Security upped for president ahead of Mumtaz Qadri's mercy plea decision

Published: February 22, 2016
President Mamnoon Hussain. PHOTO: FILE

President Mamnoon Hussain. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain’s family has confined itself to the Presidency for fear of a backlash as he is expected to decide the clemency plea of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of Punjab’s former governor Salmaan Taseer.

Qadri, a former police commando, assassinated Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011 for his support to a blasphemy accused. An Anti-Terrorism Court convicted and condemned him to death – a ruling also upheld by the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.

SC dismisses review petition of Taseer’s assassin

A review petition of Qadri was also turned down by the top court on December 14 last year, leaving him with the last option of to file a clemency appeal to the president.

Religious parties have threatened nationwide protests if Qadri is hanged. In view of a possible backlash, the president’s family has been moved from Karachi to the Presidency in Islamabad, sources told The Express Tribune.

Currently, only the president and the prime minister are provided security under the ‘Blue Category’ – the highest security protocol for anyone in Pakistan. “Despite these heavy protocols, security of the president has been further beefed up as he is about to decide the mercy appeal of Qadri,” said an official privy to the development.

Mumtaz Qadri does not deserve mercy, Taseer’s family appeals to court

The president has three sons. And the official said last year one of his sons, Salman Mamnoon, escaped a bomb attack on his convoy in Hub, near Karachi. Three people were killed in the attack claimed by a banned separatist group, Baloch Liberation Army.

Another senior security official told The Express Tribune that overall security in Islamabad would also be reviewed if Qadri’s mercy plea was rejected by the president. “Security situation will be reviewed following the decision. And most probably the district administration will impose Section 144 in the capital,” he said. Secretary to the President Shahid Khan refused to comment on the issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd,  2016.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (27)

  • Observer
    Feb 22, 2016 - 9:09AM

    When a President (Commander in Chief) is fearful about his life, imagine the vulnerability of an ordinary people, who are told by the West to rise up to the extremist groups.Recommend

  • sabi
    Feb 22, 2016 - 9:32AM

    Shoot on the spot if someone takes the law in his hands and everything will be ok. No to theocracy.Recommend

  • Hameed
    Feb 22, 2016 - 10:08AM

    Qadri is now appealing fro clemency? Amazing. Where are all his supporters now?Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    Feb 22, 2016 - 12:23PM

    Instead of reading this news, why were we not simply reading news of his hanging after the rejection of his petition at the same time. Why leak this news and allow protest, however small and unrepresentative, to build up unnecessarily.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 22, 2016 - 1:40PM

    Are we supposed to clap if the does the right thing ?Recommend

  • Faraz Mehmood
    Feb 22, 2016 - 1:45PM

    Begging for mercy. Shameful. Nowhere to hide now. He should not have filed a single appeal against he capital punishment. But Thanks to him he did so. Now people have witnessed him crying for clemency. Unfortunately Interior Minister and the govt have failed to establish its control, arrest the extremist supporters. Supreme Court should also initiate contempt proceedings against protesters.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Feb 22, 2016 - 1:48PM

    That’s what Qadri did no? Shot someone on the spot because he thought the person was breaking a Sharia law?

    Shooting on the spot is not acceptable in any society. Recommend

  • Affan
    Feb 22, 2016 - 1:56PM

    WHY appealing. Fast track way to Heaven .. Qadri plz dnt waste timeRecommend

  • Burhan Khan
    Feb 22, 2016 - 2:00PM

    The president will need blue security for lifetime if he rejects the mercy plea. Rejecting the mercy plea might also be considered Blasphemy by the fanatics.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Feb 22, 2016 - 4:22PM

    Killing humans, for whatsoever reasons, is the trait of very low class species.

    As a citizen of Pakistan I appeal to the President of Pakistan, that the clemency plea of Mr. Salmaan Taseer´s murderer should be granted.Recommend

  • Seema
    Feb 22, 2016 - 5:56PM

    This is not a piece of news but an effort by the supporters to intimidate the president by leaking this. Why is the point of telling before rejecting if the situation is this seriousRecommend

  • curious2
    Feb 22, 2016 - 6:28PM

    He should have been executed right after the SC ruling. Someone who executes people in cold blood doesn’t deserve mercy – ain’t that complicated. They should also seize/sell all of his assets and donate the proceeds to the family of his victim.Recommend

  • Feb 22, 2016 - 7:37PM

    Please do not accept the plea of the murderer, why is he so scared of death now? I should see Mumtaz Qadri hanged!Recommend

  • DNiwasi
    Feb 22, 2016 - 8:19PM

    @Acorn Guts:
    Police can shoot on spot if the protesters actions are a threat to society.Recommend

  • DNiwasi
    Feb 22, 2016 - 8:20PM

    @Burhan Khan: why should fanatics opinion be of any relevance?Recommend

  • sabi
    Feb 22, 2016 - 9:16PM

    @Acorn Guts:
    You got it wrong, not individual but state has the authority to do so if situation demands.Recommend

  • Feb 22, 2016 - 9:23PM

    He should be hanged. Recommend

  • Indian
    Feb 22, 2016 - 9:41PM

    Even President is not safe, and Pakistani’ want foreigners to come and play cricket. Wonder when they are going to claim Qadri is RAW Agent.Recommend

  • Aleem
    Feb 22, 2016 - 10:03PM

    Send Mumtaz to the gallows already! Every other supporter of this murderer should be showered with jootay if they come out in support of this fitna monger/fassadi.

    No man can take matters into his own hands. Islam is strictly against this type of anarchy.

    He has shed the blood of Salman Taseer and for that he must pay with blood. No exceptions!Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Feb 22, 2016 - 11:14PM

    Time’s up for Qadri. Now let’s see how bravely he ascends the scaffold. He’ll probably have to be dragged up, screaming and wailing. Shooting an unarmed man in the back takes no courage.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 23, 2016 - 12:32AM

    The President should be wary of the Tasseer followers turning into a lynching mob as well as the security personnel of Qadri kind. He must not rallow the murder of Qadri who without any doubt is a psychiatric patient to avenge the murder of late Tasseer. In any event he must resign his post after the decision.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Jamal
    Feb 23, 2016 - 1:23AM

    Why Qardri is afraid of gallows now? Hoors are waiting for him.Recommend

  • Diablo
    Feb 23, 2016 - 1:42AM

    Nail it Mr President, once and for all !Recommend

  • Aleem
    Feb 23, 2016 - 2:16AM

    As if Indra Gandhi and her son felt safe after going after the Punjabi nationalists and the Tamils!

    Don’t act as if India is some safe, pacified country. Plenty of killings go on there and politicians act like lions when away from the very many hotspots in India. If you disagree with me then just for an hour send Modi without any protection to walk the streets of Sri Nagar!Recommend

  • Dr.M.M.Khan
    Feb 23, 2016 - 3:20AM

    History will judge you if you don’t listen to the call of the highest court in Pakistan. This is the litmus test. Sometimes one has to step up to the plate and deliver.Recommend

  • M.S.
    Feb 23, 2016 - 3:50AM

    Death is the minimum punishment Qadri deserves but State must make sure that he doesn’t become a Shaheed. After hanging, his body should be buried at an undisclosed location, otherwise stupid people will use his grave for their ulterior motives.Recommend

  • Tauheed Ahmed
    Feb 23, 2016 - 5:13AM

    I hope the President shows the physical courage to do the right thing and reject this cruel man’s mercy plea. If the President cant do that, he is not fit to be the Head of the State.Recommend

More in Pakistan