Pakistan Court Suspends Death Sentence of Governor’s Killer

By Shaan Khan For CNN

A Pakistani court has suspended the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, a security guard who killed a liberal politician over the latter’s remarks on the nation’s controversial blasphemy law.

“Qadri was provoked by the governor and should therefore be tried for murder, not an act of terror which is what he was tried for earlier” said his attorney Raja Shuja Ur Rehman in confirming the judge’s decision.

Earlier this month, a terror court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near Pakistan’s capital, sentenced Qadri to death. The Islamabad High Court suspended the sentence Tuesday until the appeals process is complete. The court did not say when it will meet again to consider the case.

Police said Qadri, a policeman serving as a security guard for Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, fatally shot him in a market in Islamabad on January 4 because of Taseer’s remarks on Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. Police said Qadri confessed to gunning down the man he was supposed to be protecting. Qadri’s lawyer appealed the sentence imposed by the Anti-Terrorist Court, saying the court did not have the jurisdiction to make the death penalty decision.

Taseer, a successful businessman as well as politician, had said Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law is too harsh. The law makes it a crime punishable by death to insult Islam, the Quran or the Prophet Mohammed. The legislation has been criticized by some as being used to entrap minorities.

  1. This is not exactly suspension but till pending appeal in the higher court. None the less, I am more than certain that it will be hard to prosecute this man, if I can call him a man. The above picture you have posted, speaks volumes.

    Raping the Hindu girls and then force her to marry and convert to Islam is a well known thing especially in the Sindh province. If resisted, false police cases against the family of the plantiff are recorded by the police and lead to false arrests of her family members instead of taking action against accused.

    One Muslim doctor was falsely implicated in blasphemy case by an obstinate medical representative because the doctor refused to meet him and threw his visiting card in his dustbin. Incidentally the name of medical representative had some semblance to Prophet. The medical representative filed a case of blasphemy against the muslim doctor and the doctor had a hard time from that rogue.

    It is unfortunate that Pakistan society has become so much polarised and blind
    towards her self-centred values with no sensitivity to others. Anyone speaking against them will be falsely implicated under one pretext or the other. This draconian blasphemy law passed by Zia-ul Haq has only served to worsen the already deteriorating socio-economic conditions in Pakistan. It is hard time for
    Pakistan to stand up on its feet at this moment with such a poor international rapport on one hand and its hardest home condtions on the other hand. One can hope against the hope only.

  1. October 11th, 2011
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