The Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs was gunned down Wednesday in Islamabad by unknown gunmend amid tight security, said police and hospital sources.
Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was leaving for his office from his private residence in I-8 sector of the capital when two gunmen on a motorcycle arrived and opened indiscriminate fire at him.
The incident took place in close proximity to the KUNA office.
The Minister was rushed to nearby Al-Shifa Hospital, where doctors proclaimed him dead. The Inspector General (IG) Islamabad arrived on the scene and was conducting investigations. Police have confirmed the killing to newsmen.
Police sources said that at least twenty bullets were fired at the minister.
The identitiy and motive of the assailants were not yet known but some analysts linked it to the controiversial Blasphemy issue.
Minister Shahbaz and former Governor Salman Taseer were in the forefront in supporting changes in the Blasphemy law and release of detained Christian woman. Salman Taseer was gunned down by his official guard of Elite Force in Islamabad in January.
His guard confessed of killing the Governor for his support to amendment in the blasphemy law.
The governor and the Minister had also been advocating the release of Christian woman, who has been sentenced to death for committing blasphemy by a session court in eastern Punjab province of the country.