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Salman Taseer's killer incited shooting of elderly blasphemy inmate: inquiry

Updated Oct 28, 2014 03:26pm

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Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman who murdered Punjab governor Salman Taseer. — File photo/AFP
Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman who murdered Punjab governor Salman Taseer. — File photo/AFP
Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman who murdered Punjab governor Salman Taseer. — File photo
Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman who murdered Punjab governor Salman Taseer. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Qadri, a policeman jailed for murdering Punjab governor Salman Taseer, in a religiously-motivated attack incited a prison guard to shoot an elderly British man convicted of blasphemy, according to an internal inquiry.

Mohammad Asghar, whom British doctors say is seriously mentally ill, was shot and wounded by a guard at Adiyala jail in Rawalpindi last month.

The 70-year-old was sentenced to death for blasphemy in January for claiming to be a prophet in a case that has prompted concern from British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The prison guard Mohammad Yousuf had spent more than two weeks guarding Qadri, who killed Taseer three years ago, a senior jail official said.

He said an initial inquiry by a four-member committee found that Qadri had also prepared two other prison officers to hunt down blasphemy convicts in the prison.

Also read: Footprints: Mumtaz Qadri mosque, memorials to our misdeeds

“The accused [Yousuf] was deployed outside the cell of Mumtaz Qadri during the incident and he had confessed to taking religious lessons from him,” the jail official said on condition of anonymity.

The claims will heighten concerns about staff being radicalised by hardline inmates in aging and overcrowded prisons.

Qadri, who was Taseer's bodyguard, shot him dead at an Islamabad coffee shop over the politician's call for blasphemy laws to be reformed.

Qadri was feted as a hero by a wide section of the public, including lawyers, and was even showered with rose petals as he arrived at court for a trial hearing.

The official's account of events was supported by three other prisoners held in the same part of the jail, who said guards regularly took religious instruction from Qadri.

Explore: LHC upholds death sentence of Christian woman

“I was sleeping when I woke to the sound of gunshots and I saw the prison staff grabbing one of their fellows while Asghar was lying on the ground in a pool of blood,” an inmate living next to Asghar's cell said.

A second prisoner who saw the attack said a guard appeared in the wing and demanded to know where Asghar was.

“The prison staff usually shout at us and I thought Asghar's family or lawyers must have sent him something, so I didn't pay any attention, but then I heard the first gunshot,” the prisoner said.

He said Asghar was trying to hide in the bathroom area of his cell while the gunman was firing at him.

“He was lucky that he reached the bathroom and the other prison staff arrived to grab the assassin, otherwise he would have been killed”, he said.

More on this: Pakistan has largest number of ‘prisoners of belief’

Asghar, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in Britain in 2010, had declared his prophethood in court and included a reference to it on his business card, a government prosecutor said at the time of his trial.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim, and insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) can carry the death penalty.

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Comments (74) Closed



Jat Oct 28, 2014 03:09pm

Great ! Now the Brits and Americans will treble their aid.

Lovely_bird Oct 28, 2014 03:16pm

This will keep on happening unless we educate our masses to be better and patient muslims. Our current education systems chains our thought process and trains us to not to think and ponder. Don't blame Qadri, blame the system that made him what he is.

Parvez Oct 28, 2014 03:25pm

....and those who showered him rose petals should be convicted of murder as well. DISGRACEFUL IN THE UTMOST.

Raju Oct 28, 2014 03:31pm

Sooner or later Pakistan has to become secular if we want to get rid off these religious hate mongers. People like Mumtaz Qadri and those who showered him flowers outside court are threat to the religious tolerance teached by Islam.

Indian Christian Oct 28, 2014 03:35pm

Blasphemy law is the worst law in the world and it is considered as the best law in Pakistan. Time to change. Write new laws (democratic laws) and execute it.

Muhammad Farooq Oct 28, 2014 03:46pm

It is disgusting to say the least.

Rani Sharma Oct 28, 2014 03:54pm

Blasphemy laws are, in themselves, blasphemous. Because God does not care if He is blasphemed or not. He is above it. But when humans assume that He cares about blasphemy, they are lowering God to the level of humans and their petty attitudes, thus committing blasphemy.

