Muslim "fanatic" assassinates Pakistani woman minister; Update: More details

Strange country. Hundreds of honor killings every year, laws which until recently required four witnesses to prove rape, yet they’ve had more female heads of state than we have.

I’m guessing this guy didn’t vote for Benazir Bhutto.

A suspected Islamist zealot shot dead a Pakistani woman provincial government minister on Tuesday because he believed women should not be in politics, officials said…

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat told Reuters the gunman had been implicated in six previous murder cases but had never been convicted because of a lack of evidence.

“He is basically a fanatic,” Basharat said. “He is against the involvement of women in politics and government affairs.”…

“He considers it contrary to the teachings of Allah for a woman to become a minister or a ruler. That’s why he committed this action,” the police said in a statement.

Six previous murders?

Update: Not a surprise to find that the victims in those previous murders were also women.

“He killed her because she was not observing the Islamic code of dress. She was also campaigning for emancipation of women,” said Nazir Ahmad, a local officer, adding that the suspect was a known extremist with a history of targeting women he considered “immoral”…

The man – identified as Mohammad Sarwar – was overpowered by the minister’s driver and arrested by police, who claimed that he confessed to the killing. A former student and stonemason in his 40s, Sarwar was previously held in 2002 in connection with the killing of four prostitutes, but was never convicted due to lack of evidence…

Ms Usman, a married mother of two sons, joined the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League after being elected in 2002. A strong supporter of the President’s policy of “enlightened moderation” – designed to tackle extremism – she was appointed to her current post in December last year according to her government biography.