Appeal against death sentence of killer of Salman Taseer in IHC
27 Jan 2015
ISLAMABAD: January 27, 2015. (PCP) Today Islamabad High Court has held its first hearing in the appeal against the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri who confessed the killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer
and he justified the governor’s murder by stating that he had killed him for supporting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman whom Taseer believed had been wrongly convicted of committing blasphemy. The appeal was heard by two-members of division bench of IHC’s comprising of Justice Noor ul Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and adjourned for 3 February.
Mumtaz Qadri, a constable in the Punjab Police and member of its elite force, had filed an appeal before the court on 6 October, 2011, challenging the death sentence awarded by Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Judge Syed Pervez Ali Shah on 1 October, 2011. The judge was later forced to flee the country after receiving death threats.
In whole country, protesters from Sunni Tehrik chant slogans in favor of Mumtaz Qadri's release and warn to Government for dire consequences by wall chalking, play cards and banners in streets. He is considered "hero" of Islam by Sunni Tehrik. Reportedly, hundreds of Sunni Tehrik and Shabab-e-Milli Tehrik were present outside the court and chanted slogans in favors of Mumtaz Qadri. Chairman Sunni Tehrik Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jalali was leading the rally.
Reportedly strict security arrangements were made and the road to High court was blocked with barricades and a large number of police and special force personnel were deployed at buildings in the surrounding areas.
Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Human Rights Defender and head of LEAD said that the human Rights Defenders had had great concern on this appeal case of Qadri because if Qadri would be acquitted from Salman murder case then the fear of insecurity of life would be increased among them. The fueling to religious intolerance and violence will be stopped by condemning such elements of society who take law in their hands to harass peace workers.
The blasphemy law is being misused against religious minorities for personal vendetta and to harass them. The Pakistani Church is under constant fear of attack from religious extremists and resultantly it has deliberately stopped to enjoy religious freedom and liberty. We have to take steps to promote religious freedom and liberty; and to discourage violence in the name of religion.Our request to remeber Asia Bibi in your prayers who is languishing in jail since 2009 in a false allegation of blasphemy.