A RELIGIOUS leader from Huddersfield has paid tribute to a politician killed in Pakistan for his beliefs.

Canon Yaqub Masih, of Salendine Nook – who is chairman of Pakistan Christian Concern – was among those at St Margaret’s Church next to Westminster Abbey in memory of murdered federal minister for minorities in Pakistan, Mr Shahbaz Bhatti.

Church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and a representative of the Archbishop of Westminster, also attended the London service along with the High Commissioner for Pakistan, a Government minister and several MPs and lords.

Canon Masih said in his tribute: “Shahbaz lived his life fighting for the rights of minorities in Pakistan, saying he had decided to give his life toŠserve others, as he believed Christ had done for him.

“He is a martyr for his faith. Sadly, his Christian principles were the very thing that caused his death. Those who killed him used the gun to silence him rather than enter into open debate and discussion.”

In his sermon, the Bishop of Pontefract said: “Our tribute to Shahbaz and our resolve will be to follow his love of truth and justice, not limited by fear in the face of adversity and persecution.”