Gilani
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani - File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday condemned the assassination of Punjab governor and political ally Salman Taseer, and ordered an immediate inquiry into the killing.

He called on workers and supporters of his Pakistan People's Party (PPP), of which Taseer was a leading member, “to remain calm” to allow a proper investigation.

“The prime minister has ordered for a high level inquiry into the incident and submit the report at the earliest. The culprits involved in the assassination, he said would be brought to justice,” his office said.

Gilani expressed “deep drief and sorrow” over the murder, it added.

It was also announced that the PPP will observe two weeks of mourning over the assassination of Taseer.

“PPP co-chairman (President Asif Ali Zadari) has announced that all party events are cancelled and for the next two weeks, the party will observe mourning,” Fauzia Wahab told reporters.

“The party has rendered so many martyrdoms and there is one more,” she said.

“The void left by Mr Salman Taseer, a true party loyalist, honest and committed person, will be difficult to fill.”

Gilani also announced a three-day national mourning period following the assassination of Taseer, his office said.

“National flags will remain at half mast in the wake of the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer,” a statement issued by the prime minister's office added.

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