Valentine gifts for Mumtaz Qadri

Students hand over flowers and cards to jail officials who said they would give them to Qadri.

Afp February 14, 2011

RAWALPINDI: Students brought Valentine's cards and flowers on Monday to the detained self-confessed killer of one of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer.

Supporters of Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri gathered outside the high-security prison in Rawalpindi, where he was to appear before an anti-terrorism court.

Outside Adiyala prison, about 140 people rallied in support of Qadri, joined by 10 students from a government college who turned up with posters, Valentine's cards and flowers.

"Celebrating Valentine's Day with Mumtaz Qadri," read one placard.

They handed over flowers and cards to jail officials who said they would give them to Qadri, as students from religious schools shouted "Free Qadri!".

"We admit it is not our tradition and it is wrong to celebrate Valentine's Day, but it is now widely celebrated and the media is full with Valentine's Day activities," student Hussain Ahmed, 22, told AFP at the jail.

"We love Qadri because he loves the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and that is why we have brought flowers and Valentine's Day cards for him," Ahmed said.

Qari Hanif Qureshi, a firebrand speaker and apparent inspiration for Qadri, also said Valentine's Day was not Muslim.

"It is wrong to celebrate it, but since these students have come to express their love and support for Qadri, we cannot turn them away," Qureshi told AFP.

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