Thousands defy rally ban to celebrate Mumtaz Qadri

Published: March 1, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of religious hardliners defied a ban on demonstrations to rally on Wednesday in support of Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed on February 29 last year for assassinating Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

Qadri had been assigned as one of Taseer’s bodyguards after the governor enraged the religious right by calling for reforms to the country’s blasphemy laws. After his arrest, Qadri became a hero to many hardliners who looked favourably on his actions.

Govt bans rallies for Mumtaz Qadri

Despite increased security on Wednesday, which included police shutting down entire roads, people thronged to a shrine glorifying Qadri on the outskirts of Islamabad. As space at the site became limited, people climbed on top of fences and ramparts to get a view of the stage. The crowd chanted slogans exalting Qadri. Islamabad police confirmed that the crowd was somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

“The protests were peaceful and the crowd dispersed after the speakers were done,” a police official told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the Punjab government said protests would not be allowed to take place in the city due to a spate of bombings and attacks that have killed more than 130 people nationwide.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (7)

  • Parvez
    Mar 1, 2017 - 11:16PM

    This is a slap in the face for the administration and a clear sign of failure on the part of the government to control religious extremism..Recommend

  • very sad
    Mar 1, 2017 - 11:30PM

    All madrassa indoctrinated master debatorsRecommend

  • Rahul
    Mar 1, 2017 - 11:56PM

    Why is it illegal to celebrate Mumtaz Qadri? Recommend

  • ToThePoint
    Mar 2, 2017 - 12:30AM

    Qadri was punished and that is what counts. We don’t need to worry about these people anymore. Recommend

  • M.S.
    Mar 2, 2017 - 7:53AM

    This is the reason foreign players and teams don’t come to Pakistan. We celebrate deeds of murderers and criminals. Nobody knows when your protector will pull gun on you. Recommend

  • curious2
    Mar 2, 2017 - 7:57AM

    And you wonder why Pakistan has a terrible International reputation?Recommend

  • Lumdheeng
    Mar 2, 2017 - 8:07AM

    Pakistan is spinning out of control with religious hatred taking over,heading towards a dangerous trend.Recommend

More in Pakistan