‘#IAmMumtazQadri’ tops all trends on Salmaan Taseer’s death anniversary

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With the late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s 8th death anniversary being observed across the country on Friday, a hashtag “#IAmMumtazQadri”, celebrating his murderer, started to trend on Twitter in Pakistan.

The former governor was assassinated by his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, on January 4, 2011, because he had defended a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. The Elite Force commando, convicted of killing Taseer, was executed in 2016, whereas Aasia was acquitted by the Supreme Court (SC) in October last year.

Amid speculations on the micro-blogging website as to what was the origin of the hashtag, it became the top trend in the country, beating one pertaining to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Turkey visit.

Meanwhile, a few used the hashtag to question the trend launched in favour of the rogue cop.

During several media statements, interviews and press conferences, late Taseer had maintained that Aasia Bibi was innocent and had been falsely implicated by her rivals in the blasphemy case. He had also called for amendments to the blasphemy laws to prevent their misuse by certain elements for settling personal scores.

Besides his role as a human rights activist, Salmaan Taseer was also a seasoned politician who had been associated with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He became a member of Punjab Assembly in 1988 and served as a minister in the caretaker cabinet of prime minister Muhammad Mian Soomro under Pervez Musharraf during the 2008 elections. He was appointed Punjab governor in 2008 and served for three years until his assassination.