Taseer murder case: Qadri’s lawyer calls Charlie Hebdo attackers ‘heroes’

Published: February 5, 2015
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A file photo of Mumtaz Qadri. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of Mumtaz Qadri. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A former top judge and attorney for the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer has called the gunmen who attacked French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last month ‘heroes’.

Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, a former chief justice of the Lahore High Court, was arguing before a two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in favour of his client, Mumtaz Qadri, on Wednesday. He said Taseer had hurt the feelings of Muslims by calling the blasphemy law a ‘black law’.

The bench observed how Qadri, who was a police commando, could take the law into his own hand while the blasphemy law already exists in the country. “How can an officer determine who is infidel. There is a law and nobody can be allowed to take the law into his own hands,” said Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, a member of the bench.

Religion has been interpreted by people in different ways, he said, adding that people might get killed for having minor differences in the days to come.  “Did Qadri make any effort to bring the person whom he considered a blasphemer before the court,” he questioned.

The defence counsel, however, argued that Taseer was the governor at that time and under Article 248 of the Constitution, action could not be taken against a governor or the president.

Justice (retd) Mian Nazir Akhtar, another counsel for Qadri, said his client had confessed to killing Taseer and justified it by saying the governor was a blasphemer. However, Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi observed that the law has to be followed instead of taking it into one’s own hands.

While addressing the counsel, the judges said if his argument was bought, then everyone has a licence to kill. “Everyone will then use a weapon instead of following the legal course,” he added.

The human life has been described as more sacred than the House of God, he said adding that the law was misused in the case of Christian girl Rimsha Masih who was accused of burning pages from the Holy Quran. The court adjourned the hearing until February 6 when Qadri’s defence team is expected to wrap up its arguments.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • AK
    Feb 5, 2015 - 9:59AM

    All Schools and Madaris should be registered and monitored with respect to curricullum, teachers, security and basic necessity. I believe its more important than having motorways etc. Just stand high and work hard for betterment of generations to come. Ignore criticism except if it is constructive. Leave dirty politics on this issue atleast and use good politics for people’s advantage.

    God Bless Pakistan.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:08AM

    That brings into question all decisions made by Khawaja Sharif made during his time as Chief Justice Lahore High Court. Somebody should take notice and re-evaluate all cases he ruled over during his time as Chief Justice, and retry any criminals let go by him due to his sympathies for extremists.

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  • Ahmed
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:54AM

    To Mr. Qadri’s Lawyer For the sake of argument and to make the case rather than just justifying killing for blasphemy, first prove if Salman Taseer committed blasphemy. These rallies and support for anyone who kills a blasphemer will be secondary things, primary objective is to prove Salman Taseer committed blasphemy because as far as I remember, he used to kiss the Quranic locket he used to wear. So I want proofs first.

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  • Saleem
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:58AM

    I am appalled at argument of this ex Chief Justice of High court. If we go with his logic then every fanatic will carry a license to kill. With things so polarized in the nation no one will be safe.

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  • Dilip
    Feb 5, 2015 - 11:00AM

    Very afraid to die, but willingly killed a person.

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  • Raisani
    Feb 5, 2015 - 11:29AM

    Long Live Ghazi Mumtaz Qadri! You are a Hero.

    ET: you are letting go each n every single comment against Qadri but not a single line in his favour, is this not biased?
    Let my single line go n let us all see how many people recommend it.

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  • PeaceNik
    Feb 5, 2015 - 11:55AM

    Seems like a section of the world’s population has been caught in a time warp.

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  • Ravian
    Feb 5, 2015 - 12:45PM

    Why is this case not being referred to military court.

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  • PK
    Feb 5, 2015 - 12:56PM

    @ Ahmed:
    “So I want proofs first”
    You are not a judge neither a jury that you want proofs first. it is as brightened as a sunny day that Taseer called blasphemy law a black law.

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  • Parvez
    Feb 5, 2015 - 1:21PM

    This whole issue is nothing but a blot on the name of religion and a test case for the criminal judicial system…….that appears to be in tatters.

