Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan condemned Malik Mumtaz Qadri’s, the man who gunned down Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, reception as a hero on the premises of the Anti Terrorism Court, Rawalpindi.
“Extremism and radicalism have penetrated our society deeply,” he said, adding that it is especially harmful for youths.
While talking to The Express Tribune via phone, he said our society has become polarised. It is highly condemnable that everyone fulfills their wishes as they see fit, he said. “Elements like Qadri are under the impression that Islam is under threat and act accordingly,” he added.
“Salmaan Taseer never demanded that the blasphemy laws be repealed; rather he spoke against their misuse. He was gunned down because of the misperception that he is anti-Islamic and anti-blasphemy laws,” Imran Khan said
Anti-Islamic perceptions developed after the war on terror by USA, he said, adding that suicide attacks against the government occur because of polarisation in society which has fostered the thought that the government is working with the US and is anti-Islam.
He said tribal elders and ANP leaders, who announced their support for Pakistan, have also been blown-up in suicide attacks since they too were perceived as anti-Islam. Due to polarisation in society, people like Faisal Shahzad have attacked the US since they view America’s war on terror as a threat to Islam.
The government is perceived as a puppet being run by anti-Islamic forces, the PTI chief said. A credible government is essential in order to eradicate radicalisation and extremism. The government will stop being perceived as anti-Islamic if the war on terror would end, he added.
Qadri’s action has created fear in society, Khan said, adding that Qadri should have followed the law but since he did not, he should be treated like any other murderer.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2011.