Hundreds rally as Salmaan Taseer's killer appeals

By AFP
Published: February 3, 2015
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A file photo of Mumtaz Qadri. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of Mumtaz Qadri. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Qadri appealed on Tuesday against his death sentence for murdering Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer who sought reform of blasphemy laws, as hundreds rallied outside the court to show support.

Mumtaz Qadri was sentenced for killing Taseer outside an upmarket coffee shop in Islamabad in 2011.

Qadri has admitted shooting Taseer, saying he objected to the politician’s calls to reform strict blasphemy laws which can carry the death penalty.

Around 300 of Qadri’s supporters chanted slogans calling for his release as a two-judge bench at Islamabad High Court began hearing the appeal.

RELATED POST: Mumtaz Qadri’s appeal: Islamabad AG expected to lead prosecution

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan. Qadri has been hailed as a hero by many conservatives eager to drown out any calls to soften the legislation.

At his original trial, Qadri was showered with rose petals by some lawyers. His current appeal team features two judges, including the former chief justice of Lahore High Court.

Outside the court, protesters wearing shirts with the logo of religious movement Pakistan Sunni Tehreek shouted “The lock of the prison will break, Qadri will be released!” and “Be ashamed, release Qadri!”

Malik Muhammad Safeer, Qadri’s brother, urged his release.

“My brother has done nothing wrong. He is happy and satisfied in the prison and always prays to God. Salman Taseer was killed because he committed blasphemy,” he told AFP.

Defence lawyers said they expect the appeal to be decided within weeks.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on executions in terror cases in December after Taliban gunmen massacred 150 people at an army-run school in Peshawar.

But executing someone convicted of murdering a “blasphemer” would risk a backlash from hardline religious groups and even more moderate public opinion.

After Qadri was convicted in 2011, dozens of furious lawyers ransacked the courtroom of the judge who had sentenced him to death.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (43)

  • Waseem
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:26PM

    No, won’t bear these fanatic senseless followers and their evil agenda. He must be hanged ASAP.

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  • Jamal
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:32PM

    I wish our PM Nawaz Sharif and other politicians come up with a clear statement – should he be hanged or not? Show some guts and give your statements !!!!!

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  • iron hand
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:35PM

    What manner of beasts are these? It is beyond comprehension.

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  • gm
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:35PM

    The killer Qadri…

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  • PK
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:53PM

    The killer Qadri should be hanged as soon as possible, so others could learn from it.

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  • Shameful
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:57PM

    This is beyond comprehension – no matter what your faith or belief. To kill an innocent and brave man who did nothing wrong but took a stand against bigotry and extremism.

    “My brother has done nothing wrong. He is happy and satisfied in the prison and always prays to God. Salman Taseer was killed because he committed blasphemy,” …Recommend

  • ModiFied
    Feb 3, 2015 - 6:58PM

    Pakistani government simply doesn’t have guts to punish MQ. Drama will continue.

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  • ZN
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:00PM

    Should be hanged ASAP! They are beasts and morons – a lethal combination for the nation! Please get rid of this lot as soon as possible!

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  • Fawad
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:01PM

    Former Chief Justice being a supporter of Qadri is a shock for me. This shows religious in-tolerance has deep roots in our society. I think it has something to do with our education curriculum that represents all non Muslims as villains. They never discuss humans as one entity and are always making two categories for everything i.e. Muslims and Kaafirs (non-Muslims), muslims being the heroes and non-muslims being the bad guys in everything.

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  • salman
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:10PM

    This happens in Nawaz sharif’s Pakistan only where murderers are supported in a festive.

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  • Whiskey Khan
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:13PM

    Unbelievable, a nuclear state like Pakistan cannot punish a killer and a murderer.

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  • Mahmood
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:17PM

    If a killer walks free on the grounds of religion – there are 2 possibilities : i) either something is wrong with the religion or ii) something is wrong with the people following it. I’m inclined to believe the latter

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  • woody
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:21PM

    Take pictures of everyone supporting this self admitted murdering extremist .. if your serious about eliminating terrorism you should investigate each one of them.

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  • raider
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:22PM

    Could you not see state terrorism in model town incident, when brutal state power was used ruthlessly, on behest of political tycoons, abandon your double edged policy Pakistan would be a fairy state. terrorism in any form is condemnable either it someone qadri, either it is killing of faisal kamran just having pursuance of notorious rental power case, have you courage to protest and fight for that honest officer, we are so habitual of nurturing goons and hardliners THAT we always pay deaf ear and when they bite back then declared them terrorists otherwise till they keep harming others that make no difference to us, request to ET NOT BE CENSURED

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  • azzy
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:22PM

    Pakistanis should die of shame for such blatant display of immorality. This man is a confessed murderer and must be hanged.

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  • INDIAN
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:27PM

    GOOD JOB Pakistan —Keep it up.
    Way to progress to become (UN) CIVIL society.

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  • saleem
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:31PM

    He should be tried in military courts. Current judiciary are too timid.

