Rawalpindi (Agenzia Fides) – Mumtaz Qadri, bodyguard and killer of the governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, assassinated 4 January 2011, was hanged this morning in Adiala prison, under massive security measures.
After the execution of Qadri – considered a hero by some extremist groups, for being the killer of a man labelled “blasphemous” – protests were staged in various parts of the country. The Islamabad Lawyers Association has announced that Courts will stage a day strike. The funeral will be held today 29 February in Rawalpindi, the country’s religious Parties have convoked their followers to exalt Qadri.
An antiterrorism court sentenced Qadri to death in October 2011 but the Supreme Court rejected the last appeal of the defence. The answer to a plea for clemency presented to president Mamnoon Hussain was also negative . In view of possible reaction on the part of Islamist and terrorist groups, the family of president Mamnoon Hussain has been moved from Karachi to Islamabad.
Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, human rights activist and head of LEAD NGO, told Fides that “while disapproving the death penalty, the fact that the assassination of Taseer does not go unpunished gives new hope for justice in Pakistan”.
Recalling that Taseer was murdered for defending Asia Bibi, he underlines: “the blasphemy law is a tool in the hands of the powerful to strike Pakistan’s poorest citizens and minority group members. Many suffer because of false blasphemy charges ”. (PA-XW) (Agenzia Fides 29/2/2016)