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Pakistan's Interior Minister, Minority Champion, is shot dead



KARACHI, Pakistan – Pakistan's Interior Minister barely escaped attempt on Sunday night when a gunman entered a small group of supporters and colleagues surrounding the minister, firing a shot that pierced his right shoulder.

The assailant quickly arrested and the minister, Ahsan Iqbal, taken to the hospital; Government officials said he was in a stable condition. The shooting, which took place in Punjab province, caused the Pakistanis to go at full speed as the country prepared to hold parliamentary elections in July.

Although one motive for the shootings is still outstanding, Iqbal is a staunch supporter of Pakistan's religious minorities, often considered heretics by the radical runners of Sunni Islam. Mr. Iqbal met with religious minorities throughout Pakistan in recent weeks, encouraged them to vote, and promised to provide security to the nervous guards.

In the end, Mr. Iqbal's own security detail could not give him the protection he had promised to religious minorities who are often victims of terrorist attacks as well as harassment and discrimination by the authorities. Last week, the minister met with Hazaras practicing Shiite Islam and listened to her complaints of widespread police discrimination led by Mr Iqbal.

The following year, Mr. Iqbal, a prolific Twitter user, tagged Christmas with his Christian constituents by writing a photograph of him and a throng of young kids in red, a boy with a Santa Claus hat and beard.

The photo aroused both praise and contempt, which Mr. Iqbal ignored and continued to tweet in defense of the groups.


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