An anti-terrorism court hearing the assassination case of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in Adial jail in Rawalpindi on Saturday recorded the statement of Shehryar Taseer, the son of the deceased governor.
Shehryar Taseer, who is also the complainant in the case, informed Special Judge ATC-II Zaffar Ali Shah that he had come to know about his father’s killing via the media.
He said he had not written the complaint but only signed it before it was filed at the Kohsar Police against Malik Mumtaz Qadri, who later confessed to have killed Taseer for criticising the blasphemy laws.
Also on Saturday, the lawyer representing the accused tried to raise questions about the character of the deceased while cross-examining Shehryar Taseer, an official close to the proceedings revealed.
The trial court also recorded statements of 10 prosecution witnesses.
During the previous hearing, a large number of Sunni Tehrik (ST) activists gathered outside the trial venue, shouted full-throated slogans in favour of the accused and displayed huge posters of the murderer, forcing the trial to be adjourned till July 2.
The influential 66-year-old former governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, died after being shot by one of his Elite Force bodyguards at Kohsar Market in Islamabad.
He was repeatedly shot at close range with a sub-machine gun.
The killer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, later surrendered before his colleagues, pleading them not to fire at him and later confessed he had killed Salman Taseer for ‘blasphemy’.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the assassination of Taseer, saying she “admired his work to promote tolerance and the education of Pakistan’s future generations” and that his death “is a great loss”.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2011.
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