Murder case: Taseer’s assassin appeals death sentence

Published: October 7, 2011

Attorney maintains that he was ‘following Islam’ in his action. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, filed an appeal before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday challenging his death sentence.  The sentence was handed by Rawalpindi’s Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on October 1.

Making his case through Sharia

Making the state the respondent, Qadri’s attorneys maintained in the appeal that the ATC was not the relevant authority in the trial, arguing that the case should have been heard in the Federal Shariat Court. They pleaded that Qadri’s case didn’t fall under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (the section under which he was convicted), as he had killed ‘a blasphemer while following the teaching of Islam’.

The appeal states that under section 6 of the Anti Terrorism Act, Qadri was not guilty of committing terrorism, as the murder of Taseer did not amount to ‘terror’, adding that the trial court had ignored Islamic jurisprudence laws.

“The decision of the ATC is illegal and the elements of terrorism as defined in section 6 of the Anti Terrorism Act are completely lacking in the present case,’’ maintained his lawyers.

The lawyers added in the appeal that ATC judge announced the death sentence without hearing the point of view of the defendant, which is also against the law.

Citing his supporters

Qadri’s lawyers further contended that there was no evidence on record to show that any panic or sense of insecurity was created among the public at the time of his murder which could help define the act as terrorism – instead, people ‘heaved a sigh of relief after the killing of the blasphemer’.

Chief Justice IHC Iqbal Hameedur Rehman accepted the appeal and fixed the date for argument on October 11. The Divisional Bench of the IHC will most likely hear the case.

Over dozens of Sunni Ittehad Council activists and Qadri supporters gathered in front of the IHC and raised slogans in favour of the self-proclaimed murderer. The demonstrators also raised slogans against Judge Syed Pervez Shah for awarding him the death sentence.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (74)

  • Omair Shakil
    Oct 6, 2011 - 3:56PM

    Didn’t he want to die and end up in heaven? I guess he reconsidered his priorities.

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  • xOYA
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:05PM

    The judge the President of Paksitan should just hang this Murderer quickly before there are protests & strikes for this mad manRecommend

  • Homer Haqqani
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:14PM

    and poor folks on street kept thinking that His holiness Qadri sahab wanted shahadat, as he had done such a noble deed. :) sweet, isnt it ?

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 4:19PM

    A man who went beyond every law, justice, shariaah, deen o emaan and courts is begging for his life, from the very same courts whom he has spitted and insulted…whatever the courts of states decide abt his fate…surely Allah and Rasool (PBUH) would curse this filthy animal…my request to all the courts is that, not only he should be hanged till death, all of his jaahil leaders who trained this animal should also be charged with the same crime….

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  • A.Khan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:22PM

    Now he has woken up from his dream in which killing human could possibly be the key to heaven. This case could be a lesson for those who think after they perform.

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  • Arifa Batool
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:26PM

    He got death sentence for a murder, where as Raymond Davis is still enjoying his vacations in USA after killing 2 innocent Pakistani civilians.
    PS: I am NOT in favour of what Mumtaz Qadri did and my comment DOES NOT implies that I am against court’s decision. A murderer should be punished.

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  • Ali
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:26PM

    Why are you not getting reward of a noble action abruptly? Why are you delaying man??? If you think your action was justified and right you are eligible of heaven can’t understand why are you delaying??? Go man go and get reward, why you are in doubt now????

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  • mohammad iqbal
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:30PM

    qadri deserves a hearing. May be he has realized having committed mistake in a rush of blood.

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  • sashayub
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:31PM

    hang qadri at the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, right outside the LHC building….it is necessary the country make an example out of him…..Recommend

  • Nauman Ghauri
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:32PM

    NO!
    Rather he is proving his point, which is not totally wrong.
    People having faith in enlightened moderation would jump off their seats and call him a wrongdoer if he gets hanged.
    I AM WITH QADRI!
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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 4:35PM

    Fight for your life, Qadri. The hoors can wait.