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  • saleem
    Feb 3, 2015 - 7:36PM

    every qadri supporter should be shot

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  • atif zafar
    Feb 3, 2015 - 8:23PM

    Anyone and everyone who support this guy should be punished. It’s a matter of survival of Our country. All lawyers part of this should be terminated.

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  • Anjaan
    Feb 3, 2015 - 8:27PM

    Kadri, through his single act of killing, has forced the Pakistani leadership and the society to come clean on their stand on the Blasphemy law … the Pakistani society can no longer hide behind ambiguity on this issue of blasphemy … !!

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  • Miristan
    Feb 3, 2015 - 8:51PM

    Sham on Pakistani lawyers and judges. Doob mero

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  • Ichhi Jee
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:18PM

    Send the “Ghazi” on his way to the heaven without much ado; his Hoors await him anxiously!

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  • A J Khan
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:19PM

    In this case, Judges are the extension of Lawyers and lawyers are the extension of Criminals. They are are woven from the same thread.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:24PM

    Sunni Tehrik and all the organizations supporting a confessed murderer should be put on terrorism watch list. Letting them get away with open support for murder, terrorism, and lawlessness is tantamount to the government abdicating and letting the goons rule.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:28PM

    No body has given authority to Mumtaz Qadri to kill Gvernor Salman Taseer.

    Qadri has killed Salman Taseer and therefore he is liable for capital punishment and should be hanged till death.

    Supporters of Qadri won’t be able to get him out of the jail, before his dead body will be handed over to his legal heirs, after his execution.

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  • KafirMusafir
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:34PM

    @Mahmood… I am extremely surprised that your comment got published… “there are 2 possibilities : i) either something is wrong with the religion or ii) something is wrong with the people following it. ” Even though I dont agree with your ultimate belief but at least you have a valid 2 points.

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  • Farhan
    Feb 3, 2015 - 9:35PM

    This beast must be publicly hanged.

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  • Ali S
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:11PM

    This sickening mentality proves that the 141 kids in APS died for nothing – even accusing anyone of the B-word (blasphemy) still riles up common Pakistanis more than mass murder of their own children.

    And for some reason Punjab is by far the worst offender in this case. This mindset will not be eradicated by pummeling mountains in FATA, it will only happen when the military establishment and political leadership to own up to their tainted past and make sincere amends publicly.

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  • Wizarat
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:14PM

    And Pakistan blames Russia and China to support anti Terrorism resolution at the UN calling it biased against Pakistan.

    This is the civil society of Pakistan that helped remove Musharraf and bring in Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Iftikhar mardood.

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  • Chachoo
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:54PM

    I repeat the world is going to alienate us for Our extremist behavior. So Pakistanio keep on Religious Bigotry with full throttle while you are going to be alienated sooner than later.
    It is just a small trailer for us>
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/832183/china-russia-back-india-on-un-terror-resolution-targeting-pakistan/

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  • Syeda Mahreen
    Feb 3, 2015 - 10:59PM

    Discounting the cynical remarks from our neighbors, I am elated to see that ALL who commented on this article so far understand that Qadri is embodies the ultimate perversion of everything that is good and moral.
    Qadri has been convicted and sentenced to death. Now his sentence must be carried out.
    Governments MUST not waiver from their commitment to justice. His supporters will be scatter away, and if they challenge the writ of the state, they should be dealt with in the same exact manner.

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  • Kamran
    Feb 3, 2015 - 11:30PM

    First punish the lawyers who ransacked office of judge who convicted Mumtaz Qadri, then hang*Qadri.

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  • Parvez
    Feb 3, 2015 - 11:57PM

    Our criminal justice system is broken……. this travesty being played out is an example of it.
    If this were a ‘ qazi court ‘………Qadri would have been hanged by now.

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  • Dr.M.M. Khan
    Feb 4, 2015 - 12:22AM

    We don’t need courts when we have people like Qadri who become judge, jury and executioner.

    Welcome to the law of jungle.

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  • Amir
    Feb 4, 2015 - 2:20AM

    Why is he appealing? Is he afraid of death? I thought he wanted to die for his cause.

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  • Fatima Muhammad
    Feb 4, 2015 - 4:06AM

    His brother says: my brother did nothing wrong. And then they’re appealing to the court.
    Sigh! the irony.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Feb 4, 2015 - 5:34AM

    @Parvez:
    Just an academic question: Can you please tell me somewhere in modern times where Qazi courts have worked well? And, why can’t we fix the system instead of experimenting with something which seems to have no modern precedence.

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  • vasan
    Feb 4, 2015 - 7:14AM

    Is this the Naya Pakistan ???

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  • Mohammad
    Feb 4, 2015 - 10:00AM

    This is the TEST CASE for Courts….. As courts have already lost to the people of Pakistan.

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 4, 2015 - 10:24AM

    @INDIAN:
    Worry about your own mess.

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  • Qazi Imtiazuddin
    Feb 4, 2015 - 3:38PM

    Qadri must be hanged. Period.

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  • wb
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:57AM

    Qadri is a true flag bearer of Islam.

    His actions were in accordance with what true Islam teaches.

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  • Khan
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:18PM

    This man is no hero.

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