Funeral of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer’s killer was offered on Tuesday in Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi.
Mumtaz Qadri was executed on Monday for assassinating Punjab’s Governer Salmaan Taseer in 2011. He had hundreds of supporters gathered for his funeral in Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, sparking fears of violence as police and troops were deployed at the main junctions.
Qadri said he was angry at the politician’s calls to reform the blasphemy law.
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the Islamic republic, and Qadri was hailed as a hero by many conservatives eager to drown out calls to soften the legislation.
Around 800 men and women had gathered around the body as it was being placed in the ambulance, to be taken to the funeral, with no security forces to be seen.
Thousands of people protested in cities across Pakistan, but with the increased security all across the country 200 million people dispersed peacefully.
A police official said , “Police have been heavily deployed across the capital today,” adding up to 3,000 officers on the streets, including paramilitary Ranger forces.
All schools and universities remained closed for the day after shutting early yesterday.
Liaquat Bagh, in Rawalpindi is where the funeral will take place. It is seen with political significance, as it is where Pakistani Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, and the site of Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in 2007.