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  • Sag-e-Raza
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:49PM

    @xOYA:
    The law of Pakistan gives him right to appeal against the decision. It is illegal to hang him without court decision.
    Mumtaz Qadri did not kill salman taseer for his own sake. He has no personal hostility with salman. He only wants the consent of Allah and Prophet. We want to save him because he is our hero.Recommend

  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:52PM

    I don’t think this decision has been made by Qadri by himself. My surmise is that his admirers and followers, out of their emotional attachment to him, have persuaded him forcefully to appeal the death sentence.
    A rare and sadistic punishment like the death sentence cannot be awarded at mere whims and all the legal hurdles have to be successfully crossed. I’d say, let the law take its own course.
    Meanwhile, as a humanist, I am appalled to see how apparently liberal people have joined the shrill chorus of demanding another human being’s life. Where is the element of mercy, the milk of human kindness in their soul? Are these the paragons of liberalism and non-violence? No fellow human’s death should call for celebration.

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  • Salman
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Lot of innocent women and children are still in the jails.But why only Asia got Taseer’s attention.He made a last mistake of his life to gain some internal and external political gains..

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  • anonymous tip
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:53PM

    Murder is Murder. We all are entitled to our own opinion. That does not mean we go killing others. He should be punished

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  • asad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:01PM

    “qadri deserves a hearing. May be he has realized having committed mistake in a rush of blood”
    there s a reason why anger is haram in islam …perhaps he missed that lesson

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  • goggi
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:02PM

    *Mullah and the torch-bearer, both from the same flock;
    Guiding others, themselves in the dark
    *
    !!!

    Whoever kills or harms a living soul, even in thoughts; be it human or animal, is obssessed from Satanic energies. My country is full of potential Qadris, because the Bloodlust to kill is part of the state religion, either so or so. Recommend

  • Javed
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:07PM

    @mohammad iqbal: It was no rush of blood. He had planned the killing and had informed some of his colleagues as well not to open fire on him when he kills ST. This was his personal statement supported by other security men as well. His lawyers later changed the story to delay his flight to heavens.

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 5:11PM

    Their should be a deal of blood money just like Ramon Davis.

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  • faraz
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:12PM

    @Sag-e-Raza

    Suicide bombers also don’t kill for their own sake. Quran has not prescribed any punishment for blasphemy, but has declared murder a major sin which should be punishable by death. Criticism of man-made blasphemy law does not amount to blasphemy. Use your own mind; don’t rely on mullahs.

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  • HammerHead
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:12PM

    How quickly he has distanced himself from all the glory of attaining shahadat, , promise of heaven, not to forget 72 hoors and proudly meeting his Maker. Just comes to show he is a rotten piece of human being. You have done the crime, Now do the Time and that to in the Gods Kingdom. it’s always easy to kill some one in the name of religion till it’s your turn. Recommend

  • Mudy
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:12PM

    @Sag-e-Raza: That argument goes in favour of TTP, too. In their view, they want to please Allah and Prophet only. They have no personal hostility against the children and women and civilians that they kill. Are their actions justified and legal?

    And this argument also goes for Khawarij when they decided to kill Hazrat Ali. They had no personal enmity with Hazrat Ali. They just wanted peace and decided to kill Hazrat Ali and Abu Mauwia. Was their act justified and legal?

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  • John B
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Prediction: his appeal will be rejected. If the appeal is accepted, the PAK court will look weak.

    His lawyer will appeal for presidential clemency. All right wing parties will protest, disrupt the governance of PAK years from now.

    No political party can shy away from the clemency, if they want to win the election. So, intimately he will be free and lawyers will be throwing rose petals on his release from jail.

    He will become an icon for rightwing parties.

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  • ehsan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @Sag-e-Raza:
    He did kill a person, remember what the Prophet said about killing one innocent human is like killing all mankind. also the Prophet did say that we should turn a blind eye on blasphemy and let God be the better judge of them

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  • faraz
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:15PM

    @Arifa Batool

    Raymond gave 20 crore in Diyat. I am against the concept of blood money.

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  • Justice
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:18PM

    Murder is murder.. and eye for an eye… no one is above the law!.. I hope that he’s made an example for others who attempt to sway the scales of justice with their extremist ideologies..

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  • Salman
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:25PM

    Good that he has appealed against the decision. Hopefully High Court and later SC will keep the same sentence and ultimately he will be hanged which will be a perfect slap for his sympathizers that no law,court, constitution allows such a horrendous act in the name of religion and you won’t be getting any support any where.Recommend

  • sajidiqbal
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:31PM

    Blasphemy law is a black law in Pakistan. People get the advantage and kill their enemies. This law has no connection with Holy Quran teachings. The Holy Quran does not allow
    anyone to kill or punish other person for this reason. May God shows them the right path.

