I happened to be in Islamabad for work, and joined my father Salmaan Taseer for an unhealthy nihari breakfast on January 4th, 2011. At noon, Abba called to say he would be unable to travel to Lahore. As it was my 25th birthday, he had planned dinner at my favourite restaurant with a group of my friends, who he affectionately called “the usual suspects”. We exchanged jokes, ending the conversation with a loving birthday wish, “Happy birthday my boy”, his last words to me. In the month leading up to my father’s assassination, he was championing the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row, who had been unjustly sentenced under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law. Her crime, ‘dipping her Christian bowl in their Muslim well.’ As the Governor of Punjab, my father appealed to the then President, Asif Ali Zardari to pardon this poor woman, and he agreed to issue the pardon. His efforts to secure her release insulted and infuriated the clergy on the extreme right, prompting them to place fatwas on his head. In Pakistan, that means living on borrowed time. This however did not deter him, in fact to the contrary, he tweeted, “Covered in the righteous cloak of religion even a puny dwarf imagines himself a monster. Important to face them and call their bluff”. His advisors and close confidants warned against the consequences when it came to the reaction of religious fanatics. His Military Secretary insisted he reinforce his security detail, to which he candidly replied, “Certainly, but who will guard the guards”. As tensions escalated, his resolve grew stronger, many including myself worried for his safety. His party asked him to desist, which to him meant abandoning his principled position. While fully aware of the dangers that loomed, my father’s desire to reverse the injustice greatly outweighed any personal risk. Ironically it was one his guards, a deranged disciple of Khadim Rizvi, who cowardly shot him in the back twenty-seven times, managing to puncture every organ except his heart. Mumtaz Qadri subsequently was found guilty and hanged, further vindicating my father for his resolute position against the misuse of the blasphemy law. Today marks a decade since his brutal assassination. On that cold, grim and fateful day, a light went out in our lives forever. The last man standing had fallen. A brave and courageous man died with his boots on, a true soldier of justice. May my father be resting peacefully in the knowledge that Asia Bibi is free and reunited with her family. A landmark judgment which lays precedence and gives us hope against such travesties in the future. The author is a renowned business personality with expertise in real estate & financial services. He is also the publisher of Daily Times newspaper and Sunday magazine.