M. Ali Oct 28, 2014 04:00pm

'Religious lessons'. What kind of religious lessons are they giving! A good and islamic religious lesson would be to reform our own selves first by following the dear Prophet (pbuh). I wonder such people have read the hadith where killing of one man is equal to killing a whole nation.

Khalid Oct 28, 2014 04:04pm

It is a business, Mullah Business. As long as their is hatred and intolerance, mullahs shop is running well. But the moment someone talks about freedom of religion/expression, a tolerant religious society, then they cannot sell hatred anymore, and thats bad for business.

ammar Oct 28, 2014 04:26pm

That gentleman, is why there is a death penalty law that needs to be exercised

Umair Oct 28, 2014 04:37pm

Unfortunately as a society we have managed to corrupt everything ...including Islam. Don't blame Nawaz sharif or Zardari. Here everyone is a Nawaz sharif or Zardari in his own place.

Ajamal Oct 28, 2014 04:59pm

Why this murderer, who killed in cold blood and in front of hundreds of witnesses is not sent to "gallows" yet. Another shame on this judiciary.

Taimur Oct 28, 2014 05:00pm

Why court could not punish Qadri after so many months? Where is teh judicial system in pakistan?

Justice delayed is justice denied. If you will spare such criminals teh crime will flourish. Qadri should be punished according to Islamic law and should be killed in the same way as Salman Taseer was killed.

Iftikhar Ahmad Oct 28, 2014 05:15pm

Instead objecting against the law, It wiil be best if minority religious and political leadership educate their communities through their respective instititutions that they should not violate the law.

M. Siddique Oct 28, 2014 05:19pm

This guy Qadri should be in solitary confinement for rest of his life with no human contact. His food should be served from under the door.

Faraz Oct 28, 2014 05:28pm

He's Pakistan's hero and he should have been awarded Noble Prize not Malala

BlueEarth Oct 28, 2014 05:34pm

@Good Tactics :The entire problem is you are Muslims first and humans second. Try being a human first..you and your country will progress

Abbas Ali Oct 28, 2014 05:44pm

What were jails officials doing when this man was giving out lessons? What about the officials eyes and ears within the jail?

This thing can't be taken lightly. Round up the jail warden, and others, all are responsible of this cold blooded murder.

Jail warden and others can't be absolve just by making an statement that the guard was taking lesson from Qadri.

Nabila Bhatti Oct 28, 2014 05:55pm

Need serious attention from legislation to implication.

Ash Oct 28, 2014 06:00pm

@Rani Sharma Very well said.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Oct 28, 2014 06:13pm

The time was yesterday to stop this kind of atrocities. It is too late under the mullas run policy. Abolish the religious oversight since the inventor of this mess, The Evil Zia has been gone for a long time. Christians and other minorities deserve better than this, since they the citizens of Pakistan, Jinnah's Pakistan.

Weirdity Oct 28, 2014 06:15pm

Look at the source which promotes this kind of conduct. Elephant in the room.

Amjad Khan Oct 28, 2014 06:21pm

Why this religious thug has not been hanged so far

Shezad Oct 28, 2014 06:30pm

Our respect even in Muslim world is low. I have Malaysian friends who look at us with fear for what might happen to them.

Buddy Oct 28, 2014 06:40pm

Pakistan is democratic country. All laws, including the blasphemy, were/are passed/approved by the elected parliamentarians. One should always respect and abide by the law of the land.

Harmony Oct 28, 2014 06:46pm

They should just send him to the gallows and finish him off and his incitements.

ashraf Oct 28, 2014 06:48pm

What about the court that hands death sentence to a senile mental patient for his hallucinations or claims? And where in the world prisons protect the killers & the innocents are killed? Is there an end to all this ?..

mosawwir Oct 28, 2014 06:51pm

In a country where killers like Mumtaz Qadri are showered with rose petals on killing in the name of religion, these things will continue to happen.

Akram Oct 28, 2014 06:53pm

@Indian Christian

don't be fooled that all Pakistanis believe in this law, it was pushed in by religious zealots. The same zealots ironically who opposed the creation of Pakistan. It is not something many Pakistanis would defend.

Abbas Ali Oct 28, 2014 06:59pm

@ashraf EU is presuring Pakistan to stop implementation of death penalties.

shoaibarif Oct 28, 2014 07:01pm

Had we hanged Qadri this would not have happened.

