Protesters demand martyr status for Qadri
Hundreds of Sunni Tehreek protesters spearheading support for Mumtaz Qadri, demanded sharia law in Pakistan and declaration of Qadri as a national martyr. The demands included conversion of Qadri's jail cell into a national heritage site, guaranteeing that the blasphemy laws will not be amended, and the removal of non-Muslims from government posts. The also demanded the release of Tehreek members arrested for terrorism.
Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was an elite police guard in security detail of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab province in Pakistan.
Salman Taseer was one of the prominent liberal politicians in Pakistan and a close associate of Asif Ali Zardari, the former president. Taseer was an outspoken critic of the country's harsh blasphemy laws, arguing that they discriminated against religious minorities, and sought liberal reforms. He was known for asking for a pardon of a Christian woman, sentenced to death for insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Salman Taseer was shot multiple times at close range in Islamabad by an elite-force security guard named Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. Qadri surrendered to the police immediately afterward. He said that he had killed governor Taseer because of his campaign to amend the blasphemy laws. Qadri said, "I am a slave of the Prophet, and the punishment for one who commits blasphemy is death."
Mumtaz Qadri was sentenced to death by a Pak court for assassinating secular politician Salman Taseer. Qadri was convicted in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi. "Nobody can be given a license to kill on any pretext," the judge was quoted as saying after the end of the trial. The judgment was noteworthy in a case against a man, whose popularity grew with his confession.
Qadri's appeal against death sentence was rejected by Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court in 2015. The final review petition was also thrown out by SC in December 2015. Further in late February 2016, Qadri's mercy plea was rejected by President Mamnoon Hussain.
Pakistan hanged Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of liberal governor Salman Taseer. Mumtaz Qadri was executed at the Adiala Jail, a high-security prison in the city of Rawalpindi. "Qadri was hanged at around 4:30 am," Sajjid Gondal, a senior police officer confirmed. Protests broke out within hours as supporters of the killer considered him a hero, who defended his faith.
Pakistan braced for protests at the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, the former bodyguard who killed Punjab's governor, a case that shocked the country. Authorities deployed heavy security in Rawalpindi where thousands were expected to mourn Qadri's death. Qadri's execution prompted protests across Pakistan. As the government didn't want the protests broadcasted, media coverage of demonstrations was muted due to government's pressure on local networks.
The funeral of a former bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri (hanged for assassinating Punjab's governor over his opposition to blasphemy laws) was attended by thousands. High-security had been commissioned to manage a crowd of over 30,000 gathered to pay their last respects in Rawalpindi. Qadri's supporters showered rose petals on his coffin and shouted slogans like: "from your blood, the revolution will come!"
Shahbaz Taseer, the kidnapped son of a Pakistani governor assasinated by Qadri was freed today. He had been abducted from Lahore and had been missing for more than four years. Intelligence sources believed that Shahbaz was originally abducted by the radical Islamist group Lashkar e Janghvi and then handed to al Qaeda and later to the Pakistani Taliban.