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Pakistani police question man on murder of Catholic cabinet minister

Catholic World News - June 23, 2011

Police in Pakistan have arrested a man and held him for questioning in connection with the March 2 murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic cabinet minister.

Hafiz Nazar Muhammad is reportedly being detained not because he himself is a suspect in the murder case, but because police believe he knows the identity of Bhatti’s killer. A judge has allowed prosecutors to hold him for 5 days of questioning in the case.

The arrest of Muhammad raises questions because he had worked with Bhatti as a business associate, and police said that they may have had a conflict. The murder of Shahaz Bhatti has been attributed to Islamic extremists, who were outraged by the political leader’s complaints against Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

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