The head of the Punjab Elite Force, Inspector Muhammad Aamir, who was responsible for providing security to former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, told the anti-terrorism court that he was unsure whether the governor had an altercation on the blasphemy laws with his self-confessed murderer before Mumtaz Qadri shot him on January 4.
Defence lawyers maintained that as the former governor came out of a restaurant in Kohsar Market, Islamabad, Qadri said to Taseer that it did not behove him to criticise the blasphemy laws. Taseer again criticised the laws which provoked Qadri to kill him.
The defence is trying to establish that sudden provocation by the former governor led Qadri to open fire at him to avoid the possibility of capital punishment.
Aamir said it was impossible to believe that Qadri had managed to depute himself as one of the elite guards for Taseer’s escort since members of the force are selected after intense scrutiny.
The inspector was the twelfth prosecution witness produced before Special Judge Pervaiz Ali Shah. The prosecution informed the trial court that they would only produce two more witnesses whereas they had earlier cited 42.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.