Khizr Oct 28, 2014 07:08pm

@Lovely_bird : Qadri had committed a first degree murder. He admitted to it. According to the law of the land, he should have been hanged. The justice system will remain crippled if we do not execute on the punishments.

Khizr Oct 28, 2014 07:11pm

All the lawyers who showered him with flowers should be suspended. They are not fit to be part of a justice system.

Musarrat Javed Oct 28, 2014 07:26pm

I wish we can convert Pakistan into a secular country. Secularism is the only solution to our problems. All develop Countries are secular non of them is religious country. We should learn a lesson.

ConcerenedPakistani Oct 28, 2014 07:48pm

"He was showered with rose petals". This is as pathetic as it can be. He should be hanged till death. No individual has a right to kill other human being. Even if its the law, its the responsibility of state to implement that law not the individual. I totally agree that we have to change our system to eradicate religious intolerance. Until then, this will keep happening and criminal like him will be awarded celebrity status.

Danish Oct 28, 2014 07:54pm

HANG MUMTAZ QADRI ... what are you waiting for ....???

SKhan Oct 28, 2014 08:06pm

that is what happens when you let a murderer preach in the prison. Disgusting. I can't even look at the picture of this murderer. He is utterly disgusting.

Khan Oct 28, 2014 08:09pm

@Rani Sharma

You hit the nail on the head!

faisal Oct 28, 2014 08:15pm

We are still keeping this guy?

Warrior Bin Qasim Oct 28, 2014 08:19pm

This happens when you don't prosecute and hang killers and terrorists swiftly. What else did you expect?

Nivas Oct 28, 2014 08:31pm

@Akram - yeah... but still the lawyers and judges will welcome him in the court with rose petals! yes... we agree that Pakistanis are not in favor of this law... we agree.... :P

Lafafa Oct 28, 2014 08:38pm

The killer is lounging in the prison cell and inciting more murders. Where is the justice in it?

Asad kiyani Oct 28, 2014 08:39pm

Shame on pakistani judiciary who dont have courage to hang this murdrer qadri for killing governer in busy market.

ejaz Oct 28, 2014 08:39pm

If Pakistan wanted to stop incidents like Salman Taseer killing and shooting in the jail, they must hang this monster called Mumtaz Qadri, as soon as possible. Pakistan would not have to do this to pleased UK or USA, but to send a strong message to crazy people like him.

Moby Oct 28, 2014 08:43pm

@Nabila Bhatti the same legislators who believe a saint will save Karachi from cyclone Nilofur?

Kumar Oct 28, 2014 08:45pm

@Buddy There is bill of right in US that is above any law. A court decides if a law passed by parliament violates constitution (bill of right ). Does Pakistan has any bill of right that can not be violated? If not Bill of Right, is there any guidance from religion about blasphemy?

MKJ Oct 28, 2014 08:58pm

@Faraz I see the sarcasm but sincerely hope to see some changes in Pakistan.

Masood Khan Oct 28, 2014 09:45pm

This man, Mumtaz Qadri, should have been hanged long time ago. Justice is a farce in Pakistan.

Asif Oct 28, 2014 09:59pm

Hang him fast !!! Supreme Court wakeup .

Pramod Oct 28, 2014 09:59pm

@Akram Qadri was hailed as hero by thousands showering rose petals on him. Many other People have been dragged from Police station killed for same reason by mob. Just few months back a toddler along with her sister and grandmother were burnt alive.

Ali Mirza Oct 28, 2014 10:11pm

Why this criminal murderer has not been hanged yet? No one should take the law in his own hands. Now this terrorist is still killing/inciting to kill people from bars? Where is the law and order in this country? It is a JOKE.

salman Oct 28, 2014 11:35pm

its a shame to see my country getting like this. It was so good when I was growing up in the 70"s and 80's what happened? where did we go wrong?

Vijay Oct 28, 2014 11:42pm

@Musarrat Javed so true! secularism does not mean u will not be a Muslim anymore. .it's just dt state will be impartial while dealing wd citizens. it means respect for all d religions. when dt happens, people automatically start respecting others. .

