Violent obscurantism: Qadri confesses to Taseer murder in court

Published: September 18, 2011
Qadri claims that he lost his temper and shot the governor in anger. PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE

Qadri claims that he lost his temper and shot the governor in anger. PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE


Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, appeared as defiant as ever about his alleged crime and admitted in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court to having killed the governor for his views on the blasphemy law.

In his first statement before the court, Qadri recorded his confession in front of Special Judge Pervaiz Ali Shah, of the Anti-Terrorism Court II in Rawalpindi. However, while the statement did not attempt to deny the murder, Qadri did appear to conform to his lawyers’ strategy of trying to avoid the death penalty by claiming that he was ‘provoked’.

Qadri, a constable in the Punjab Police and a member of its Elite Force, tried to justify his murder of the governor by stating that he had killed him for supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman whom Taseer had believed had been wrongly convicted of committing blasphemy.

According to Qadri’s statement, he had approached the governor on the evening of January 4 and tried to talk to him about Taseer’s very public support for Aasia Bibi and his advocacy of reform – not repeal – of the blasphemy laws.

After what Qadri claims was a brief verbal altercation, during which Taseer refused to back down from his stance, Qadri claims that he lost his temper and shot the governor in anger.

This story about Qadri actually speaking to his victim was not revealed in any of the initial investigations and was only brought forth by his defence attorneys during a hearing on July 23. Qadri had shot the governor at close range, firing, by some accounts, at least two dozen rounds into Taseer’s body.

The tone of Qadri’s statement suggested that he felt that the governor’s actions were outrageous enough for him to be killed.

Far from showing any remorse, Qadri launched into a sermon-like diatribe against the governor, attempting to justify his actions by quoting passages from the Holy Quran, the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as well as precedents in Islamic law.

Shujaur Rahman, one of Qadri’s lawyers, meanwhile, tried to smear the late governor’s personal character in a manner that was so disturbing as to prompt the judge and the prosecution lawyers to ask how such ad hominem attacks on the governor’s private life were relevant to the case.

“He was a governor, a public office holder. He should not have acted like that and expressed views against the public sentiment,” said Rahman, apparently feeling he had adequately justified his actions.

Qadri’s trial is currently being conducted in Adiala Jail for security reasons.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (26)

    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:19PM

    A country whose Army’s official slogan is “Jihaad” fi sabilillah . . .

    A country where frrom class 1 to university you have this “Good Muslim” evil world brainwashing and every opponent is a “deserve to be killed” kafir and a country in whose school books people like Mahmud Ghaznavi (who butchered innocent Hinduz in thousand and thousands) are heroz and the name of missiles are people of such “character”

    I am not surprised that Mr. Qadri considers himself a “hero” too. Humanity or Equality has no space in this country ever since the Mullah Military Alliance changed the country’s name from “Republic” to “Islamic Republic” in 1956.Recommend

    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:22PM

    ” Far from showing any remorse, Qadri launched into a sermon-like diatribe against the governor, attempting to justify his actions by quoting passages from the Holy Quran, the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as well as precedents in Islamic law “

    Islam not spread through sword ? This is as funny as anything else. The fact is apart from the time during which the holy Prophet PBUH was himself present Islam not only spread by sword by by all means available. If in 2011 we have a proof of this what would have been happening centuries ago, GOD knows


  • slider
    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Hope Qadri gets the life sentence for this – would be the true victory for the forward thinking, tolerant Pakistani.


  • ML
    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:31PM

    seriously? protecting the rights of minorities is un-Islamic. in the entire life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) he tried adamantly to make peace with all the non-Muslims (Christians, Jews etc) in the Arabian Peninsula and this is what his so-called followers have adopted into their lives? such a shame. goes further to prove how ignorant about the true Islam these religious fanatics are.


  • Ahmee
    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:36PM

    Justice should be served, Qadri did what he thought was right and he admits it so now it is time to serve the justice. He should be hanged.

