| Updated at: 0100 PST, Wednesday, January 05, 2011|
WASHINGTON: The United States said Tuesday that the assassination of the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was a "great loss" because he was trying to stabilize his country.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will offer Washington's condolences to Hussain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to Washington, when she meets him later Tuesday, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
"From our standpoint, his death is a great loss. He was committed to helping the government and people of Pakistan persevere in their campaign to bring peace and stability to their country," he added.
Taseer was shot dead at an Islamabad market by a bodyguard who was opposed to the politician's criticism of controversial blasphemy laws, officials said, plunging nuclear-armed Pakistan deeper into chaos.