LAHORE: Shehryar Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, expressed his satisfaction on the Supreme Court’s verdict in which the apex court upheld the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, the man convicted for the murder of the former governor.
“I am happy to know about Supreme Court’s verdict on death penalty for Mumtaz Qadri,” he wrote on Twitter. He said that the Supreme Court’s verdict would make Pakistan stronger in terms of justice.
Qadri had challenged the Islamabad High Court’s verdict on his death sentence in the Supreme Court. Lawyers for Qadri filed the plea in the apex court claiming that the matter was not about murder but provocation. In its ruling, the Supreme Court also declared the IHC decision of annulling the death sentence under the Anti-Terrorism Act null and void.
Qadri – a former commando of the Elite Force of the Punjab Police – was sentenced to death for the murder of Salmaan Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011. Qadri had admitted to the murder, saying he was opposed to Taseer’s calls to reform the blasphemy law. In March 2015, the court has also dismissed Qadri’s appeal against his death sentence but accepted his appeal of ordering the removal of terrorism charges from his case, annulling the sentence under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
A 64-page verdict by the high court said that the conviction of appellant recorded by the trial court under Section 7(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act was set aside, the appeal to this extent was allowed and appellant was acquitted from the said charge whereas conviction and sentence recorded under Section 302 (b) PPC is upheld and appeal to this extent was dismissed.
The high court said: “It is amazing to note that the appellant (Mumtaz Qadri) took protections and rights guaranteed by the constitution but deprived deceased (Salmaan Taseer) from all constitutional guarantees.” An Anti-Terrorism Court had awarded death sentence to Qadri on October 1, 2011 with Rs 0.2 million as fine and compensation to the legal heirs of the late Taseer.