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  • Samina Tahir
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:32PM

    @mohammad iqbal: Hahahhaaa…. RUSH OF BLOOD … and he said himself that he took time to think about wat he WANTS TO DO and he CONSULTED people as wel….

    Rush of a blood would have been an instant decision and i am sorry but i think he should be SENT TO HEAVEN FOR THE NOBEL DEED.

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  • Durrani
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:37PM

    @Sag-e-Raza
    Dont save em..let him go to the heaven :PRecommend

  • Wellwisher
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:42PM

    ZAB was hanged in record time Let us see how long it takes for this man to be hanged.

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  • Shamy
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:48PM

    can we please get rid of him…like fast ?

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  • Mj
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:52PM

    @Sag-e-Raza & Nauman Ghauri:
    Will you be ecstatic if some ‘mard-e-momin’ accuses your family member of ‘blasphemy’ and promptly murders him?

    Blind faith is a curse on this nation, much worse than illiteracy and poverty. God, and his prophet, is in no need of protection by wretched fanatics.

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  • Omair Shakil
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:52PM

    @ Sag-e-Raza: The law of Pakistan also considers every man’s life sacred and every man innocent unless proven guilty. Did Mumtaz Qadri give Salman Taseer the opportunity to explain his statements or defend himself in court? If he denied Salman Taseer his right to a trial under the constitution, and gunned him down just because he wanted to, why should Mumtaz Qadri be given all those rights?

    Don’t do to others what you would not like to be done to you.

    Shame on Mumtaz Qadri and all those hypocrites who support him and his murderous ways.

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  • Ahmad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:59PM

    If Qadri thinks he did the right thing then why is he scared of death? why he is going into appeal. He is an emotional coward. When people talk about Raymond Davis that why he is free – he paid blood money to the family of the victims. If Taseer’s family agree on blood money then Qadri can go free. Simple as that. Qadri has gone against the the teaching of Islam i.e. Quran and Sunnah and he should be punished for that. Our so-called religious parties are expecting political gains over the Qadri issue. Why they never protest over corruption? why they never protest against killing of Christians?

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:01PM

    The best scenario at this moment will be to let Qadri ADMIT that he was wrong. This will be a psychological blow to religious parties. Throw him the lifeline IF he admits that he was brainwashed by the useless mulla brigade. If not hang him and make him an example.

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  • P
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:02PM

    Why Abolish death penalty and not hang Qadri – the killer of Governor Taseer? Here is a reason: http://nblo.gs/o0BDT

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  • Imran
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:05PM

    @Nauman Ghauri:
    @Sag-e-Raza:
    What kind of messages ET is propagating? No editorial discretion?

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  • goggi
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:10PM

    With his appeal to vegetate further in this world as a cold-blooded murderer rather blissfully departing towards his Heaven, he and his associates have exposed their satanic characters. If they were 100% sure of their Heaven, then he/they would be instead celebrating a wonderful festival all over the country.

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  • Niaz Hussain Shah
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:13PM

    First of all Qadri should study QUR’AN with meanings. He is a brutal killer.

    Qur’an says: KILLING ONE HUMAN BEING IS LIKE KILLING WHOLE OF HUMANITY.

    Those so called mullas supporting him should consult Quran & Hadith first. Qadri was paid to protect Salman Taseer and it was his duty to lay down his life to save Governor. But to get the cheap popularity he killed Salman Taseer.

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  • Asad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:18PM

    Actually the ATC is meant to pass sentences on terrorists only and terrorists are those who indiscriminately kill ordinary People (members of the public). so by definition Qadri is NOT a terrorist…he did not target ordinary people. Qadri killed Taseer due to the latter’s opposition of the blasphemy law. So this is more like a murder done as a result of enmity or grudge. So Qadri should have been tried at an ordinary criminal court and NOT the ATC. From a legal perspective the verdict of the ATC is null and void as this case does not fall under the remit of ATC. Qadri should be tried afresh again at an ordinary criminal court.

