Thousands at funeral of Pakistani executed for murdering governor

Mar 1, 2016

Photo credit: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

By Jon Boone

An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people have attended the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, in a massive show of support for the convicted murderer of a leading politician who had criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The vast gathering on Tuesday centred on Liaquat Park in Rawalpindi, where a succession of clerics made fiery speeches bitterly condemning the government for giving the go-ahead for Monday’s execution of Qadri, a former police bodyguard who became a hero to many of his countrymen after he shot and killed Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, in 2011.

Fearing violence, authorities closed schools and beefed up security in both the garrison city of Rawalpindi and neighbouring Islamabad, the capital. Key roads were closed to traffic and the “red zone” near important government buildings was sealed.

Many people had travelled from around the country to attend the funeral, and crowds spilled out of the park on to the adjacent thoroughfare where throngs crushed around the flower-strewn ambulance that eventually brought Qadri’s body to the event.

Some of the all-male crowd wore “I am Qadri” signs around their necks while others held up the front page of the Ummat newspaper for bypassers to kiss, which was entirely covered with a photo of Qadri’s dead and garlanded body.

Many in the crowd were furious with the courts for convicting Qadri, with the governing faction of prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League for not ordering a presidential pardon, and with the media for agreeing to a strict news blackout on the protests.

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14 comments on “Thousands at funeral of Pakistani executed for murdering governor

  • 1
    NearlyNakedApe says:


    An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people have attended the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, in a massive show of support for the convicted murderer of a leading politician who had criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws…

    The thing that strikes me the most about this article is the picture. Seeing what a crowd of 100,00 looks like really puts things in perspective when compared to just reading the figure. If you take a close look at that picture, one glaring detail stands out: no female faces. There are only men in this sea of people. The women are probably forbidden or at the very least strongly discouraged to demonstrate in public in the presence of men…

    Or in the improbable case that they are allowed, they’re probably too scared to do so. Frankly, if I was in their shoes, I’d be scared s**tless to find myself in a sea of Islamists/Ultra-conservative Muslim men who applaud the idea of brutally assassinating an elected official for trying to get rid of medieval blasphemy laws and help usher Pakistan into the 21st century.

    Those mindless brutes, who instead of mourning the loss of a heroic, progressive-minded Governor, are paying tribute to a deluded, blood-thirsty assassin whom they all worship as a holy martyr for Islam.

    I look at that picture and I am almost immediately reminded of the famous Pew Research Center opinion poll conducted back in 2013 in Muslim majority countries. Muslim fundamentalists are just a tiny minority of Islam?…. Well take a good look at that picture because that’s what a “tiny minority” looks like in real life for those who live in that part of the world.

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  • NearlyNakedApe: Good point. This image should make people who support the notion of “the minority of Muslim fundamentalists” think twice.

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  • This is a terrifying sight. A body guard, murders the governor of Punjab and is a national hero. Do you think we could get the CIA to outsource some of that vapour trail stuff they spray over the US to control their citizens because these people need to calm down. How can we have a civilized planet with such irrational behaviour.

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  • I wonder what Ben Affleck has to say about this after his rant on Real Time with Bill Maher a year ago about Islam not being the problem and mustn’t be criticised and terrorists just being criminals rather than religious nutters. Well here’s a shit load of religious nutters who think murder is just fine and dandy, even of one of their own, when someone criticises their sacred bullshit. It’s hardly surprising they have even less problem with killing those who aren’t their own. It does make one feel desperately sad for the future of our planet when half the population is still struggling to crawl out of the Dark Ages intellectually and morally.

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  • Salman Taseer murder: Pakistan hangs Mumtaz Qadri
    In May, just months after Taseer was gunned down, Pakistan’s Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the cabinet’s only Christian, was shot dead by gunmen who ambushed his car.

    That August, Salman Taseer’s son, Shahbaz Taseer, was abducted in Lahore. His whereabouts are still unclear.

    Who was Salman Taseer?

    The 2011 murder of Taseer, who was the governor of Punjab, was one of Pakistan’s most high-profile assassinations.

    He was one of the most prominent liberal politicians in the country and a close associate of Asif Ali Zardari, who was then the president.

    Known to be an outspoken critic of the country’s harsh blasphemy laws, arguing that they discriminated against religious minorities, and sought liberal reforms.

    He had called for a pardon for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

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  • Meanwhile as the US remains pals with oily Saudis: –
    Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden left a personal fortune of around $29m (£21m) after his death in a raid in 2011, his will shows.

    The will is among a trove of documents released to US media. It was seized in the US assault in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

    .Bin Laden urged his family to “obey my will” and to spend his inheritance on “jihad, for the sake of Allah“.

    He referred to the money as being in Sudan, but it is not clear whether it was cash or assets.

    Bin Laden lived in Sudan for five years in the 1990s as a guest of the Sudanese government.

    It is not known whether any of the money made its way to his heirs.

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  • It seems that there are Hindu alternatives and Sharia Law, forming the basis of legislation in Pakistan!!

    Pakistani police say they have halted the marriage of a 10-year-old girl, who was due to wed a 14-year-old boy to end a dispute between their families.

    Local village elders had ordered the marriage after the girl’s brother was accused of killing his wife.

    Correspondents say “vani” marriages, where a woman is ordered to marry to settle the crime of a relative, are illegal but remain common in Pakistan.

    Police say they have arrested four village elders over the case.

    The vani marriage had been due to take place in Punjab’s Rahimyar Khan district on Friday, but was stopped after police raided the village.

    Officers were still searching for nearly 20 other suspects, police official Chaudhry Yasin told the BBC.

    Honour killing’ -The girl’s brother was accused of killing his wife after he suspected her of an affair. He was arrested and is currently in jail.

    Following his arrest, a council of local village elders, known as a panchayat, was called to settle the conflict between the two families.

    Both families belonged to the minority Hindu community living in Rahimyar Khan, Chaudhry Yasin said.

    The panchayat ruled that the 10-year-old girl should marry the 14-year-old boy, who was a relative of the victim, in order to settle the dispute.

    Under Pakistani law, relatives of a murder victim have the right to pardon the perpetrator in return for blood money or a compromise, the BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad reports.

    Both honour killings and vani marriages remain common in Pakistan, with perpetrators from poorer and less influential sections of society most likely to be prosecuted, our correspondent adds.

    In January, a bill that proposed raising the legal age of marriage for women from 16 to 18 was withdrawn after a religious body, the Council of Islamic Ideology, described the bill as “un-Islamic“.

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  • Meanwhile the delusion motivated murder continues!

    At least eight people have been killed in a Pakistan bombing which militants say was in revenge for the execution of a policeman turned assassin.

    The apparent suicide attack, at the entrance to a court in the north-western town of Shabqadar, wounded 27 people, police told local media.

    (Several were also injured in the attack, including children)

    Militants said it was to avenge the hanging last week of Mumtaz Qadri, who was seen by many as a religious hero.

    Qadri killed the governor of Punjab in 2011 for opposing blasphemy laws.

    Shabqadar is located on the border of the tribal district of Mohmand, which remains volatile years after the military said it had been cleared of militants.

    “The court and judges were our target as their practices are un-Islamic,” a spokesperson for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told Pakistan’s Express Tribune.

    I think that sums up the level of respect for national laws in these faith-heads!

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  • 13
    Cairsley says:

    At least eight people have been killed in a Pakistan bombing which militants say was in revenge for the execution of a policeman turned assassin.

    Even the law of talion is too advanced for these … er … (cough) … people.

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