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  • citizen26
    Feb 5, 2015 - 1:49PM

    Are we not very intolerant and impatient as a nation? These lawyers rather decide what is a sin and what is a crime.

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  • observer
    Feb 5, 2015 - 1:52PM

    @Ahmed:

    as far as I remember, he used to kiss the Quranic locket he used to wear. So I want proofs first.

    You mean anyone not wearing a ‘Quranic Locket’ and/ or not kissing it, is automatically guilty of blasphemy?

    Funny argument.

    Learn to judge an issue on merit/ principles, and not on emotions.

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  • A J Khan
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:07PM

    Finish this Judicial crap.

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  • usman
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:14PM

    no one should dare to speak against Muhammad (PBUH) ….No actions by government or ex cheif justice famous for s.moto on every ordinary cases are responsible for such cases … qadri is and will be hero..

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  • khan
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:22PM

    Seems like Raisani has been liking his own post!!

    Oh what lengths do we go to justify crimes!

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  • Imran Ahmed
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:29PM

    The blasphemy law IS a very ill thought man made out law which is almost always misapplied. It needs radical reform.
    People forget that Taseer is perhaps unique among Muslim leaders for having shown compassion to a poor Non Muslim unrelated to him. Compassion is a virtue which is highly prized in Islam unlike hate.

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:37PM

    @Raisani:

    Very sad.

    Unless this madness (god forbid) touches you or your family, you may never be able to comprehend the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of your views.

    There should be no room in Pakistan for the law of the jahil junglies who praise cowardly murderers.

    Perhaps you are an Indian troll trying to show Pakistan is full of loonies?

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  • ajeet
    Feb 5, 2015 - 2:44PM

    Pakistani law and order is a comedy.

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  • Feb 5, 2015 - 2:58PM

    When a land has people like fake qadri, it does not need any enemy. An enemy within.@Dilip:

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  • Truth
    Feb 5, 2015 - 3:00PM

    Those who are supporting Taseer: don’t you know Taseer had nothing to do with Islam and he was an alcoholic, he n his family was fully westernized, well it’s their personal matter, but he is not allowed at any cost to call the blasphemy law as black law or make fun of it by his words or actions.
    Every blasphemy culprit should be dealt with accordingly, Qadri is true Aashiq-e-Rasool. We salute him for his bravery that he put his and his family’s life in danger but did not compromise on Shan-e-Risalat.

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  • Qadri
    Feb 5, 2015 - 3:30PM

    @Raisani: The majority of Pakistanis Love Mumtaz Hussain Qadri he will never be hanged till the country is named the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    These so called liberals think they know better the Quaid e Azam Pakistan and Allama Iqbal.
    Just one name for these people ‘Ghazi Ilm a Deen Shaheed’

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  • Raisani
    Feb 5, 2015 - 3:31PM

    @Khan
    even if i liked my own post, I’m proud of it. i will do it thousand times. I will not stoop so low to support some evil.
    But I’m proud that I’m supporting my own being. Not some western trolls.
    Long Live Qadri, one will not dare to use filthy language against the law related to our religious matters. it’s Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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  • AVMPolpot
    Feb 5, 2015 - 3:45PM

    Those who are supporting Qadri’s actions are pushing Pakistan into…
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
    stone age.

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  • Safi
    Feb 5, 2015 - 3:58PM

    I wonder how all those declaring Qadri a hero, will feel if one of their own loved ones was killed for blasphemy by someone based on that someone’s personal judgement.

    The point here is not what Salman Taseer did or didnt do. The point simply is whether we as a society can allow individuals to be the judge, jury and executor.

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  • TooTrue
    Feb 5, 2015 - 5:23PM

    @Raisani:
    The blasphemy law is a black law. There I’ve said it. Do I now deserve to be murdered by your hero?

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  • TooTrue
    Feb 5, 2015 - 5:25PM

    @Truth:
    And so what? Does he deserve to be murdered by an illiterate lunatic? You make me sick.

