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      The vision of SBMT trust is to continue on with the mission initiatives and projects that were established and founded by the Late Minister Shahbaz Bhatti.
      Minister Bhatti was passionate and committed to working alongside the downtrodden and oppressed throughout society to bring about empowerment and societal transformation in the nation of Pakistan.
      His initiatives involved the development of projects through education, creating dignified work, humanitarian efforts, social justice, and advocacy for minorities at a national and an international level. As well as supporting, promoting and encouraging interfaith understanding, and respecting fundamental rights of humanity irrespective of religion, gender, social status and ethnicity through his groundbreaking project interfaith harmony and dialogue.

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In Portfolio

Shahbaz Bhatti Portfolio

Introduction :

bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti

Mr.Shahbaz Bhatti was born on 9 September 1968 to Christian parents in the village of Khushpur, Faisalabad. His father, Jacob Bhatti, served in the army, then as a teacher, before becoming chairman of the board of churches in Khushpur. Shahbaz Bhatti was unmarried; he had four brothers and one sister. He did MA in Political Science from Punjab University.
Shahbaz Bhatti was a Pakistani politician and elected member of the National Assembly in the year 2008.He was the first Federal Minister for Minorities 2008 until his assassination on 2 March 2011 in Islamabad. Bhatti, was an outspoken critic of Pakistan and the only Christian in the Cabinet.

Political career:

Shahbaz Bhatti helped to found the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance in 1985, and had been elected its chairman. He also served as head of Pakistan’s Christian Liberation Front, which he formed in 1985. Bhatti joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 2002. He was placed on the government’s Exit Control List in 2003, but was removed in November of that year.
He was appointed as minister for the defense of minorities on 2 November 2008, when, for the first time, the post was given the same status as other cabinet posts. At the time, he said that he accepted the post for the sake of the “oppressed, down-trodden and marginalized” of Pakistan, and that he dedicated his life to “struggle for human equality, social justice, religious freedom, and to uplift and empower the religious minorities’ communities.” He added that he wanted to send “a message of hope to the people living a life of disappointment, disillusionment and despair”, and also stated his commitment to reforming the country’s laws.
During his time as federal minister, he took steps in support of religious minorities. These included launching a national campaign to promote interfaith harmony, proposing the introduction of legislation to ban hate speech and literature, proposing the introduction of comparative religion as a curriculum subject, and proposing quotas for religious minorities in government posts and Senate seats.

Organizational Affiliation:

Mr. Shahbaz Bahatti was a Chairman and founder of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA).

Awards / Recognitions:

PEACE AWARD. Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti received PEACE AWARD for his services in the field of human rights and for the promotion of peace in Pakistan. An American Congressman Mr. Joseph Pitts at Philadelphia, USA presented this Award in May 1998 on behalf of Asian Commission for Human Rights Development and Christian League of USA.

  • APPRECIATION AWARD is given to Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti in the field of Minority rights by Canadian Human Rights organization “International Awaz” of Canada in 1999.
  • Mr. Bhatti was selected by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the “Rising Leadership Programme”. He officially visited France in February 2003 and met several high officials, members of French / European Parliament and Human Rights organizations.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD. In 2004, the European’s Human rights organizations presented International religious Liberty award to Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti at Finland.
  • INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF RELIGION AWARD. In 2009, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Washington awarded him International Freedom of Religion Award, which is a first of a kind medallion for championing the rights of rights of minorities in Pakistan.
  • Various Human Rights and Social organizations in Pakistan also presented awards to Mr. Bhatti in recognition to his services for the promotion of interfaith harmony.
  • In the year 2010 he was awarded a PhD degree from South Korea University, in recognizing his services for human rights & establishing interfaith harmony

Main Areas of Interest:

  • Human rights.
  • Issues of religious Minorities and Women.
  • Interfaith Harmony.
  • Strengthening of Democracy.
  • International Affairs.
  • Social Development.
  • Cultural heritage.

Struggle for Minorities:

Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti’s struggle for the downtrodden minorities dates back to 1985 when he was a college student. He mobilized minorities throughout Pakistan to spread the message of religious tolerance, unity and hope for the deprived people of Pakistan.

In 2002, he founded the first ever, umbrella organization of religious minorities in the name of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA). This umbrella organization includes Christian, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Kilayshi etc. The main objective of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) is to promote National unity, interfaith harmony, Social justice, and Human equality, Promotion of democratic culture and uplift and empowerment of down trodden and marginalized communities of Pakistan.

