Shaista Beg The Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseers murder in broad daylight by one his own guards has put an end to a hotly raging debate on the blasphemy laws. In the foreseeable future, this cause will not be taken up by any politician who values his or her life. The Governors advocation of the cause, which his killer cited as the reason for his actions, evoked so much anger and disapproval amongst the average layman that several clergymen who were requested (including the Khateeb of the Governor House mosque, the Imam of the Data Darbar and the Imam of Badshahi Masjid) refused to lead Mr Taseers funeral prayers. His party, the PPP, will be hard pressed to find someone to replace Mr Taseer who will so skilfully annoy and hold the ruling party in the Punjab at bay; nor will they so easily find someone with the larger than life presence of Mr Taseer and his genius for issuing droll one liners that found such mileage in the press. In his lifetime, where he was such an asset to the PPP, the Governor in his death has become a liability. It was notable that the President was absent from the funeral ceremony. Also of remark was the desperate efforts of the party leaders to turn this incident into a political fiasco; there was a loud hum of spin doctors working overtime whenever politicians gathered in front of the media to distance the Governors death from the angry sentiment he had aroused and instead point it towards a political rivalry. While the Governor ploughed ahead with his ultimately fatal campaign, his party distanced itself further and further away from him. Their dissociation and disownership of him was reflected in the Presidents deafening silence after the Governor gave a statement saying he was sure beyond a doubt that the convicted Aasia Bibi would be granted Presidential pardon from her sentence. Babar Awan gave a statement saying that while he was Law Minister, the blasphemy laws would not be changed. Lawyers at the Rawalpindi Bar fought to shower the killer with rose petals when he appeared at the court and offered their services to defend him at his impending trial. The day of the Governors funeral, Rehman Malik (who famously has trouble even reciting the Surah Ikhlaas) was forced to issue a statement that he himself would shoot convicted blasphemers if it came to it, and there was no question that the PPP was so much as considering the changing of the blasphemy law. Pakistan is a conservative society, there is no doubt about it, nor has there ever been. Observers have tried to read between the lines and discover a softer Pakistan, one that has made things like Star Plus, the Iifa Awards and Mathira a success, but it appears that that is an illusion. The real Pakistan is there for everyone to see, out in the open. Deeply conservative and apparently willing to die and kill for what it believes in. This one person acted because of something that he found deeply offensive to his beliefs. It appears clearly that people are losing patience with those in power not reflecting the wishes, concerns and desires of the average person. If Pakistan is a democracy its rulers will have to cater to what the people want. If politicians are out to first 'civilise Pakistan and then fulfil its citizens wishes, then they are living on borrowed time. The people of Pakistan are short on patience and unforgiving, after this incident, one starts to worry about the day that countless others like Malik Mumtaz Qadri will think that they are justified to conduct vigilante justice on politicians who have failed to provide the roti, kapra and makan they were voted into power for. And as far as the blasphemy law is concerned, even in England it was only recently in 2008 that the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were abolished. The writer is a freelance columnist.