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  • Iron hand
    Feb 5, 2015 - 5:50PM

    @Raisani:
    Thank you to you and those recommending your comment for illustrating the tragic state of Pakistani society.

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  • Nadeem
    Feb 5, 2015 - 5:54PM

    Majority of people say Mr salam Taseer was Ahmadi Murzai but even then no one is permitted to kill and to take law in his handsRecommend

  • Truth
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:05PM

    @tootrue
    people like you won’t understand because you have not been taught neither brought up this way. But we are not atheist, we are Muslims and proud to be. and if you are brave enough you should come on media and say what you are saying here, you are even afraid of exposing your name. what a coward act.

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  • Logical
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:26PM

    He said Taseer had hurt the feelings of Muslims by calling the blasphemy law a ‘black law’.
    I suggest everybody, including Muslims, should read the above sentence again and again until they catch its inherent irony.
    So, as per this learned person, Taseer deserved to die because he had committed blasphemy against the blasphemy law!
    Are Muslims so touchy that they don’t even want to question a law? Are we now elevating even the laws, which are after all composed by mere human beings, to the same level as the writings in the Holy Book?
    I mean, come on, how closed-minded can you get?

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:44PM

    Shame on Pakistani media. Nowhere in the world a criminal is given so much projection. It should always be victims photo on front page. but we start our day looking at a murderer’s ugly face.
    Send this murderer to his heroes and save us from this torcher.

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  • pakistaniat
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:48PM

    @Raisani:
    Definitely an indian troll. Most of the Pakistanis are sick of Qadri and want him hanged. You cannot take law in your hands. A handful of lunatics 300 – 400 don’t represent the Pakistani society. Most of the people who recommended you are Indians.. Fitna…

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  • jut
    Feb 5, 2015 - 6:50PM

    Who is qadri to decide a person has committed blasphemy.. He should be hanged.. period.. this message is from a sunni and yes majority wants him to pay for the crime he has committed.

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  • raider
    Feb 5, 2015 - 8:20PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    You’re Excellency, Elaborate term “heroes” if you have courage like governor suleman taseer

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  • Asok
    Feb 5, 2015 - 9:15PM

    @Ahmed Taseer is not on trial. The trial is of the murderer, Qadri. In a country that has law and order, only the state is allowed to take a citizen’s life for some guilt, and that too only after a fair trial in a court of law.

    It’s irrelevant whether Taseer committed blasphemy.

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  • Feb 5, 2015 - 9:30PM

    That means every body got the licence to kill in the name of fake wahabism. Every body knows that religion is a personal matter between the believer & god which nobody has ever seen.@Truth:

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  • Pando
    Feb 5, 2015 - 9:58PM

    @Raisani:
    Qadri is a criminal and will pay for his crime. If you like his ideaology go to Syria and join ISIS. You will love it there. Loser

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  • Pando
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:00PM

    @Iron hand:
    Bro. Most of the people recommending him are Indian trolls.

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  • assad
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:22PM

    @Truth:
    That is why we have laws and these laws follow shariat when considering cases of blasphemy. Secondly, your logic is twisted. Drinking alcohol should not be used to justify their killing for something entirely different (blasphemy in this case).

    Secondly, what if tomorrow I kill you and then tell your family and everyone else that you committed blasphemy? Who will touch me? Who will give you justice?

    Think through this logically. Your claim of being an Ashiq-e-Rasool does not mean that you don’t use your head. If we were “true” ashiq-e-rasool SAW, we would be following his SAW’s injunctions on ensuring adl and justice in the lands of Muslims. Letting a murderer get away with murder is a crime.

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  • Truth
    Feb 5, 2015 - 10:57PM

    @assad:
    I’m not saying that his being alcoholic has to do something with the blasphemy law. I just pointed out the character he was bearing, so he was no one to ridicule the blasphemy law of our country, which is not an ordinary law.
    And thanks for your advice but i do use my head bro and i know what limits our religion has determined for us and i also suggest you and everyone to think about it too instead of unlimited freedom.
    unlimited freedom leads to this type of actions and reactions.

