Gunmen killed Pakistan's only Christian cabinet member Wednesday in a hail of bullets outside his house in Islamabad, the second assassination this year of a top Pakistani official who had opposed the country's controversial blasphemy law.I was going to call Pakistan "the basket case of the world." But before doing so, I looked up the original meaning of the expression "basket case" and found it to be this: "[A] British slang for a quadruple amputee during World War I." How dreadful. I thought it just meant nuts, cuckoo, crackbrained, bonkers. How did one become the other? From a terrible physical condition to a mental disorder? Never again will I call something, even something as sad as the country of Pakistan, a basket case.
The assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country's minority affairs minister, underscored the reach of extremism in a Muslim, nuclear-armed country founded on the principles of minority inclusion, as well as the government's inability to protect its minorities.