ISLAMABAD – President Mamnoon’s family moved to Presidency for fear of a backlash as he is expected decide the mercy plea of malik Mumtaz Qadri – the murderer of Punjab’s former governor Salmaan Taseer.
A former commando of the Punjab Police’s Elite Force, Qadri was sentenced to death for the murder of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad’s Koshar Market on January 4, 2011. Qadri had admitted to the murder saying he was opposed to Salman Taseer’s calls to reform the blasphemy law.
Currently, only the president and the prime minister are provided security under the ‘Blue Category’ – the highest security protocol for anyone in Pakistan. “Despite these heavy protocols, security of the president has been further beefed up as he is about to decide the mercy appeal of Qadri,” said an official privy to the development.
The president has three sons. And the official said last year one of his sons, Salman Mamnoon, escaped a bomb attack on his convoy in Hub, near Karachi. Three people were killed in the attack claimed by a banned separatist group, Baloch Liberation Army.
Another senior security official told the channel that overall security in Islamabad would also be reviewed if Qadri’s mercy plea was rejected by the president. “Security situation will be reviewed following the decision. And most probably the district administration will impose Section 144 in the capital,” he said. Secretary to the President Shahid Khan refused to comment on the issue.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has upheld the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, Qadri had challenged the Islamabad High Court (IHC) 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.
Mumtaz Qadri’s counsel failed to prove through a legally admissible evidence that the victim Salmaan Taseer, the slain governor of Punjab province, had committed blasphemy within the meanings of the Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), according to the detailed verdict issued by the Supreme Court on Monday in a review petition filed by the assassin against his death sentence.
Mumtaz Qadri, whose death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for assassinating former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, has appealed the president for mercy.
NEO Monitoring Desk