How much should we celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict on Mumtaz Qadri?

Published: October 7, 2015

Says Qadri has already been awarded sentence by a trial court. PHOTO: AFP

There is a Chris Rock quote I like sharing whenever someone seeks positive strokes for completing a responsibility they believe is a grand achievement. In his standup, the comedian speaks of fathers who are proud of sending their kids to school or staying out of jail,

“You’re supposed to, you dumb m*****f*****! What kind of ignorant s*** is that? ‘I ain’t never been to jail!’ What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having m*****f*****!”

Well, Chris, as it turns out, after years of disappointment, the good people of Pakistan now carry desperately low expectations.

Today, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, led by the brave Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, threw an appeal from bodyguard turned murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, out of court, upholding his death sentence. Undoubtedly, this is a gutsy move from the trio of judges, considering how the law enforcement officials, prosecutors, intelligence personnel, and judges themselves, who dare to fight against injustice, are repeatedly targeted by the violent sociopaths lurking in the shadows of this country. But although it is certainly a landmark moment, excuse me while I don’t bring out my party gear.

On the January 4, 2011, the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was shot dead by a man hired to protect him.

Shot 27 times with an AK-47.

Shot at a commercial area near his home with enough eye witnesses.

His shooter, the man in question, Qadri, undoubtedly had sufficient gunshot residue on his body.

His shooter did not deny killing him, in fact, he openly admitted to the crime. Had this been a case on an hour long episode of CSI, the investigators would have solved it without breaking a sweat, leaving the ending credits rolling one minute after the opening theme music. Had it been on the reality court show, Judge Judy, Qadri would have been a source of nutrients for soil by now.

Yet here we are, closing on five years since the murder, and Qadri and his fundamentalist clown posse have made a mockery of the Pakistani justice system. The murderer remains convicted, yet not punished.

Qadri claims he murdered Taseer because the governor questioned the validity of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy law, which has been used as a weapon by many nam kay Musalmaans (Muslims by name only) to target minority groups. Taseer, of course, was speaking up for Aasia Bibi, a Christian lady convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death.

Ideally, the deranged bodyguard should have been punished after a speedy trial. The way Qadri and his fundamentalist clown posse were allowed to hijack Pakistan with their warped interpretation of religion and the blasphemy law, only encouraged other numskulls to target more minorities. If the blasphemy law had been controversial before, it was now untouchable.

What’s more, had Qadri been punished without being allowed to spread his nauseating propaganda, the case Taseer had been fighting for could have gained the momentum it deserved.

Dawn estimates that from 1986 to 2010, 1,274 people have been charged under the blasphemy law, which was added into the constitution by General Ziaul Haq, the dictator who keeps on giving. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases were reported, which is a startling disparity.

The saner members of the Pakistani public have always questioned the logic behind the blasphemy law, yet their voices have been drowned by the extremely vocal minorities who championed it.

When Qadri shot Taseer, he immediately became the loon to lead the lunatics, the joker of this gallery of rogues. He would have become a martyr regardless, but by punishing him quickly, at least Pakistan would have set an example for others. Qadri should have met a disgraceful end, instead he was allowed to become the tube light to which flocked the frolicking moths.

As it has been with dictators, militants, and terrorists, we allow far too many jackals to assume the role of lions in this country.

Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Critical

    I’m happy that most of them dont read the blogs of English papers because you are very vocal about it….Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    i will celebrate it…its high time such hypcorites and such farce which is destroying the real image of Islam as a peaceful religion be put a a stop to!…..Recommend

  • Rãžä Dâr

    Pleases those powers who are against the Islam.Muslims are looking for that type of spirit like of Allama Iqbal & Quaid e Azam who had defended Gazi Ilm deen.”Truly whoever abused the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) or ascribed any fault to Him or attributed any defect to His family, religion or His habit,or reproached Him, or compared Him with any defective thing with the objective of degrading His personality and prestige, he is truly an abusive person and deserves to be executed.” (Qadī Iyadh).”So what the Mumtaz Hussain did was in accordance to Islamic history..Recommend

  • jiyala

    Bravo! As ‘Critical’ said, it’s a good thing fundamentalist numskulls are too illiterate to read English articles, warna you could land in serious trouble for advocating sanity.Recommend

