Police commando Muhammad Yousaf – who shot a British-Pakistani man convicted in a blasphemy case at the Adiala Jail on Thursday – had told friends he had dreams where he received ‘divine guidance’ and would often say that he was willing to put his life on the line for the sake of his religious beliefs, a report in local media said on Saturday.
Much like Mumtaz Qadri – the policeman who shot and killed former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer in cold blood – Yousaf also had marked religious leanings and belonged to the Barelvi school of thought.
The 25-year-old from Chiniot joined the force in 2009 in Lahore. He was transferred to the Kot Lakhpat Jail, and also worked in Gujranwala, where he received Elite Force training for six months. He came to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on April 28, 2013 and was last deployed at the prison’s Gate No. 5.
The eldest of four brothers and a sister, he was the sole breadwinner for his family, who live in Chiniot.
One of Yousaf’s colleagues from Adiala Jail said that he was convinced that a divine entity would appear in his dreams. He said that Yousaf had wanted to lead prayers at the prison mosque and did so for some time. “Yousaf was also inspired by (Mumtaz) Qadri, who had also been detained at Adiala Jail for some time,” the policeman said.
According to officials, Yousaf spent some time in the barracks where Qadri was being held.
“I don’t remember the exact dates, but it was in the winter, maybe January or February. Duties are rotated on a monthly basis,” said the colleague.
Talking about his motivation, the policeman said, “Yousaf believed that the blasphemy accused could possibly be freed by the courts and he believed that the man should be punished,” he said, adding that Yousaf had learned that the accused would regularly meet with embassy officials.
Meanwhile, Yousaf has told police that he shot the inmate following a dream which compelled him to do so. He said that he was sure the man would be set free and wanted to kill him to punish him properly.
Police have also recorded the statement of the wounded inmate, who is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.
In the brief statement, the British-Pakistani man said he had never seen his attacker in his barracks and did not have any enmity with the man.