    The Late Taseer though should had been more cautious being a public figure using remarks against public sentiments. Though to me no man made constitution, law, regulation is a HOLY statement/Law.

    Public sentiments though should be based on true Islamic teachings rather than today’s TV and Anchor based Islam. Its high time that religious scholars realize their duty and stop provoking guys for intolerance rather they should create and environment of tolerance and should spread a message of peace and harmony, There is a lot of lame and ill will going on in the society they should concentrate on guiding people in that regard. No One is a Non-Muslim it is ALLAH who holds this judgement and life is for ALLAH to give and take.


    Sep 18, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Here we go. This dude was released by Courts few weeks back and now he is returning the favor by spreading venom :


  • Straight Fire
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:05PM

    It is a normal thing to get overpowered by emotions and ‘do wrong’ … similar to how morally corrupt people used to ‘do wrong’ when they perform LBW (Love Before Wedding) …

    Now, so many diseased men/women try to justify one wrong while denying the other. I’m justifying either both or none, its up-to the intellect of the reader as what he perceives


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:11PM

    This seems to be a wake-up call specially for the minorities and people with balanced approach towards religion and excuse for murder. The plea now being taken in this case and giving it a religious dimension with quotes from the Holy Book and other sources now throws a very big challenge both for the courts and the country as a whole. I personally feel that there must be no excuse to murder anyone on religious basis or any beliefs whatsoever. If this goes on then every fifth person in our country will be liable to be slaughtered simply having different opinion.


  • Javed Shah
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Qadri lacks basic intellect and common sense, so does his lawyer and all his supporters. They are Religious fanatics who would kill anyone who disagrees with them. He deserves death sentence and I am surprised as to what is stopping respected judge to give his verdict since he claimed responsibility from day one.


  • zepnopepno
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:10PM

    God is Just. Qadri is disgusting.


  • Abdullah
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:11PM

    Unless Islamic State is established in Pakistan these sort of events would continue. The public need assurance that the state will act to protect their interest including the values and belief.

    Qadri took law into his own hand which is wrong but in a situation where there is no law or what exist is to support the rich and poor.


  • mfhussain
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:11PM

    the courts will give no justice.Recommend

  • Seher
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:35PM

    First off all i would like to thanks the author for penning this issue. I read this article twice and i am surprised that why Qadri is finding ways to escape the “martyrdom” for which he has “murdered” a supreme position holder official of Pakistan.If he is so afraid of death that he is changing his statements off and on then he shouldn’t have adopted this path by killing a someone. If he is bold enough to kill someone, then he should also be bold enough to face death, instead of changing his statements and trying to prove guilty a person who is no more in this world anymore.

    So, Qadri…face death instead of denouncing Taseer (late), face the reality that you are NOT a hero, but only a MURDERER of voice of the poor.

    God bless you

    R.I.P Taseer(Late)


  • Sep 18, 2011 - 2:50PM

    Hang this guy publicly and reform / remove the blashpemy law altogether from Pakistan’s system. That is the only way to pay back the sacrifice of the martyr Salman Taseer!


  • Imad
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:54PM

    It took the court less than a month to announce the verdict in the Ranger’s case while in this case in the presence of all available evidence its taking them ages,Bravo CJ…..


  • Was A Pakistani
    Sep 18, 2011 - 3:14PM

    Worst part is not these lunatic lecturing it is the silent acceptance of his message by middle class pakistanis!


  • Fahd
    Sep 18, 2011 - 3:22PM

    This trial could be a unique opportunity to bring various religious scholars together in an attempt to debate and discuss whether killing someone is justified or not. It might save hundreds of more people to take the law in their own hands and also provide some much needed clarity of thought in the masses.


