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Extremist threats hamper Pakistan minority minister's murder trial

Published on Feb 8, 2014 9:55 PM

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Extremist threats have hampered the murder trial of Pakistan's former minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who was gunned down in Islamabad in March 2011, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) said on Saturday.

Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, had been a vocal opponent of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in a country where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim and insulting the Prophet Mohammed can carry the death penalty.

"Threatening pamphlets claiming to be from the Punjabi Taleban were found in the office of our key witness, whose name cannot be disclosed for security." Mr Shamoon Gill, spokesman of APMA, told AFP.

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