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  • ahmed
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:18PM

    Salam.why qadri does not want go heaven.he should not appeal agaist death sentence.ha ha ha

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  • Asad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:31PM

    @DiggVijay Singh

    wonderful words!! and absolutely true!! You have exposed all the so called ‘humanists’ and ‘liberals’ commenting here. They have the same violent ethos and mentality; its just that they want violence to promote secularism.

    As I keep on saying in Pakistan, the problem is not Islam, but lack of an understanding of Islam both by the religious parties and by the secular folk commenting here.

    If people correctly understand Islam and follow it correctly, then this violence will greatly reduce.Recommend

  • Asad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:41PM

    @ Niaz Husain Shah

    The verse of the Glorious QURAN which you quote is incomplete; here is the complete verse:

    “Killing a humanbeing, Unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the Land, is like killing the entire humanity”.

    So if a person is spreading mischief in the land or is a killer of an innocent person, then their murder is not like the murder of the entire humanity. Blasphemers spread great mischief in the land by hurting the sentiments of the vast majority. From Qadri’s perspective Taseer was spreading mischief by trying to repeal the blasphemy law and siding with a blasphemer.

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  • sri
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:51PM

    @P, the little piece that you so eloquently put is nothing but a piece of **….show this nut case and his likes no mercy…

    @sick of this nonsense, i agree…But, how many people really see it as you are seeing it…. mullahs are going to create another conspiracy out of it declare it as a triumph of their sick ideology Recommend

  • M
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:57PM

    Yo Qadri! Why fight for life on this lousy planet when 72 virgins are eagerly waiting for you in heaven?

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  • Khan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:58PM

    You killed a Muslim, our Prophet did not teach this. Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:01PM

    ET, please amend your heading to ‘Qadri appeals against death sentence’. Such mistakes are unacceptable from a prominent english daily like yours.

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  • Ali
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:07PM

    Oh, somebody is afraid of dying but not killing.

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  • Brasstacks
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:13PM

    @Arifa Batool:
    I will say wrapped thinking. Tell me exactly why these 2 “innocent” people were shot dead by Raymond Davis ?

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  • Noman
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:15PM

    I believe that he should totally be hanged. Taking the life of someone else is totally prohibited, not only in Islam but in all religions. Its a heinous crime. The perils Pakistan will face if he is hanged is that there will be mayhem all over the country by the mullahs! What will be do about that?

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  • Brasstacks
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:21PM

    @Khan:
    You killed a Muslim, our Prophet did not teach this. I am slightly confused. Please tell me if killing a non Muslim was taught ?

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  • Hussain
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:28PM

    Now he doesn’t Wana go in jannat what a shame looser.hang him .Recommend

  • Faction
    Oct 6, 2011 - 8:20PM

    @Asad: “If people correctly understand Islam and follow it correctly, then this violence will greatly reduce.” Please, Asad, enlighten me. Was Qadri correctly following and understanding Islam when he shot Taseer? Are the people who take Shiites off a bus and execute them understanding and following Islam correctly? Are the people who murder Ahmadis for being Ahmadis understanding and following Islam correctly? Are the people who blow themselves and others up at Sufi shrines understanding and following Islam correctly? Are the people who fly planes into buildings murdering thousands understanding and following Islam correctly? Very interested in your perspective.

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  • J.Nazar
    Oct 6, 2011 - 8:23PM

    Am in SouthEast Asian region and there`s coverage of this event in all news channels. This apart, even the business channels like CNBC, Bloomberg are showing business news like this.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-04/pakistan-terrorists-no-sales-bar-as-unilever-converges-with-nestle-retail.html

    Our image is taking a beating & infact, these kinds of broadcast will create a very strong bad impression in the hearts and minds of people around the world. We must do something urgently or the people will consider us as militantish. This is my genuine concern.

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  • Lady Gaga
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Cant do the time – don’t commit the crime

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 9:39PM

    @Sag-e-Raza:
    seriously how can you ask for forgiving a killer, a fanatic? saving him will be killing humanity.

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 9:40PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied … and as they say “justice should be done, though the heavens may fall”. this fanatic beast should be eliminated sooner possible and his colleagues put behind bars..

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  • HammerHead
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:54PM

    Quadri betrayed his trust and murdered the person he swore to protect. I was wondering when he goes up to his Maker Kingdom. Will the God, His Angels and the Hoor trust him with a gun?? Dosent sound like he may qualify for the trip.

