RAWALPINDI: On early morning Monday,Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, who assassinated Governor Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, has been hanged to death in Adiala Jail amid tight security.
After Qadri’s hanging to death the whole country sparks to protests and The Islamabad Bar Association has announced to observe strike and not attend courts against execution of Qadri. It seems 90 % Muslims are in Qadri’s support and protesting in Pakistan.
Qadri, a elite force security guard, killed Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011 for his support to a blasphemy convict a Christian woman Asia Bibi.
An Anti-Terrorism Court convicted and condemned him to death,When the trial judge, Pervez Ali Shah, convicted Qadri and sentenced him to death in October 2011, the judge was threatened and finally relocated to Saudi Arabia for fear of his life.
A ruling also upheld by the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.He had filed a mercy plea before President Mamnoon Hussain after Supreme Court dismissed his appeal against conviction in October last year.
In view of a possible backlash from Religious Islamic groups, the president’s family has been relocated from Karachi to the Presidency in Islamabad.Security of President Mamnoon Hussain and his family has been increased due to fear of reaction from the Sunni Tehreek seeking clemency of Malik Mumztaz Qadri for his assassination of Taseer.
On the other side,Asia Bibi a Pakistani Christian woman was accused of committing blasphemy by her fellow workers in 2009. In 2010, she was awarded death sentence, however, later appeal was filed against the ruling which was rejected by the Lahore High Court in 2014, and now her appeal case is pending for a hearing before the Supreme Court.
Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender,who heads LEAD said that there were a number of precedents wherein individuals had leveled allegations of blasphemy on the basis of their personal grudges after this execution of Qadri a wave of new hope for justice has been bloomed. Qadri’s supporters say that ‘punishing a blasphemer was a religious duty which has to be performed by every Muslim’.
He further stated that continued use of the blasphemy law is odious and as long as such laws remain on the books, Pakistan will remain afflicted by abuse in the name of religion and no safety for religious minorities.
The blasphemy law in Pakistan has been a tool in the hands of the powerful to exploit the poor and minority communities in Pakistan. Since its inclusion in the penal laws, many have suffered due to false accusations of the blasphemy law.
Please stand with us because we are raising the issue of misuse of blasphemy law against religious minorities in Pakistan and due to which we at LEAD are under intimidation and attacks by the Qadri supporters.