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Release of slain governor's kidnapped son seen as hopeful sign in Pakistan

March 09, 2016

The son of a slain Pakistani governor, who himself was kidnapped nearly five years ago, has been released, prompting new hopes of a breakthrough in the country's handling of Muslim extremists.

Shahbaz Taseer was abducted in August 2011. Earlier that year his father Salman Taseer had been assassinated because of his public opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy laws. The responsibility for the younger man's abduction has never been clearly assigned, and the circumstances surrounding his release also remain murky. But he was freed less than two weeks after Mumtaz Qadri was executed for the murder of his father.

The release of Shahbaz Taseer "is a positive sign for Pakistan and Islam," Kashif Aslam, a spokesman for the Pakistani bishops' conference, told the AsiaNews service. He suggested that the release could be "a sign of the times, mature enough for a necessary change of course strongly advocated by Pakistan's civil society."


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