today to honour Shahbaz Bhatti's memory, let us recommit ourselves to the cause for which he so bravely fought. Let us stand together in solidarity with religious minorities and let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made in the name of freedom and justice.

Lastly, I would like to request the legislators of this great and symbolic democratic house to urge the Pakistani Government that more needs to be done to protect the rights of minorities.

I would like to thank Honourable Parliamentarians, Human Rights Activists, and the organizers for giving me an opportunity to express my views and feelings for this brave man who is now known to the whole world as "Martyred Shahbaz Bhatti."

Prof. Mobeen : underlined the need to build peace through meeting of human beings in the common home which is our earth as loved ones of God. He said as Christians we are people of peace and following Christ we proclaim the Good News to all creatures as our Mission.

At the end an extract from Shahbaz Bhatti’s spiritual testament was read by Prof Mobeen, Sr. Rifat, Fr. Shahzad and Fr. Kashif.

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