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The Globe and Mail

Funeral for Canadian Muslim killed in Pakistan renews calls for Ottawa to act

Men carry the casket of Mehdi Ali Qamar, the Canadian-American cardiologist who was assassinated in Pakistan, at his funeral service in Vaughan, Ont., on June 4, 2014.

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A Canadian cardiologist slain by gunmen in Pakistan is being remembered as a selfless humanitarian who was targeted for belonging to a religious minority.

A burial ceremony for Mehdi Ali Qamar saw impassioned calls for Ottawa to pressure the Pakistani government to better protect religious minorities against extremism.

Qamar, an Ahmadiyya Muslim who had returned to the country to do volunteer work at a hospital, was gunned down May 26 in central Pakistan in front of his wife and two-year-old son.

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His nephew, Nasir Chaudhary, read a family statement calling Qamar a "real servant of humanity who never discriminated against his patients."

Relatives remembered him for always cracking jokes and penning poems about his love of life.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada president Lal Khan Malik said Qamar was "murdered because of his faith" and said the Harper government must urge Pakistan to "stand up to extremists and promote freedom of religion."

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