  • Faction
    Sep 18, 2011 - 6:05PM

    Muslim religious moderates remind me of the Palestinians with respect to refuting the extremist theology used to support this type of bloodshed: they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


  • Umer Farooq
    Sep 18, 2011 - 7:37PM

    Before Commenting on Qadri’s Counsel, you should keep in mind that Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah also appeared in court for Ghazi Ilm ud Din(Shaheed), Ghazi also admitted the Murder then why Mr. Jinnah went there and also met Ghazi Ilm ud Din, why Mr Jinnah said to Ghazi to give a slight change in his statement, while knowing that Ghazi has done the murder why Mr Jinnah said that i will put my all efforts for you. rule of law was also present at that time. Do you people think that Mr Jinnah was not a just and loyal leader.


  • A Rehman
    Sep 18, 2011 - 10:51PM

    There are plenty of lowlife thugs roaming the streets in every city of the world, breaking the laws of the country, of humanity, and of common sense. This man is a criminal, like them. Further, he betrayed both the uniform he wore and the trust reposed in him, like the proverbial dog which bites the hand that feeds it.

    Every guilty man tries to wriggle away from the truth – he is trying to justify his murderous betrayal in the most shameful manner by blaming GOD for his crime! What a disgrace to himself, his family, his profession – and to us as a nation if this psychopath does not get the maximum penalty for his crime.


  • antanu
    Sep 19, 2011 - 1:12AM

    while criticizing the blasphemy law, there is not even a single voice demanding that people should avoid blaspheming the prophet.should there nt be an agreement over not hurting the sentiments of people or community?


  • basharit
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:21AM

    The non muslims that disagree with Ghazi Mumtaz Qadri i have no problems with but to the muslims you should be ashamed of yourself. Do you have more of a vision than mohammad ali jinnah? NO you dont! Tasser deserved death but by the courts under the exact law that he was talking so loosely about. However do you really think the elite class are going to arrest never mind hang one of there own i think NOT. So qadri did what the goverment should have done.


  • Mirza
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:40AM

    The reception terrorist Qadri got from ordinary citizens to the lawyers is a proof of degeneration of society. Now the courts and media are giving him and his sermon the coverage mullahs want. This guy should not be allowed to preach is convoluted religion which is far from our prophet’s teachings. As the time goes by most liberals would realize how big a favor has the US done by killing OBL and dumping him in the wilderness where he belongs. He was denied the opportunity to address the world and behave like a martyr. Qadri is a small pawn and his reception and love for speeches is nothing compared to OBL who dreamed to be a world leader. Instead of a hero, OBL was proved to be a little coward who was eliminated without any fight.


  • minhas
    Oct 1, 2011 - 8:35PM

    i realy like to answer to the Salman Qureshi point of view,
    as bro salman said,

    “Hang this guy publicly and reform / remove the blashpemy (blashphemy)(toheeneresalat) law altogether from Pakistan’s system. That is the only way to pay back the sacrifice of the martyr Salman Taseer!”

    dear brrother how can we say that salman taseer is a martyr, or mumtaz qadri a hero, firstly as a muslim we are toatly unaware about the dignity what our Prophet (P.B.U.H) owns,

    and when we totally understand this , then i think we can choose in a better way…..and INSHALLAH then there will be no need to change or remove (toheen-e-risalat) law,


  • Kisan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:48AM

    Message Body
    I wrote an article on this episode looking at the history involved:

    As an illiterate and impoverished Christian woman faced the sentence of death for blasphemy, a secular leaning Governor of Punjab tried to intervene to get her freed, describing the blasphemy law as a ‘black law’ and was killed by his own guard after being named by clerics as ‘wajib ul qatl’, or necessary to be slaughtered.
    The history of the law mandating the death penalty for blasphemy can be traced back to an earlier chapter in the history of Pakistan. In the British times a law was enacted in the then undivided Indian penal code, article 295A, which makes it a criminal offence to: “insult the religion or the religious beliefs of any citizen with deliberate and malicious intention to outrage their religious feelings.” This law, still current in India, has in Pakistan been further modified to include article 295B which mandates life imprisonment for defilement of the Quran and article 295C which prescribes the death penalty for the “use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet.”
    The reason the British found it necessary to bring this law into effect was the Ilm ud din episode which has striking parallels with today’s events.


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