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New Delhi: India on Wednesday condemned the assassination of Pakistan Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti and said it was with the bereaved family and the people of the neighbouring country at this difficult hour.

“We convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the people and the Government of Pakistan on the tragic assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister of Minority Affairs of Pakistan.

“We condemn this dastardly crime. In this difficult hour, our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family and the people of Pakistan,” an MEA spokesperson said.

Bhatti, a Christian and vocal critic of the controversial blasphemy law, was shot dead by Taliban militants as he drove out of his mother’s house in Islamabad, nearly two months after Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was killed for opposing the harsh statute.