Stories about mumtaz qadri

Salmaan Taseer’s sacrifice was in vain

One year on from the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and all debate on amending the blasphemy laws has essentially come to a close. I do not blame individual citizens for this. Given the prevailing extremist temperament in the country, it is next to impossible to effectively stand up to what is, at the end of the day, a case of bullying in the name of religion. Given the kind of organisation and capabilities the extremists/militants have, it is very difficult for the average man or woman, appalled at the rapid rise of violent radicalism in the country, to speak out. It is not just ...

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Do we remember what Taseer was fighting for?

International newspapers were ruthlessly generous to Pakistan this past year in granting the country front page features time and time again. Coverage included the Raymond Davis incident, the Memogate scandal, a ‘bold’ Veena Malik, devastating floods, and everyone’s favourite, Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. However, exactly one year ago, Pakistan stole headlines for a reason that has largely been buried; Salmaan Taseer’s assassination over the criticism of the blasphemy law. On January 4, 2011, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, one of Taseer’s security guards, emptied over 20 bullets into the body of the man he was meant to protect. Taseer’s death was both ...

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Many Mumtaz Qadris: We are children of hate

Many decades ago Rafiq Sabir entered a Gujarati businessman’s palace-like home in Bombay. Almost 60 minutes after this intrusion, he was led out, handcuffed, by policemen. The charge against him was that he had attacked ‘a leader of a religious party for political reasons’. This leader survived the attack and went on to create a country where sixty-eight years later ‘another Rafiq Sabir’ attacked ‘a leader of a political party for religious reasons’. The snake was taught another language, the venom was given another colour but their effectiveness was undiminished. Today, an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis hold in respect a ...

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Let Mumtaz Qadri live

I consider what Mumtaz Qadri did to be a heinous crime and one of the most serious – murder, and that too motivated by ideological reasons.  The victim was the governor of Punjab who in furtherance of his public duty had met a woman convicted under the state’s discriminatory blasphemy laws. Nevertheless, Qadri should not be executed as the death penalty must be opposed on all accounts. There should be a special onus on us to resist the temptation to punish someone for their ideology, however repugnant we may find that ideology. People must unequivocally reject the death penalty, especially as applied in Pakistan.  Liberals who say they are against the penalty, ...

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Qadri sentence: Justice served – for now

The verdict is in. The assassin will hang. Justice seems to have been served. Well, not quite yet. Almost ten months to the day when the former Punjab governor was gunned down, the lone gunman has seen his bubble burst. His ‘divinely inspired’ mission wasn’t so divine after all. He will die the way a real blasphemer would have been put to death. Except that in his case, thousands of righteously misguided individuals will take to the streets to push for his release from prison. After all, guilty or not, his followers have already made it quite clear that for them, ...

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Does Mumtaz Qadri deserve to die?

“Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, has been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court today”reads the latest breaking news. Ten months after he drilled Salmaan Taseer’s body with 25 bullets  for the ‘crime’ of supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy Qadri has been sentenced. The former governor’s killer had been regaled as a hero and showered with rose petals. YouTube videos of him defending his actions turned the stomach. What kind of man would do this I wondered? Kill an innocent man and then proudly recite naats as if he was one of God’s chosen ...

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Shahbaz Taseer kidnapped, and a scream that never ends

This is my country – a place where governors are murdered for fighting for minority rights by bearded men claiming higher moral ground in the name of religion. This country – where entire families are targeted for the alleged sins of a single individual. A place where justice is a joke, and every good deed can be counter-argued with ten evil deeds making us all, indeed, rotten to the core. I am talking about the abduction of the late Governor Salmaan Taseer’s son, Shahbaz Taseer today. I wake up to yet another morning of screams inside my head; visions of death, ...

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Karachi violence: Murder on their mind

Several decades ago I read in an issue of the Time magazine about a murder in the woods somewhere probably in Ireland that frightened the song birds into silence. For nearly ten years no bird was heard chirping in the forest. For some days now I have been haunted by the report which I mentioned in a column in the good old days. When I visit Lawrence Gardens, the city’s central park, in the morning the thought that the birds continue to sing despite the many murders all around us is disturbing. Could it be that the birds here have grown ...

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