Qadri laid to rest in ancestral village near Islamabad

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Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was laid to rest in his ancestral village in Bara Kahu , close to Islamabad.

Earlier, Qadri’s funeral prayers were offered in Liaquat Bagh following Zuhr prayers on Tuesday, after which the body was taken to his final burial place.

Read more: Salman Taseer’s killer Mumtaz Qadri hanged after 5 years

Qadri, a police bodyguard to Taseer, shot the Punjab governor 28 times at an Islamabad market in 2011.

The funeral procession took nearly six hours to reach as thousands of supporters and members of religious parties had gathered to attend the funeral.

Security was beefed up in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with thousands of policemen guarding buildings and lined along the route taken by Qadri’s funeral procession.

Stick-wielding Sunni Tehreek activists were maintaining security at Tuesday’s funeral.

A United Nations official said all its staff had been sent home from various locations in the capital due to security fears, including from the tightly guarded diplomatic enclave.

 

Also read:CII chairman says Qadri was driven by religious sentiments but his act was illegal

Qadri had said he was angry at Taseer’s calls to reform the blasphemy law.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the country, and Qadri was hailed as a hero by many conservatives eager to drown out calls to soften the legislation.

Critics say the law – which carries the death penalty – is largely misused.

Analyst Amir Rana said the execution marked a key moment for Pakistan in its more than a decade-long fight against religious extremism.

“I think it is a very critical moment in the political history of Pakistan.It is the first time the political government has made such a decision.”

“The resolve is on the rule of law and they will not allow the space for extremism in Pakistan.”

Must read: Pakistan on alert as Salmaan Taseer’s killer hanged

But he warned there was potential for the move to backfire by making Qadri a martyr among his supporters and his execution a rallying cry.

Mourners travelled from distant cities, including Karachi and Lahore. In Karachi, members of Jamaat-i-Islami observed his funeral prayers in absentia at the Empress Market.

Scores protested across the country on Monday after authorities announced the hanging had taken place early that morning.

But as security stepped up at flash-points across the country, most dispersed peacefully.

Many schools and universities remained closed for the day after shutting early Monday.

Know more: Qadri’s supporters ‘occupy’ Lahore’s Mall Road

Liaquat Bagh, the park in Rawalpindi where the funeral ceremony was be held, is tinged with political significance: 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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Even if this is a closed chapter afer almost five years, the school that Qadri belonged to, has not. Looking at his funeral procession and gathering, which includef prominent religous scholars and politicians, it may be expected that the movement will continue in one way or the other. The positive part was the funeral is, it remained peaceful.

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