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Thousands defy rally ban to observe Mumtaz Qadri’s death anniversary

Updated Mar 02, 2017 10:31am


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ISLAMABAD: Thou­sands of people here on Wednesday defied a ban on demonstrations to observe the death anniversary of Mumtaz Qadri, the convicted murderer of former governor of Punjab Salman Taseer.

Qadri was executed on Feb 29 last year for killing Mr Taseer. He had been assigned as one of Mr Taseer’s bodyguards after the governor enraged religious right by calling for reform to the blasphemy laws in support of a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death.

After his arrest, Qadri became a hero to many for his action.

Despite the increased security on Wednesday, with police shutting down entire roads, people thronged to Qadri’s grave on the outskirts of Islamabad.

The crowd chanted slogans exalting Qadri and proclaiming Pakistan an Islamic state.

Islamabad police confirmed that the crowd was somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

“The protests were peaceful and the crowd dispersed after the speakers were done,” a police official said.

On Tuesday, the Punjab government had said that protests would not be allowed to take place in the city due to a spate of bombings and attacks that have killed more than 130 people nationwide.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2017


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Comments (16) Closed

Sachin Mar 02, 2017 10:37am

This is pathetic....

Hardcore Indian Mar 02, 2017 10:47am

Absolutely pathetic.

maverik Mar 02, 2017 10:49am

@Sachin Pathectic it may be, but its their freedom of expression. They have a right to have a peaceful gathering and express their views. Freedom of expression is not a matter of convenience, its a matter of principle.

Usama Mar 02, 2017 10:53am

Wish they could fight ignorance with the same dedication

Parvez Mar 02, 2017 11:16am

The quiet government support for religious extremists is very apparent.....this is a clear example.

Mustafa Mar 02, 2017 11:21am

Disgusting. This is the state of affairs in our country that the Govt should be focused on eradicating. Just finishing off terrorists militarily is not the complete solution. The Govt should very seriously focus on tackling this type of mindset through a worked out State narrative and by controlling mullahs and madrasas who think they can do and say whatever they want and get away with it. Pakistan as a country has suffered enough from the extremist mindset over the past few decades. Enough is enough. How dare these people challenge and blackmail the State by misinterpreting and using religion.

SATT Mar 02, 2017 11:36am

We don't have to even fight these people but their ghosts also.

brr Mar 02, 2017 11:42am

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Qadri is still a hero to thousands.

Leo Mar 02, 2017 11:59am

This is what the people want. So long as they are not harming anyone, they should be allow to remember their hero. Nothing wrong...

Waaris Mar 02, 2017 12:09pm

Just shows a complete lack of respect for the law by the mourners and a complete failure of the government to enforce law and order.

citizen Mar 02, 2017 12:37pm

@Waaris . If there was law, if there was any semblance of respect, Salman Taseer would not have lost his life the way he did in the first place.

Rukhsar Fatima Mar 02, 2017 12:59pm

pls close this topic.

Hassan (Karachi) Mar 02, 2017 12:58pm

Failure of Government to implement NAP once again.

M Akram Mar 02, 2017 01:56pm

The question has to be asked who decided not to force the ban. This man was no Ghazi he was a cold blooded murderer who killed the man who was under his protection.

Princess_of_DHUMP Mar 02, 2017 04:53pm

Everyone - 3000 people showed up from two twin cities with combined population of 5 million...

Parvez Mar 02, 2017 07:09pm

How sad. Taseer's murder was death of hopes in this country of ours.