A welcome verdict

Published: October 1, 2011

Some express joy over verdict while some find the capital punishment too harsh. PHOTO: AFP

The verdict in the Salmaan Taseer assassination case is in and it comes as a pleasant surprise. Eight months after Taseer’s guard, Mumtaz Qadri, should him dead in cold blood, an anti-terrorist court has found him guilty on two counts and handed down the death penalty as punishment. Justice may have been slow but it has ultimately been served. Qadri’s guilt was never in doubt. He confessed to the assassination and a possible acquittal was dependent on either convincing the judge that Taseer essentially deserved to be killed for daring to stand up for a poor Christian woman accused for blasphemy or rousing the passions of the violent religious right to such an extent that no judge would dare convict him.

The verdict may be in but this is no time to let our guard down. Just because Qadri has been handed down a death sentence does not mean that the judge who had the courage to dispense justice should be given a death sentence too. The judge’s verdict was a brave one and he now needs to be given protection by the state. As for Qadri, his lawyers now have seven days to file an appeal with the high court. Given that he has a high-powered legal team, it is inevitable that the sentence will be appealed. The judges who hear the appeal will need to show the same bravery as the anti-terrorist court judge who found Qadri guilty despite the danger associated with coming to that verdict. There is also the possibility that Qadri’s freedom will be used as a bargaining chip by those who kidnapped Taseer’s son Shahbaz more than a month ago and one hope things do not come to that.

Now would also be a good time to reflect on what the assassination of Salmaan Taseer has shown us about the nation. That his killer was showered with rose petals by lawyers as he made his way to court, that Qadri was treated as a hero by many and that many people essentially believe that Taseer got what was coming to him is a reflection of a country that has lost its moral bearing. And while Taseer’s killer may have been found guilty, the governor’s lonely crusade to free Aasia bibi and amend the unjust blasphemy laws has not found many takers.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011.

Reader Comments (23)

  • Waseem
    Oct 1, 2011 - 9:40PM

    A very good verdict from court. I didnt couldnt belive it when i first read it. The only reason pakistan is still little save from rath of Allah is because we still have some judges who are serving true justice. A precedent needed to be set up in Pakistan to show that you cannot take law in your hand. Now i hope high ciurt will keep the same punishment. Ameen

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  • Oct 1, 2011 - 9:55PM

    Our government should protect the judge who passed this verdict today. For all those who think that Qadri is a hero, they should open their eyes to the truth… Salman Taseer was protecting the sanctity by giving the poor christian woman her right and by not letting the ignorant take advantage of the law imposed by British government (who had made it just to make us the Muslims fight..) Its high time we all grow up and understand what is wrong and right. Our Holy Prophet SAW would never allow killing of an innocent soul.

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  • Mona
    Oct 1, 2011 - 10:18PM

    There should be no place for radicals like Qadri in Muslim societies. The higher courts must uphold this order. And something must be done to hammer sanity into the brain-washed people of Pakistan. This whole episode of Qadri and Co. often reminds me of the woman who used to throw garbage on the Prophet (SAWW). And how does Muhammad (SAWW) respond? He visits her to inquire after her health when one day she doesn’t appear, hoping that one day she would convert to Islam. This is the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAWW). If the mullahs want us to follow their practices, time to say NO!

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  • rizwana
    Oct 1, 2011 - 10:24PM

    shukar Alhamdollilah,shukar Alhamdolillah. i see hope in Pakistan now,i have never been so happy.Finally the justice has been served.God bless the respected judge amin

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  • Muhammad Usman
    Oct 2, 2011 - 12:48AM

    Death Sentence in this case will cause a worst situation for law and order in Pakistan. In my opinion this capital punishment in this case is totally wrong verdict. Higher authorities of Pakistan should try to find another solution for this case.

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  • Oct 2, 2011 - 1:19AM

    @Mona:
    you are so right !

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  • Mubarak
    Oct 2, 2011 - 6:33AM

    @Mona:
    Very truely said about our beloved Prophet Mohammad SAW, but unfortunately mullahs have their own agenda thus they can’t follow him. If mullahs follow him then all the free food, cars and power will slip away from their hands thus it is very hard for them to follow the Prophet of Allah.

