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  • » 10/07/2011, 00.00


    Pakistani Muslims on strike against the death sentence for the murder of Salman Taseer

    Jibran Khan

    Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who killed the Punjab governor, called "a hero of Islam" by Muslim parties and movements who are marching today after prayers in mosques. The bishop of Islamabad, "Qadri has betrayed a trust, killing the person whom he had sworn to protect."
    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Political parties and clerics have declared a nationwide strike for today to protest against the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Yesterday Mumtaz Qadri appealed to the High Court in Islamabad against the death sentence pronounced by the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi October 1 last. (04/01/2011 Punjab governor assassinated, he had called for Asia Bibi’s pardon).

    Qadri's lawyer, Raja Shujahur Rehman, told the appeals court on that the anti-terrorism court was not the appropriate authority in the case, which should have been dealt with by the Federal Shariat Court. According to the lawyer, the Qadri case did not fall under the Pakistan Penal Code because he had killed a blasphemer according to the teachings of Islam. The appeal argues that Qadri is not responsible for terrorism, because killing Taseer was not an act of terror, and the lawyer concluded that the court had ignored Islamic jurisprudence. Shujahur Rehman said that "no sense of panic or insecurity has been created in the public at the time of the killing, so you can not define it as an act of terrorism, but on the contrary, people heaved a sigh of relief after the killing of a blasphemer. "

    Hundreds of people gathered in front of the court in Islamabad chanting slogans in support Qadri and condemnation of the judge. The discussion of the appeal has been scheduled for Oct. 11. Deobandi and Wahhabi groups have announced their support for the demonstration organized by Islamic parties and other groups (about 40 in all) against the verdict, calling Mumtaz Qadri an "Islamic hero." The Islamic Sunni Tehrik group has offered a large Dyat as "blood money" to the Taseer family to obtain forgiveness of Qadri. The chief of Jamat Islami (Islamic Union) Munawar Hassan said: "The verdict of conviction was a political decision to please the West, and every decision that goes against Islamic ideology is unacceptable, we live in an Islamic state."

    In addition to the closure of all activities, proclaimed by the Islamic parties, after Friday prayers there will be protest marches across the country. The organizers said that the protest will continue until the liberation of Qadri, and the elimination of every secular element opposed to the blasphemy law. One of the Islamic leaders, Maulana Aziz said: "We'll get his release, and will not allow any profanity to exist in Pakistan. We will kill every blasphemer, and will ensure that Islam will prevail. "
    The human rights organization Masihi Foundation in a press release said: "The conditions in Pakistan are becoming increasingly critical because of every day bigotry, which will lead to more violence and chaos. If we disagree with someone, you need not be violent. Individuals can not arrogate to themselves the authority to judge anyone, Muslim or infidel. Mumtaz Qadri has committed a heinous crime, and worse, a murder motivated by ideological reasons. The victim was the governor of Punjab, who in the observance of his public duty had met a woman convicted under a discriminatory law [Asia Bibi]. We oppose the death penalty in general, people should reject the death penalty in an unequivocal manner, especially as it is applied in Pakistan. Liberals who say they are against the penalty, but then go on to assert that they would support it in Qadri’s case, as an exception, have no ground to stand on".

    The bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Rufin Anthony said: "Qadri betrayed his trust and murdered the person he swore to protect. I am amazed that an attorney said that the court`s verdict is illegal and baseless, so is killing a person justified? Those who in this case argue that Quaid-e-Azam, Father and Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the lawyer for the first Blasphemy case of IIam Din and tried to save him from capital punishment must understand that Mr. Jinnah was not the trial lawyer for Ilam Din. Jinnah only represented him in the appeal against the death sentence. Jinnah sought compassion from the court pleading the boy’s tender ageHe did not defend the action of Ilam Din, i.e. killing of Rajpal as justified".
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    See also

    01/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan: death sentence for Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri
    The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Pakistan today issued the sentence defining the murder "a heinous and unjustifiable crime ". Qadri’s lawyers argue the "inevitability" of the murder, caused by Taseer’s "reprehensible statements" on blasphemy law. Protests outside the prison. Bishop of Islamabad: "a brave judgement, now we must work together for a tolerant society."

    20/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Judge who sentenced Salman Taseer’s murderer removed
    A powerful Muslim lawyers’ association forces High Court to replace judge who sentenced Mumtaz Qadri. Islamabad priest says, Islamic religious groups “are becoming powerful each passing day.”

    23/02/2016 17:07:00 PAKISTAN
    High tensions over clemency plea for Salman Taseer’s murderer

    President Mamnoon Hussain is expected to decide in the coming days whether to accept or reject a clemency plea by Mumtaz Qadri’s lawyers. Fearing retaliation, the president’s family has sought refuge at the president’s official residence. One of his three children recently escaped an assassination attempt. Police are ready to raise the alert level in the country and review Islamabad’s security arrangements.

    14/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Islamic extremists march in support of assassin Mumtaz Qadri
    The former Chief Justice of Lahore assumes the defense of the assassin of Salman Taseer. The lawyers are threatening to strike if the magistrate who issued the sentence is not removed. A human chain "against the government" that does not protect "the hero of Islam". Christian leaders' fears: the country in danger of chaos and anarchy.

    01/03/2016 13:35:00 PAKISTAN
    Activists: We are against the death penalty, but Qadri’s execution saw justice done

    The execution of former Governor Salman Taseer ‘s assassin has sparked much debate among Islamists and those who condemn the executions, but consider that in some cases they are justified. The hanging of Qadri is "to accept as being part of the process and to save innocent lives in the future." It shows that the institutions are "ready to seriously challenge the extremist mindset."

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