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  • Cycloneous
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:55PM

    I agree with most of the sentiments, this man needs to be punished accordingly based on the laws of Pakistan.

    If he has a sudden change of heart, and sees that he is wrong, than he should openly admit it in a public forum and receive his punishment. Like some one said, saying that he is wrong and was wrong in killing a human being because of being incited would be a blow to those that incite this nonsense.

    My question is this, and I’m just an outsider looking in, so forgive me if this comes out ignorantly, but what is the perception of the governor murdered? Was he a well-liked? Was he corrupt? What was the reason he gave to killing? Would you say the reason for him killing was cultural or religious?

    I only ask these questions because we are given one story here in the U.S., so I’d like to know more, if you guys know more. Thanks in advance!

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  • BruteForce
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:07PM

    I can see this becoming a big thing in Pakistan. Now, that the Religious parties have taken the issue up, TTP, LeJ and other Terrorists are not far.

    Imagine if one of the agendas for TTP is-”Release Qadri”!.Recommend

  • Oct 6, 2011 - 10:19PM

    What? Hes appealed his death sentence? I thought he was all about meeting his maker as quickly as possible?

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  • Doctor
    Oct 6, 2011 - 11:25PM

    What a coward and liar. This exposes how hypocritical all these holier than thou Mullah types are. They talk about how they are so brave but in the face of death for committing crimes, they are unable to face it.

    If Qadri will make, sign, and go on TV to say “I was wrong. The Blasphemy Law should be appealed. Islam does not allow any murder. I apologize deeply to the family of Mr. Taseer and the people of Pakistan for my unacceptable and inexcusable crime. Terrorism and violence in the name of religion is and has always been wrong. Please give me mercy”, then offer him life in prison with no ability to be paroled or let out. If not, have him executed in private, and bury him at sea like they did with OBL so there is no memorial to this awful man.

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 11:34PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied … and as they say “justice should be done, though the heavens may fall”. this fanatic beast should be eliminated sooner possible and his colleagues put behind bars

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  • Realist.
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:37AM

    Someone Said a BRILLIANT Line.

    ‘Ghaazi Saahab Shahadat se Darr gaye’ :P

    (Ghazi means a champion/Warrior, Simple words – Warrior scared of getting Martyred :P )

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  • pragmatist
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:42AM

    @DiggVijay Singh
    I understand your humanism. But unfortunately our society needs a deterrent against any repetition of such actions.

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  • Aftb Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:41AM

    What a great country we are living in whose own people are “Confused” about their religion. Different colored turbans, disagreement on the size of beard and behind whom one showed say his prayers. Just imagine, Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs are their collective prey. State and judiciary is helpless Recommend

  • xOYA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:24AM

    @Sag-e-Raza:
    what hero are u talking about here ?? does God want us not to redpect non muslims rites ??
    does Allah wants us to murder people ???
    what religion & way of God are U & this Qadri Following ???
    first know Allah & his teachings then make ur decision.

    Allah has said respect all & their rites .
    love ur neighbour too .
    Murder is a SIN

    Wake upRecommend

  • xOYA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:25AM

    @mohammad iqbal:
    Killing someone in cold bloood is not a mistake . hang him so that no one does this againRecommend

  • xOYA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:27AM

    @sajidiqbal:
    true ameeenRecommend

  • Shiraz Hassan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:29AM

    “This decision is illegal and baseless…” Qadri’s lawyer

    Yes.. and Killing a person is pretty much legal and justified. !!! Wah mufti sahib wah!

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  • xOYA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:32AM

    Qadri why dont u just blow ur self up ul get ur 70 Hoorsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    so save us all the trouble of facing traffic jams caused by rallies for you .

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  • Junaid Naseer Faroqui
    Oct 7, 2011 - 2:19PM

    A delay in justice is injustice itself… He has clearly confessed twice during hearing in ATC and hence there has been an obvious conviction. He murdered a statesman it was a brutal assassination. What the hell is he appealing for? to let him live and create more insane people like him.

    The theocracy and fundamentalism have almost ruined us!

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  • BAQ
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:43AM

    @ahmed:
    Everyone complains about leadership of this country but only one took charge.Recommend

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