  • Fahimuddin

    You should celebrate zero because no terrorist organization was backing Qadri, no witness were needed in the court because he accept the murder since the first day. When he will be hanged then the world will see one of the biggest funeral not in the history of the world but at least in Pakistan, even if you don’t like.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Point well made……but in a environment where the ex-Lahore High Court Chief Justice voluntarily agrees to defend Qadri, Our lawyer community profusely and publicly showered him with rose petals. The good judge who convicted him had to run from the country because his life was threatened. A large section of the religious right with extremist views were openly vocal in his support……..for the Supreme Court to give what you rightly pointed out was a ‘ on-brainer ‘ judgement, was a big deal.Recommend

  • HellRaiser

    One another legal martyrdom after bhutto…. Dead are mourned,,, Martyrds have celebrations…!!Recommend

  • bareek

    This case is going to set the future of Pakistan, and its good that it was dealt with in detail. Defendant failed to prove his claims, and only left with appeal and then mercy appeals. He forgot his claim of divine work and shahadat and desperately trying to avoid hanging. He has obviously admitted after all, that he was wrong to murder an unarmed gov. I am a satisfied observer.
    Hopefully, the debate will now move towards those who incite murder. Qadri was sent on a suicide mission of a different sort. He must have consulted that mulla who decreed death punishment for Taseer. Its impossible that he heard the public lecture and made up his mind right away. A lot of convincing and basharaat must have been done leading to the fateful day.Recommend

  • Nana

    I’m going to celebrate the day this guy is going to be hanged.Recommend

  • bystander

    The root cause is still there and unless and until we deal with the rot cause of problem, there is no reason to celebrate. The conviction took time because of legal procedures but its our (ir)responsible media who publicized the whole affair in such a way that he became what he is now. Our so called religious political parties who are always in search of a martyr have already embraced him and turned him into a ‘Ghazi’. So wait for another announcement from the loud speakers of a mosque and the whole drama will be played again.Recommend

  • Ali

    Hopefully this serves as a message to the uncivilized idiots that sadly exist in Pakistan to never kill.Recommend

  • Azam Khan

    This man should be punished, he is a terrorist beyond doubt.Recommend

  • Imran

    Mumtaz Qadri should be hanged in the same market to set an example for others.Recommend

  • Vegetable Man

    “How much should we celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict on Mumtaz Qadri?”

    While i am not a fan of the death penalty, i am not against it either. It has to be applicable only to the very worst in society and Mumtaz Qadri fits the bill. So when this person is hanged I wont really feel bad at all. In fact, If i was a betting man, i would put money on Qadri wetting his pants and crying when they drag his sorry ass towards the hanging area seeing how he “Bravely” shot an unarmed man in the back and immediately put down his gun, surrendered and asked other guards not to shoot him.Recommend

  • very sad

    No way sir. Lets not distort facts. Qadri bhai was deputed (and accepted the position) and responsible for protecting Taseer (however bad he may be). He attacked him when he was unarmed and trustful of his protection squad. He killed someone who went bit too far in criticizing a man-made Pakistani law. He failed to realize that Taseer was merely writing on dotted lines.
    Lets not even think of comparing him to Ghazi Ilm deen shaheed who took action only when puppet government let venomous ram pal go scott free.
    As far as Allama Iqbal is concerned, his (now late) son did not come forward to defend Qadri. What does it tell you?Recommend

  • Rohan

    Ironical that most Pakistanis aren’t justifying this chap, maybe because he killed a ‘Pakistani’ who happened to be a Muslim.So he’s a bad terrorist
    Recommend

  • Mujib Abid

    This was the basis for the creation of Pakistan; justice which is already delayed. He should have been hanged the next day without any trial – this would have sent a very clear message to the extremist, mullahs, etc.
    The other important think that needs to be done is to undo all constitutional amendments made during the time of Zia, especially the blasphemy law; & should be thrown out of the window asap.Recommend

  • Dani

    Clearly this is for those visitors of the page who believe that Mumtaz Qadri should not be hanged. Please share this as much as you can so that the misconception is over(mine or others).