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  • Lesson Leanred
    Oct 2, 2011 - 7:18AM

    To all politicians: Don’t go overboard to please west or there will be more Mumtaz Qadris

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  • Abhi
    Oct 2, 2011 - 11:18AM

    It is sad that in modern pakistan there is no place for Jinnah and Iqbal.

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  • AN
    Oct 2, 2011 - 11:55AM

    @Abhi

    Quaid and Iqbal live in our hearts. What’s your point?

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  • MUHAMMAD MOHSIN
    Oct 2, 2011 - 11:56AM

    @Waseem:
    o man are u crazy..nd 1 question are U muslim.? he is not a killer, he is a true lover of my PROPHET (SALLALA HU ALAIHE WA WASALM). but you are such a fool person..Recommend

  • S
    Oct 2, 2011 - 11:56AM

    This verdict should be applauded. Given the tense atmosphere and divided opinions, i will say that they judge was very brave to give such a decision. I am happy that justice finally prevailed.

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  • shafiq chughtai
    Oct 2, 2011 - 12:39PM

    bravo Pakistan ! salute the judge!

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  • Ahmee
    Oct 2, 2011 - 1:46PM

    @MUHAMMAD MOHSIN
    If Qadri was a Prophet PBUH Lover he would had lived his life as per sunnah and teachings of Islam loving Humanity and Spreading Peace rather than a Fanatic fool and a self proclaimed Prophet PBUH follower and Lover…Allah Knows Better but to me His CAPITAL Punishment is in his life hereafter…He Do not represent Islam and Pakistan…He Do not represent this Nation. Just Must Be Served.Recommend

  • Javed
    Oct 2, 2011 - 2:14PM

    @Muhammad Usman:
    “Higher authorities of Pakistan should try to find another solution for this case”. The solution you are looking for is to garland him and set him free so that he and his likes kill more of us. No thanks, the judges should stick to this verdict.

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  • gv
    Oct 2, 2011 - 7:21PM

    @MUHAMMAD MOHSIN:

    The Prophet (SA) does not need people like you or Qadri to defend his honour.

    He has the might of god on his side.

    go find something productive to do with your life instead of trying to ”protect’ persons who do not require your help.

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  • Sam1
    Oct 2, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Sorry guys but it appears to me that justice is only for the rich and powerful in countires like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India etc. This case is a high profile case of a politician, and that too of a powerful rich businessman.
    What justice did you give to the kids killed in punjab by the mob with police officer watching over? What justice did you give to the widow of the man killed by Raymon Davis, on her death bed she said she will not accept the blood money, but still you set the guy free.
    I don’t agree to what Mr Qadri did, but its a failure of a nation not just an individual. Besides this is no time to rejoice on this verdict, but time to think. Perhaps, if the Taseer family forgives him, and show compassion. This will force this person to think of the injustice he has committed towards their family, and may repent. Then many like Qadri will think many many many times over, before they commit such an act.
    Just my 2 cents….

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Oct 2, 2011 - 7:49PM

    I just hope we as a nation can take science and religion together.. remember blasphemy can never happen if we treat non muslims properly.. we should take learn to respect others faiths and point of views not force upon our views and religion on anyone.. only then can we move forward.Recommend

  • Muhammad Usman
    Oct 3, 2011 - 12:39AM

    @Javed:
    Did you read the comments of judge. That are in today’s “Nawaiawaqet” news paper.

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  • Muhammad Usman
    Oct 3, 2011 - 12:42AM

    @Javed:
    Did you read “295 c” ever in your life.

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  • Muhammad Usman
    Oct 3, 2011 - 1:02AM

    @Javed:
    Please read Pakistan Penal Code Section 295-C.

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  • Abhi
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:50AM

    @AN
    Both these fine men fought a case for Ilm-ud-din where in similar circumstances he killed for saving the grace of prophet. Now we see Qadri getting capital punishment in free Pakistan!

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  • AN
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @ Abhi

    Yes you are right. It was a controversial case and let me say that all great man make mistakes. I certainly don’t support that they fought his case inspite of the fact that Raj Pal wrote a book. Ilm-ud-din was awarded death penalty still and his appeal was turned down. He committed murder intentionally.Same reason here.

    However, Salman Taseer was not guilty of any blasphemy. Criticizing the law is not blasphemy even by the law itself. So his murder was plain murder because of misunderstanding rather than any intentional blasphemy.

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