Shahbaz Bhatti’s Legacy Lives On In Canada

Shahbaz Bhatti’s Legacy Lives On In Canada
Brampton, Canada: The Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown has decided to honour the late Pakistani Christian activist Shahbaz Bhatti by naming a park in Brampton after him.

Shahbaz Bhatti (1968-2011) is one of Pakistan’s most fearless Christian leaders. In 2008, he was elected as member of Pakistan’s National Assembly and was the first Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs from November 2008 until his assassination on March 2 2011. He had been the only Christian in the Cabinet.

Bhatti was assassinated for supporting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009 and sentenced to death by a Sheikhupura court in November 2010. The case was taken up by former Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated on January 4, 2011. Shahbaz Bhatti was one of the few voices that dared to speak up in Asia’s favour after Salmaan Taseer but his voice was also silenced on March 2, 2011. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed the responsibility for his assassination.

Consequently, the mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown has decided to honour him by naming a park in Brampton after him. The park will be unveiled on Sunday 24th July.

In a video message, Brown congratulated the Pakistani Christian community in Brampton and showered praises on Shahbaz Bhatti. He mentioned that Bhatti was a symbol of religious freedom, as he was a man who was martyred for the cause of religious freedom.

“His legacy lives on in Pakistan for his fight to stand up for the religious minorities but it lives on here in Canada,” he said.

He also acknowledged the efforts of Mr. Yeshwa Younis, Executive Assistant at the Mayor Office, for naming this park after Shahbaz Bhatti. “I want to thank Yeshwa for his dedication to this. I know that Pakistani Christian community has really fallen in love with Brampton, fallen in love with Canada,” he added.

“We’ve worked really hard for this these past four years and finally the time has come to celebrate the life of Shahbaz Bhatti”, said Mr. Younis.