Hours before he was assassinated because of his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer tweeted that his determination was so strong that he was not afraid of the "surrounding fire".
Taseer, who was popular on micro blogging website Twitter, posted: "Mera azm itna bulund hae/Parae sholon se dar nahin/Mujhe dar hae tu atish-e-gul se hae/Ye kahin chaman ko jala na dein. (My determination is so strong that I'm not afraid of the surrounding fire/What I'm afraid of is that the fiery beauty of the flower does not burn my garden).
The slain Governor, his wife Amna and their daughters Sarah and Shehrbano are all active on Twitter. Amna, who celebrated her birthday on January 2, was hoping and "praying for a peaceful New Year". Sarah, a jewellery designer preparing for a show in Islamabad, was happy that she had "nihari" with her father to beat the chill and Shehrbano, who describes herself as "an aspiring journalist and nihari lover," was listening to "Gunsmoke".
Sarah, who was the most vocal, backed her father’s stand on the blasphemy law. "Someone said to me today it will take 100 years to change blasphemy law. I replied even so Salmaan Taseer is the brave man who took the first step," she tweeted two days ago. She had also hoped that the coming decade would be peaceful. "Last decade plagued with birth of international terror, may the coming one bury it. InshAllah," she posted in a message that was re-tweeted by her father.
Taseer's articulate and tongue-in-cheek tweets had earned him many fans. "Apple is worth more than 300 billion dollars. In other words much much more than 180 million Pakistanis. Something our politicians should think about," he tweeted this morning.
"So Facebook the social networking site started by a 26-year-old has been valued at 50 billion Same as our foreign debt! Something to think about?" read another of his last tweets. Taseer didn't care much for PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, or the "mullah brigade" or religious hardliners.