Salmaan Taseer’s assassination was a polarising event, brought into sharp relief by the planned responses to his first death anniversary.
The religious right has called for observing January 4, Taseer’s first death anniversary, in ‘honour’ of his self-confessed assassin Mumtaz Qadri and mark it as the Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat (protection of the sanctity of Prophethood) day.
The Sunni Ittehad Council, an umbrella organisation of Barelvi groups, announced holding a rally from Minar-e-Pakistan to Data Darbar, in favour of the former governor’s assassin.
The announcement, however, was condemned by rights activists who termed their call ‘inhumane and unethical.’
Such celebrations are a symbol of intolerance in society, said Abdullah Malik, a human rights activist, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Even if the religious right was in favour of killing Taseer, they should at least stop condemning him after his death, he said, adding that it is insensitive for the bereaved family.
Malik said rights activists have organised a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to Taseer on Wednesday.
He also condemned Qadri’s supporters for justifying an assassin who took the law into his own hand, and whose act was termed illegal by the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2012.
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