In their concluding remarks on Saturday, lawyers representing Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, tried to justify the high-profile assassination by saying the governor’s conduct was “unbecoming of a Muslim”.
Special Judge Anti-Terrorism Court-II Pervez Ali Shah put off the hearing in the case until October 1 after the lawyers representing Qadri said that if their client had not killed Taseer, someone else would have.
Special Public Prosecutor in the case, Saiful Malook, was absent from court on Saturday, though he is likely to make the prosecuting case on the next date of hearing.
Talking to the media after attending the hearing in Adiala Jail, Advocate Raja Shujaur Rehman, representing the accused, said they had argued before the court that the action of Qadri was as instantaneous as the statements of a public figure like the Punjab governor had been provocative. He added that Taseer’s conduct was against the sentiments of the common man.
The lawyer said the accused himself had tried to justify his act by presenting different passages of the Quran and Islamic teachings against blasphemy.
The governor’s statements against blasphemy laws, Rehman said, were also against the laws of the country but state machinery did not take any legal action against him.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.