Taseer funeral prayer leader forced to flee from Pakistan

Published: August 19, 2011
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (4L) and his party ministers offer prayer for the funeral of late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in Lahore on January 5, 2011. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (4L) and his party ministers offer prayer for the funeral of late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in Lahore on January 5, 2011. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

LAHORE: The cleric who led the funeral prayers for the late Governor Punjab, Salmaan Taseer has been forced to flee the country following threats.

According to a report by the Press Trust of India, Muhammad Afzal Chishti, the secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Ulema wing, had left the country after having received numerous threats against his life.

The report, quoting sources close to Chisti said that he had recently moved to an undisclosed location abroad after spending much of the past seven months in hiding since leading the funeral prayers.

In a related development, Chishti’s son Moin Chishti had filed an application with the Punjab Police chief, requesting him to provide security to the cleric’s family living in Lahore.

“Although my father has left Pakistan for abroad as there were threats to his life from different hardline religious groups, the other members of my family have received fresh threats,” Moin said.

The religious community had almost unanimously refused to lead prayers of the former governor after Taseer had shown support to a blasphemy convict. Taseer was then killed for his voiced opinions against existing blasphemy laws. Despite immense pressure from the religious community, Chisti led the prayers for Taseer, who was also a senior PPP member.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • S Khan
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Is their writ of Govt in existence in Punjab or this lies with extremist


  • R.Khan
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:38PM

    Insanity prevails in abudance in Pakistan!


  • Aug 19, 2011 - 7:41PM

    Pakistanis kill their saints.


  • saeed
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:08PM

    Can we have a law in our constitution to BAN these jali and fake MULLAHS from using islam as there tool of making pressure groups and earnings….They were never elected by pakistanis in elections so this is the prrof that majority dont want these phony mullahs..hang themm..hang corrupt polititians…hang these fake mullahs and 90 percent of pakistan will be in peace..I bet you do that and then see..But who will do that…..Recommend

  • Yasir
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:13PM

    No life threats. He just wanted to go abroad


  • Aug 19, 2011 - 8:16PM

    Let the Allah´s writ prevail at least in land of the pure
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM
    –Kulamarva BalakrishnaRecommend

  • Sheraz
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:24PM

    The Religious Mafia has such a grip on the society that one one dare to challenge them or speak up against them. That is why religion should never be part of the state but a personal matter, historically the Ullamahs who now take claim to Pakistan as the “Islamic” republic are the one who opposed Quaid a Azam and his vision of Pakistan …. Alas we have almost lost the vision of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Dodo
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:30PM

    Can we have separate Mosque and State please?


  • Aug 19, 2011 - 8:31PM

    This is the reason why the world do not have any sympathy on Pakistan. Now, the problem of floods have surfaced again, no country come forward to extend humanitarian assistance as everybody feel there are only few human beings left in Pakistan. The Government has done nothing for the last ten years to educate the people about the dangers of religious fundamentalism.


  • Aug 19, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Why does the Express Tribune print this without bothering to confirm the PTI report?


  • Mohammad naeem
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:35PM

    What lesson these mullahs follow, not of our Prophet who always treated minorities wid respect and let them live in harmoney, not quaids vision of equality, not even humanity to let one live his own life acording to his beliefs..!!

  • nobody
    Aug 19, 2011 - 9:32PM

    well if he did commit blasphemy then there is no doubt that he doesn’t deserve an Islamic funeral (more specifically namaz-e-jinaza) but the questions remain the same..

    1.Is the law man-made and debatable or is it divinely decreed?
    if it is man-made then
    2.Did he commit blasphemy or not by condemning it?
    If he didn’t then there is no case against him but assuming he did
    3.Does Islam support vigilantism or should the accused be given a chance to clarify himself infront of a judge?


  • T.A. Qayyum
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:28PM

    @nobody: Salman Taseer did not say anything against the Rasul Allah ( PBUH), he had only commented the Blasphemy Law which was being used against the minorities and that it should be amended. That’s all, he didn’t deserve to be killed and the murderer is not a Ghazi but a killer who should be hanged.


