ASIA/PAKISTAN - The murderer of Salman Taseer asks presidential pardon

Monday, 15 February 2016 blasphemy   religious minorities  

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - Mumtaz Qadri, the confessed criminal of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, gunned down five years ago for defending Asia Bibi, has applied for clemency to the President of Pakistan. The death sentence against Qadri has in fact been confirmed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and to avoid execution presidential pardon remains the last chance. Mumtaz Qadri was part of Salman Taseer’s escort and fired former Governor of Punjab on January 4, 2011 in Islamabad on charges of being "blasphemous" because Taseer had declared himself a supporter of the innocence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy. Qadri, in his appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain, said to be the only breadwinner in his family, asking the State for mercy.
Some radical groups held a demenstration on February 4, praising and defending Mumtaz Qadri, railing against the government. On the other hand some civil society organizations in Lahore held a candlelight vigil to reiterate the condemnation of terrorism and extremism, paying tribute to the governor. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2016)