The founder of Pakistan, which today celebrates Independence Day, believed in the separation of mosque and state. He would not recognize his country now. Blasphemy laws silence religious expression. On a visit, I was often reminded to lower my voice 'lest the servants hear you.'
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appears to be the first mainstream Pakistan leader to defend Christians and minorities after the assassination of liberal Gov. Salman Taseer. But he spoke in English from London.
The outpouring of praise for the killer of Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab who was assassinated in Islamabad Tuesday, is intensifying concerns in Pakistan about deeply rooted religious intolerance.
Pakistan's music, letters, and visual arts blossom in a nation reeling from floods, conflict, and uncertainty.
An aide to Pakistan President Zardari told the Monitor that Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who has been in jail on blasphemy charges, will be granted a pardon or clemency. She was to be executed Nov. 8.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants are stepping up their attacks on Sufi shrines, possibly as part of an effort to impose a more fundamentalist Islamic practice on the country.