Excerpt:

Earlier this year, people across the world were shocked and appalled when Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet, was assassinated. I met him a week before he was murdered; last week, I saw his brother, Dr Paul Bhatti – a trained surgeon who has now become minorities adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, and helped set up a new Ministry of Harmony – and spoke to him about the plans Shahbaz and I had been discussing.

Back in March, when Shahbaz was murdered, I said that the soul of Pakistan was not in these attacks. There is nothing in the vision laid out by Pakistan's founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, that creates the space for such acts of hatred. The idea of unity through diversity runs through Pakistan's history and helps to define its society today.

In the last 18 months, I have made four visits to Pakistan, and I have seen for myself the moments of hope among the tragedies. It is heartening, for example, that for the first time in Pakistan's history, a number of seats are to be allocated for minorities in the senate.


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