  • M M Malik
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:38PM

    Blasphemy has no worldly punishment in Islam. The mulla’s have just created this to secure and extend their bread and butter.
    Allah has promised a punishment for the blasphemers in the hereafter.


  • Salman
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:51PM

    If you want to see the real face of the mullah brigade just search on youtube with these keywords: Real Face of Dr.Amir Liaquat.And think if this country is destined for destruction or not.


  • My Name is Khan
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Where our are favorite ultra-extremist commenters like Frank, Ali, TolachiMom? Where is Imran Khan and his Ghariat brigade? Where is Zaid Hamid? All these people are haters and bigots who wish to see Pakistan be cleansed of everyone who is not a Salafi-Wahabi beard growing mullah.

    I am sick and tired of these people ruining Pakistan. I chose to live outside of my home because it is not safe for my family. Soon, all the good people will be run out and all the mullahs and terrorists will be left to blow each other up.


  • Mirza
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:04AM

    These terrorist mullahs are eating Pakistan like the worst cancer. Unless they are controlled, the rot would continue. Mullahs have no business running banks, mills, computers, IT, and other fields. Then why are they allowed to run the policies of the country? Let us stand up against them before they eliminate us. Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:27AM

    Those who are surprised please raise their hands (oh, I already see some raising their hands- Dr Salim Siddiqi, Maria, Frank…..)


  • Roflcopter
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:10AM

    First this fake mullah leads funeral prayers and then the dramaybaz runs to UK.Recommend

  • faraz
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:45AM

    So its blasphemy if a person offers the funeral prayers of a person who said that Blasphemy law is being abused. And those who are threatening this prayer leader are not the one considered as extremists, but they are in fact a victim of suicide bombings!


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 20, 2011 - 9:00AM

    What a religion in which it has such a high level of tolerance that even law enforcement agencies including Judiciary is helpless to punish these elements. On the other hand our channels are only interested in their ratings. Strangely, Islam is also being used in different advertisements of eatables, cooking oils, haram and halal injections etc etc etc……I have been in foreign land for more than 14 years but never saw anyone moving around with different colored turbans on their heads for a particular identity. During my services I had friends from almost all African and Arab countries. Their Islam and Pakistani Islam is not the same. Can anyone stand up and explain the wast difference between 57 Muslim countries and our Pakistan ?????


  • Aug 21, 2011 - 12:24PM

    The spread of terror through the use of clandestine foes and force has become the order. One can now easily gauge the direction we are headed. Salams to a mis-directed rural people begotten by the maulvis.


  • Aug 21, 2011 - 1:42PM

    For all those,opposing Mullahs and clerics,in the salman taseer case..
    If you people have the courage ,then come out on roads.
    Salman taseer showed that courage and got the result.
    Liberals have no space in Pakistan.they can just keep dreaming.


  • FN
    Aug 22, 2011 - 7:39AM
  • Aug 26, 2011 - 2:21PM

    Why is Salman Taseer being Projected as a hero which he clearly isnot ?? I ASK WHAT Has he done for Pakistan . Eshrat Ul Ebad has done more for Pakistan in a year then Taseer all his life .


  • KolachiMom
    Aug 26, 2011 - 2:29PM

    @My Name is Khan: Do you mean me? KolachiMom? Please! I am a minority and I don’t support extremists AT ALL. Maybe you’re mistaking me for someone else? I’m on your side dude… Can’t wait to leave for the sake of my children’s future.


  • Chacha
    Aug 26, 2011 - 7:09PM

    @Dodo: No you cannot have a seperate Mosque and State. Pakistan is an Islamic state not a secular one – this is the basis of the two nation theory. It is a different matter that there are so many holes in that theory (Bangladesh being the biggest, your comment being a smaller hole in the theory) but this is what the people of Pakistan asked for.


  • Biryani Qorma Sheermal
    Aug 27, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Lol @ “Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Ulema wing,” Did not know that ulemas also had a place in PPP. Maybe these ulemas should knock some sense into the non-ulema faction of the PPP.


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