NEW DELHI: ''I used to worry about Salman (Taseer) because he lived life the way he wanted to, even as governor of Pakistan Punjab,'' reminisced Delhi-based market research analyst Ranjit Chib, whose association with the slain leader's family dates back to the days when their fathers were students and friends at Cambridge University in the 1930s.
Speaking up for minorities came easy to Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab who was brutally assassinated by his own bodyguard last Tuesday. Half a century before he took up the cause of Aasia Noreen, a poor Christian woman facing a death sentence for blasphemy that she never committed, Taseer and his childhood friends resolved to protest the death sentence of Jimmy Wilson, a poor African-American.
“He went as he would have chosen – in a blaze of glory. Larger than life as he was, I can’t imagine him allowing either age or infirmity to fell him. That was just not his style,” said a lifelong friend of Salmaan Taseer’s moments after the latter’s brutal assassination.
“You know what’s the difference between Delhi and Lahore?” said Salman Taseer, as he stood on the terrace of a glittering dinner party. “They are the cars parked on the street below! Back home, there would have been rows of BMWs, Land Cruisers, but you still have your Marutis and Ambassadors,” he laughed.