[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Pakistan's Punjab governor killed
Police say Salman Taseer, an outspoken member of ruling party, was assassinated by an elite guard in capital Islamabad.
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2011 12:25 GMT
Salman Taseer, an outspoken critic of the country's blasphemy law, was killed by a member of his security detail [EPA]

The governor of Pakistan's most politically important province of Punjab has been killed after shootings in a popular market in the capital Islamabad.

Police said Salman Taseer, a high-profile member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was killed by a member of his security detail.

The shooting took place near Kohsar market, popular with wealthy Pakistanis and expatriates, and close to the governor's home in the capital, Islamabad.

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent, reporting from Islamabad said Taseer received nine bullets and was killed instantly.

"The policeman has been taken into custody and was reported to have said that he did shoot the governor and that it was because of his views."

Five other people were wounded as other security personnel responded to the attack on Tuesday afternoon.

Blasphemy critic

Taseer recently spoke out against the country's blasphemy law.

An active user of the social media platform Twitter, he said in one of his last posts: "I was under huge pressure 2 cow down before rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I'm the last man standing."

Al Jazeera's correspondent added that the shootings happened in an area populated by embassies and frequented by foreigners, and is considered to be a fairly safe part of the city.

"Taseer has been very vocal against the TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan].  It would be speculative to see who could have gained from this attack. The government is under pressure," our correspondent said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list