Struggle for Democracy:

Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, was actively involved in the struggle for restoration of democracy and people’s rights. Anti democratic forces tortured, imprisoned, threatened and pressurized Mr. Bhatti on many occasions in his long struggle and principle stand on restoration of democracy, supremacy of constitution , rule of law, sovereignty of Parliament, Social and Economic justice and rights of religious minorities and less privileged people of Pakistan. Mr. Bhatti had a honor to represent Pakistan on different international forums.

 

Struggle for Interfaith Harmony:

Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, is pioneer in conceptualizing the formations of Interfaith Harmony Committees. A total of 126 Interfaith Harmony Committees at District Level i.e. at gross root level, throughout the country had been constituted and are being notified by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. These committees are been helpful to remove friction among different religions and give buoyancy to tolerance and religious freedom.

Assassination:

Bhatti had been the recipient of death threats since 2009, when he spoke in support of Pakistani Christians attacked in the 2009 Gojra riots in Punjab Province. These threats increased in 2010. The United States had tried to obtain increased security for him and get him an armored car but was unsuccessful. Bhatti himself foretold his death and recorded a video, which was to be released in case of his death, where he said “I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us, and I am ready to die for a cause. I’m living for my community … and I will die to defend their rights.”
On Wednesday 2nd March 2011 in the morning when he was traveling to work through a residential district, having just left his mother’s home, his vehicle was sprayed with bullets. At the time of the attack he was alone, without any security. His driver reports having stopped the car and ducked when he saw armed men approaching rather than attempting to evade the threat. Bhatti was taken to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Reactions:

 

Domestic

  • Pakistan – Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, condemned the assassination, saying: “This is a concerted campaign to slaughter every liberal, progressive and humanist voice in Pakistan.” President Zardari vowed to combat the forces of obscurantism, and said, “we will not be intimidated nor will we retreat.” The government declared three days of mourning. However, when the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani, led a two-minute silence in parliament, three members of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party remained seated. Muhammad Rafi Usmani, the grand mufti of Pakistan, referred to the possibility of the assassination being “an American conspiracy to defame the government of Pakistan, Muslims and Islam.The Pakistani delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Asim Ahmad, said that it would not be right to link Bhatti’s murder to the issue of blasphemy. Ahmad said freedom of speech could not justify defamation and blasphemy; “It is important to prevent the deliberate campaign of defamation of Islam and its Prophet.”

 

Supranational

  • EU – Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign affairs chief, condemned the murder, saying, “I am also deeply concerned about the climate of intolerance and violence linked to the debate on the controversial laws.”
  • UN – Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Pakistan to reform its laws and said that the country had been poisoned by extremism.

 

States

  • Australia – Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd called Bhatti a courageous man whose efforts to protect and promote the rights of all minorities in Pakistan, regardless of race or religion won him the admiration and respect of people in Pakistan and around the world.
  • Canada – Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the killers “gutless.” The Canadian House of Commons passed a motion condemning the murder and offered condolences to Bhatti’s family.
  • France – The French government stated that it was horrified by the assassination and urged the authorities to find the killers.
  • Germany – Foreign minister Guido Westerwelle expressed shock at the killing and said Bhatti was passionately committed to the rights of minorities in Pakistan.
  • India – The Indian government condemned what it called “this dastardly crime,” adding, “In this difficult hour, our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family and the people of Pakistan.”
  • Spain – Spanish government condemned the killing and said, “Both as a leader of the Alliance for the All Pakistan Minorities (APMA) and from his responsibility as minister, Bhatti distinguished himself for his efforts in promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue and the rights of all minorities in Pakistan.”
  • UK – Prime Minister David Cameron called the murder “absolutely brutal and unacceptable”.
  • USA – President Barack Obama condemned the murder and called for the killers to be brought to justice.
  •  Holy See – Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi condemned the assassination calling it “unspeakable.” He also called for the need to defend religious freedom and end persecution of Christians in Pakistan. Pope Benedict XVI commenting on Bhatti’s said his “moving sacrifice” inspired “courage and commitment to strive for religious freedom for all men.”

According to Minorities Concern of Pakistan, Shahbaz Bhatti’s murderer is still unknown. Minorities are demanding for formation of a commission to probe the Bhatti case

Designed by: Imtiaz Ahmad, E: imtiazid@gmail.com, C#: 0092 345 9169947