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  • Salman
    Feb 5, 2015 - 11:35PM

    Just for the sake of those who are saying “agreeing with the lawyer’s remarks would mean that everyone gets a license to kill” is not a theoretical question. In our country thousands have already been killed on that exact premise. So move on to something else. Let’s call all those who support the killing of Salman Taseer justified because he called a law a black law as blasphemers against the laws that say you can’t kill anyone and let’s see how many people support that idea.

    Only the extremist want to misuse laws to kill others

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  • Dr.M.M. Khan
    Feb 6, 2015 - 12:44AM

    Pakistan’s judicial system is under trial. The question to asked is Pakistan a part of civilized world where the law of the land reigns or a country where the gun rules the roost.? It is a strange situation where the ?murderer is showered with rose petals by the lawyers and two high court judges leap to his defence. Even more disturbing is the fact that an earlier judge who had sentenced the accused to death has fled the country. The verdict in this case will define the future! I wait with bated breath.

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  • ivehadit
    Feb 6, 2015 - 1:11AM

    So many sick commentators on this page – defending a lunatics right to kill someone on the basis of a crazy interpretation of the latter’s speech.

    this is a reason Pakistan will always be ravaged by terrorism. What a mess we’ve made of the Quaid’s vision of Pakistan.

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  • Woody
    Feb 6, 2015 - 3:01AM

    These lawyers celebrated 911, condemned the killing of OBL, and believe that assassinating alleged blasphemers is OK. They also attack/intimidate judges and witnesses .. in the civilized World they would have been disbarred and tossed in jail. If your serious about changing Pakistan’s terrible image then you need to clean up the judicial system … might as well start with these guys.

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  • Paki
    Feb 6, 2015 - 3:30AM

    @Raisani:
    You can shout all you want. Yes it is Islamic republic of Pakistan and it has it’s own laws. You cannot take law in your hand by deciding who has committed a crime. When will people like you understand this.

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  • Raja Islam
    Feb 6, 2015 - 3:36AM

    @Truth: Yes you are right unlimited freedom given to fundamentalists and mullahs lead to this. The blasphemy law is a black and repressive law and lets illiterate fundamentalists get away with murder.

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  • Pindi Kid
    Feb 6, 2015 - 10:51PM

    All these trolls and Qadri fans aren’t smart enough to recognize that this is neither a blasphemy case, nor is it a case of Taseer. And this is not even a trial. This is a review petition of a murder convict. The Court has already stated they will not hear this as a blasphemy case, and the question is whether a police constable can be judge jury and executioner. The answer is clearly no. The only instance one can kill is in self defense when their life is in danger. You uneducated Qadri fans are wasting your time if you look at this petition any other way. But your messages clearly show your thinking is blocked by religious dogma and you are therefore incapable of critical thinking. Qadri’ lawyers will try to win the argument on technical grounds showing the state did not follow legal procedure of collecting evidence and witness testimony. That is their only hope.

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  • MJ
    Feb 7, 2015 - 1:38AM

    Our government should make concrete efforts to “unite” these lawyers with their heroes.

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  • Avinash
    Feb 7, 2015 - 11:25AM

    I haven’t words!! I am Mystic and Philanthropist (Sufi) Person if some one wants to kill me I don’t dare from anyone I am belong to Larkana City, My grand father had teach me Love for Humanity and we Sufi’s, this is Ridiculous some people doesn’t want to see the progressive PAKISTAN and DEMOCRATIC PAKISTAN while I am Capable to die for my Country and Long Live My Country!!!

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  • REformer
    Feb 7, 2015 - 12:02PM

    All these laws are after all man made. Why should they be sacrosanct? Some one wanted to prove he is more muslim than other muslims and brought this law. Every law shall be reviewed periodically and modified/repealed if found to be not in consonance with current thinking. Blasphemy law cannot be an exception.Even within Pakistan several people consider this not only a draconian law but also applied selectively. Even in India several laws which are out of tune were repealed (e.g suicide is no more a crime). Civil society shall get this draconian law repealed.

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