Bhatti, 42, was shot repeatedly Wednesday as he left his mother’s home in Islamabad. As the Federal Minister for Minorities, he was an outspoken opponent of Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, which can impose the death penalty for actions judged to insult Mohammed.
He is the second Pakistani official to be murdered for his opposition to the laws in as many months. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was killed in early January by his bodyguard.
“Both were killed for the same reason,” said Father Lombarid, “because they opposed the blasphemy law, a law that is itself truly a blasphemy, because in the name of God it causes injustice and death.”