Manish Rathore Oct 28, 2014 11:50pm

I never used to read Pakistani news paper but after reading articles in news and all these reaction I have only word to say you people are awesome.....you guys have changed my perception...we might have regional, political differences but out perception in different aspect of life is inline...hope our leadership also show some maturity and concentrate on main issue...rather then alienating issue.

Respect for Pakistan love for my neighbor friends.

AHA Oct 29, 2014 12:59am

"Mumtaz Qadri ... incited a prison guard to shoot an elderly British man convicted of blasphemy."

Let us name another mosque in Mumtaz Qadri's name.

Mohammed Abbasi Oct 29, 2014 01:21am

The biggest blasphemy is the way the maulanas have been freed like animals in the wild to do as they please - these laws are certainly blasphemous but what is more blasphemous is the way the politicians and maulanas have used and abused Islam and destroyed the fabric of the The Pakistan nation.

Hassan Oct 29, 2014 03:24am

I declare Pakistan secular. But wait that is what the founder wanted? right. Religious extremism can bring no prosperity or happiness, it can only feed and create fanatics who are good for nothing. No one has no right to questions anyone else's religion or beliefs. Simple as that.

Mehtab Oct 29, 2014 04:21am

Regrettably, name of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is being used to kill people. A messenger of Allah who is blessing for all mankind and ignorant people out there to shed blood and shamelessly encourage other people to do so. Our society have forgotten the real teachings of Islam.

Observant Oct 29, 2014 04:39am

Mumtaz Quadri - Just the right kind of hero & role model Islam in Pakistan needs!

Gill Oct 29, 2014 05:20am

What have you done to Pakistan?? All you people living there are responsible for what Pakistan is in .

ss Oct 29, 2014 07:58am

@Buddy I dont know how this law was enacted but once you bring religion and mullahs into the picture, the fear for ones life from some fanatic who may kill for not supporting such legilation. But again there are people in Pakistan, well educated for example lawyers, who supportted Qadri by rose petals and some who built a mosque in his name for killing the governer .

khanm Oct 29, 2014 10:32am

@Lovely_bird ...indeed you are right... you are a true reflection of your environment you live in......

sara Oct 29, 2014 03:10pm

I dont want to live in this world anymore

aleem Oct 30, 2014 07:44am

Hang the murderer Mumtaz Qadri already!

Sajid Oct 30, 2014 10:20am

The man should be sentenced to death as soon as possible. Why are we bearing the cost of feeding insane murderers like this un dutiful man, Mumtaz Qadri. He is a murderer who murdered the governor of Punjab right in front of so many people. I bet there must be some punishment in islamic Shariah for those who have kept his sentence pending and have allowed him to live three years after taking the life of a muslim. Every breath that he is taking counts and someone is accountable for it besides him.

Burjor Rustomji. Oct 30, 2014 12:06pm

Our nation is a disgrace to the human species.

Farooq Oct 30, 2014 02:16pm

Using Islam to justify our outburst of misguided emotions and erroneous actions. Sad. We did not get to this point overnight. We, the people failed to stand up united and peacefully, to make it right. All of us will be answerable for our actions as well as inactions

Hassan Nasir Oct 30, 2014 07:56pm

What education? What tolerance? What morality? What humanity?

Unless an example is made out of Mumtaz Qadri and Asghar, more Mumtaz Qadris and Asghars will emerge! Things need to be taken seriously!

Sajjad Khan Oct 30, 2014 10:34pm

@Indian Christian It is not a Law, but a license to target minorities and innocents alike, tailor-made by extemists unfortunately.

IndianPardesi Oct 30, 2014 11:09pm

@Farooq :: Well said Brother. May God Help People of Pakistan.

Gp65 Oct 30, 2014 11:52pm

@Iftikhar Ahmad You are assuming that this law is not abused for personal vendetta.

muhammad Oct 31, 2014 06:02pm

@Iftikhar Ahmad surprising views in most of the case these flawed laws were used to punish the rivals or for the personal gains

muhammad Oct 31, 2014 06:05pm

@Akram moreover these laws were introduced by the dictator Zia for his personal gains

muhammad Oct 31, 2014 06:11pm

@Sajjad Khan moreover these flawed laws are not only used against the minorities but against the muslims also