Pro-Qadri supporters clash with police near parliament

By AFP
Published: March 27, 2016
SHARES
Email
anti-riot police officers walk to supporters of executed Islamist Mumtaz Qadri during an anti-government protest in Islamabad on March 27, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

anti-riot police officers walk to supporters of executed Islamist Mumtaz Qadri during an anti-government protest in Islamabad on March 27, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army deployed troops on the streets of the capital Sunday after thousands of stone-throwing supporters of Mumtaz Qadri who was hanged last month clashed with police in chaotic scenes.

Qadri was executed on February 29 for killing a Punjab governor over his call for blasphemy reform in what analysts said was a “key moment” in Pakistan’s long battle against religious extremism.

An estimated 25,000 supporters of the former police bodyguard gathered in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi in the afternoon to offer prayers, before turning toward the heavily-barricaded capital, which was patrolled by hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers.

Riot police carrying batons and shields fired tear gas to try to prevent them pushing closer to the city centre. Some protesters set fire to a container while chanting slogans.

Senior Glasgow imam praises Mumtaz Qadri

A military spokesperson tweeted late Sunday that the army had been requisitioned to “control” the situation and secure the Red Zone around Parliament, where protesters were gathering.

Qadri was working as a bodyguard for Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer when he shot him in 2011 over the governor’s call to reform the blasphemy law, which critics say is frequently misused to oppress religious minorities.

Sunday’s unrest came hours after a group of angry men assaulted a former pop star accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) youngest wife, in the latest case of vigilante violence linked to blasphemy.

Ex-singer Junaid Jamshed, who is now a prominent Sunni evangelist, was leaving Islamabad airport on Saturday night when he was set upon by a group of around six men who were waiting to attack him at the exit.

The incident was captured on mobile phone video and has been widely viewed.

PHOTO: AFP

Jamshed was forced to flee back into the airport. In a later Facebook posting, he said it was time for the nation to decide it “will not let these religious fanatics prevail amongst us”.

Reader Comments (12)

  • imran ali
    Mar 27, 2016 - 9:06PM

    Why they were allowed to gather? Why no FIRs registered against them? or all the FIRs only against a particular community in Karachi Recommend

  • coolboy
    Mar 27, 2016 - 10:10PM

    Our politicians who made him such a big hero should come out now instead of the army to bring normalcy to the streets…Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 28, 2016 - 12:39AM

    Mullahs = Cancer. We need to get rid of them.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 28, 2016 - 1:18AM

    ….and the government knows who and where the instigators are…..but do nothing about it. Recommend

  • Umar Khan
    Mar 28, 2016 - 1:31AM

    Dharna 2 in makingRecommend

  • Naseer
    Mar 28, 2016 - 1:53AM

    I won’t shed a tear if police kill these protesters – send all of them to their hero Qadri.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Mar 28, 2016 - 1:56AM

    It appears that it had nothing to do with Mumtaz Qadri. The mob was working on agenda to de estalise Pakistan and create Syria/ Lebanon like conditions. Police should have nabbed the mob when they started marching towards Islamabad. Batons and tear gas is not the answer. Maximum force should have been usedRecommend

  • sabi
    Mar 28, 2016 - 2:15AM

    Its like -Nero playing flute when Rome was burning-situation.Beware you Civilians if you dont get rid of the menace army will step in and nobody will weep for you.Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 28, 2016 - 2:22AM

    This division between right and left will keep widening and the minority illiterate (mostly seminary students) will keep forcing their views upon rest of over 180 million people unless we get rid of their roots .. starting from the burka clad ninja sitting in the capital to all those Saudi & Arabistan funded madaris.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 28, 2016 - 2:33AM

    Protesters in Islamabad and suicide bomber in Lahore are pieces of same cloth!Recommend

  • Sherry
    Mar 28, 2016 - 5:11AM

    What a country I live in. Where Nobel Peace Prize winners like Abdus Salam and Malala are loathed. Where Oscar winners like Sharmeen Obaid are called traitors. Instead terrorists like Mumtaz Qadri are made heroes. I am happy he was finally hanged and will fully support the state in future hanging of such scums. I hope that one day the liberal and open-minded people of Pakistan have enough power to face these lunatics and come out on the streets. That power can only be granted by the state’s support. Pakistan zindabad! Recommend

  • Diamond
    Mar 29, 2016 - 1:46AM

    The root cause of all these issues is that even after 70 years of independence Pakistan haven`t decided that wheather its a Secular State or an Islamic State.If Pakistan is a Islamic country,then Islamic laws should be implemented in all walks of life like Saudi Arabia.If Pakistan is a Secular country,then Islam should be separated from the affairs of the state like Turkey.Simple as that.Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Pakistan