The assassination of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, Pakistan, should send shivers down the spines of all within and outside Pakistan who do not wish to see that country become another Iran. You see Taseer was a secularist, he wanted Pakistan to be a secular state that allowed citizens to choose not to be Muslims. He himself was a Muslim. His most recent campaign has been to oppose laws on blasphemy, as he defended Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, from being convicted and executed. Not only it is a crime to blaspheme against Islam in Pakistan, but it carries a mandatory death sentence.
He was murdered by one of his own security guards, Malik Mumtaz Qadri. He aimed at AK-47 at Taseer and shot him 27 times. Notably, his other guards didn't shoot and kill Qadri, who is now under arrest.
As is to be expected, Facebook pages have emerged for Taseer AND for his murderer. Yes, his murderer has much support among Islamist violence peddlers across the world.
The whole idea of Pakistan was a mistake, it was a recipe for disaster from the start and the blood of hundreds of thousands have been spilt because of this mindless religious sectarianism in what was India (and Hindus are not innocent of this either). The contrast today is palpable between an outward looking growing liberalising India, and a poor, backward, terrorist ridden Pakistan. If only Pakistan could shed Islamism it could join with its fast growing neighbour and be a country that didn't chase its best and brightest overseas to flee violence and seek opportunity.
Have little doubt, the war in Afghanistan is as much about keeping Islamism from overrunning Pakistan as it is about keeping the Taliban confined in Afghanistan. A Western-Indian strategy to keep Pakistan from becoming Islamist is essential to ensure the worst possible outcome does not arise. For if it does, then prepare for blood to be spilt on a grand scale. India knows this too well, it would be good if the Obama Administration, NATO and others did so as well.