    Yes i am a muslim and i am happy that Mumtaz Qadri will be hanged but i am willing to change my opinion if one points out:

    1) Where in Quran does it say that we have to murder blasphemers.(As Quran is key to our life).

    or

    2) When did our beloved Prophet(P.B.U.H) said or done anything to represent the law of blasphemy, on the contrary throughout his life people were harsh, disrespectful and even tortured him but he was always merciful and earned himself and our religion respect with love and mercy. Not to forget that he was a perfect Muslim and Human being.

    (Remember the incident of Taif where he was not only insulted but was also badly injured as people stoned him still he practiced mercy when angle asked permission to crush and destroy the whole city between two mountains. And we all know that’s not the only incident)

    Regards,
    DaniRecommend

  • Videlicet

    Good prose with a sane voice.
    Somehow I feel our law experts have been too civilised in discarding torture to death as a form of punishment. Time and again men like Qadri remind us that such punishments are very apt for some cases..

    Brave man and hero was Taseer and big indeed is his loss to the saner voices of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    he was responsible for the safety of a man’s life…and he betrayed him in the ultimate act of killing him…..does that sound like a muslim to you?…….do not do the same evil to others that was done to you…..is what our Prophet (SAWS) taught us…..ppl like you are ignorant…..and give Islam a bad name!Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    i blame the media here … there are bound to be idiots plenty in our society….filled with ignorance…but for the sake of viewer rating our media showed this off as something to be proud of!Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    there was no death penalty in place when he murdered Salman Taseer……now that it is in place …he is scared…as are many terrorists!….before they were only jailed…..and waiting to be released by their own in time …we have seen plenty of jail breakins…..Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    how about those that killed man in india just becuase they thought he was eating beef……please look to ur own first!Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    Ghazi?….this idiot is the biggest coward in history of pakistan….killing defenseless man who was in his protection…wow…what ghazi like behaviour…wonder what kind of ghazi you have been reading about….Salman Taseer only criticized a man made Law about Blasphemy which was used as a weapon by many mullahs to destroy those they had enmities with…one was even a mentally handicap girl who was implicated…..shame on you for being so ignorant ….inpite of having the ability to read and write!Recommend

  • Imran

    Taseer haven’t abused Prophet Muhammad.He just talk about blasphemy law which is made by our lawmakers.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Agree.Recommend

  • ajeet

    One minor difference. That was a criminal act, whereas in Pakistan, blasphemy leads to death as part of law.Recommend

  • Rãžä Dâr

    Ghazi Ilm Deen Killed the Gustakh which was unarmed so there is no difference, Allama Iqbal was the one who was given the title Shair e Mushriq His son did nothing like that he didnt got that titleRecommend

  • Barney Trg

    wow i had forgotten that one…thank you for reminding me…..i usually quote the incident where a quraish woman used to throw Filth/Thorns/Refuse in the path of our Holy Prophet (SAWS)…and one day she didnt ….and He went on to ask others about the woman’s health if she was okay……how can you justify killing when you have such knowledge!……Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    that criminal act lead to death as well…which makes it the same thing …duh!……blasphemy is a criminal act in pakistan….and fyi another related incident took place just yesterday…..Recommend

  • Fahimuddin

    Mr. XYZ few people went to court against the governor and SC rejected that no case can be heard against Governor. Does it sound Islamic or Human to you ? The problem in Pakistan is according to court’s interest they pick either Islamic values or democratic Constitutional values according to their interests. As far as betrayal is concern, see the governor’s oath.

    As governor, I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions, honestly, to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law (Not campaign against it).

    That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Did he defended the constitution ? Wasn’t it a betrayal ?) .

    This will be a interesting battle, let me enjoy it with pack of pop corns.Recommend

  • Wizarat

    Did they hang him yet?
    BTW I agree that Zia’s legacy keeps on giving, but please check your notes, the seed for this stupidity was sown by none other than ZAB when the idiot agreed with PNA on this issue- just to stay in power, and that battle was a loosing battle, he lost his life and it was taken by none other than Zia – a supposedly Islamist. May he rot in hell.Recommend

  • Adnan Khan

    One word “Tolerance” !!Recommend