Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer are some of the high profile leaders who were murdered in separate attacks in the country.
Benazir Bhutto, the first woman prime minister in an Islamic state, was assassinated in a suicide attack on December 27, 2007. She was leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi when a gunman had shot her in the neck and set off a bomb. At least 20 other people died in the attack and several more were injured. Protests had gripped some cities, and security forces had been placed on a state of red alert nationwide.
Salmaan Taseer, the then-governor, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards in Islamabad on January 4, 2011. Mumtaz Qadri had shot at Taseer when he was getting into his car at a market. Taseer’s murder was one of Pakistan’s most high-profile assassinations. He was a prominent liberal politician in the country and a close associate of the then president Asif Ali Zardari.
In May 2011, Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead by gunmen who ambushed his car. He was on his way to work in Islamabad when some unidentified gunmen riddled his car with bullets. The minister arrived dead at the Shifa Hospital and his driver was also wounded badly.
In December 2012, a suicide blast in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar killed Senior Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bashir Ahmed Bilour along with eight others. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.
In August 2015, Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada, a retired colonel of the Pakistan Army, was killed along with 16 others in a suicide blast at his political office in Shadi Khan near Attock. He was trapped with several others under the rubble after the blast brought down the roof of the house.
In July 2001, former state minister for foreign affairs Siddiq Khan Kanju was shot dead by assailants in Lodhran district along with former Punjab Assembly member Mohammad Aslam Joiya who succumbed to injuries on way to the civil hospital. Kanju and his companions were at a corner meeting outside a shop when three young gunmen opened fire.