Mumtaz Qadri laid to rest amid tight security
Life in Rawalpindi came to a standstill as thousands turn out for funeral, schools remained closed, metro suspended. PHOTO: REUTERS
Life in Rawalpindi came to a standstill as thousands turn out for funeral, schools remained closed, metro suspended. PHOTO: REUTERS
Life in Rawalpindi came to a standstill as thousands turn out for funeral, schools remained closed, metro suspended. PHOTO: REUTERS PHOTO: AFP
Tens of thousands of supporters turned out in Rawalpindi on Tuesday to attend the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, amid heavy deployment of law enforcers and tight security.
He was buried in Bhara Kahu near Islamabad.
Salmaan Taseer’s killer Mumtaz Qadri executed
Life in Rawalpindi came to a standstill on Tuesday as schools remained closed, the metro suspended and shops in Raja Bazaar, on Muree Road and Commercial Market were shuttered. The three major hospitals also remained on alert.
Security forces, deployed in force, kept a careful distance from the crowds. Junctions and sensitive buildings in Rawalpindi and Islamabad – including the metro — were guarded by thousands of police officials and paramilitary Rangers. Snipers were deployed on highrise buildings overlooking the crowds.
Ahead of Qadri’s funeral in Rawalpindi, thousands of people converged on Liaquat Bagh from across the country.
While the funeral prayers were scheduled for 2 pm, crowds which had been gathering since late night on Monday had filled the ground and the area around it by 11 am with participants making queues on Murree Road from Marrir Chowk to Chandni Chowk.
Mumtaz Qadri: From Ghazi to Shaheed
In wake of the massive turnout and the charged atmosphere, Qadri’s body was moved from his family home in Sadiqabad at around 11.30am. But the six kilometre journey to Liaquat Bagh took around four hours as supporters swarmed the ambulance which was carrying his body all the while chanting slogans and showering it with flowers.
According to one estimate, at least 100,000 people attended the funeral.
His funeral prayers were finally offered at 3.45pm. Pir Haseenuddin, the administrator of Jamia Rizvia Ziaul Aloom, Sabzi Mandi, Rawalpindi and chief caretaker of Tanzeemul-Madaris Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan, led the funeral prayers.
Other prominent figures including Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq, Sunni Tehreek chief Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, former federal religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, and well-known Ahl-e-Sunnat Rawalpindi leader Qari Hanif Qurehsi were among those who attended.
The most incisive commentary on Mumtaz Qadri’s execution
No prominent political figure attended the funeral.
Following the funeral prayers, most of the people dispersed peacefully as Qadri’s body was escorted by his supporters to Attal in Bhara Kahu for burial.
The former bodyguard had been executed at the Adiala Jail early Monday morning for assassinating Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011 for his support to a blasphemy accused. An Anti-Terrorism Court convicted and condemned him to death – a ruling also upheld by the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.
A review petition of Qadri was also turned down by the top court on December 14 last year, leaving him with the last option to file a clemency appeal to the president.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2016.
RAWALPINDI: Scores of supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, gathered Tuesday for his funeral in his ancestral village in Bara Kahu area, close to Islamabad.
Qadri’s funeral prayers were offered in Liaquat Bagh following Zuhr prayers, after which the body was taken to his final burial place.
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, AFP reported.
According to Reuters, stick-wielding Sunni Tehreek activists were maintaining security at Tuesday’s funeral.
A United Nations official told AFP all its staff had been sent home from various locations in the capital due to security fears, including from the tightly guarded diplomatic enclave.
Qadri, a police bodyguard to Taseer, shot the Punjab governor 28 times at an Islamabad market in 2011.
He said he was angry at the politician’s calls to reform the blasphemy law.
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.
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis chanting anti-government slogans on Tuesday attended the funeral of a police officer executed the day before for assassinating a secular governor in 2011 over accusations of blasphemy.
As a precaution against violence, authorities closed all schools and stepped up security in Islamabad and the adjacent city of Rawalpindi, where the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri was held. Roads around key government buildings and diplomatic compounds were also closed off, said police official Ashfaq Tarar.
Qadri’s supporters threw rose petals at the ambulance carrying his coffin through Rawalpindi and he was given a martyr’s funeral before being buried in Islamabad.
Earlier, authorities put a gag order on local media covering the funeral, warning outlets in a letter that they would face closure if their reporting “glorifies extremism.”
In response to the gag order, some stick-wielding supporters beat up a local media crew in Rawalpindi, breaking at least one video camera.
Footage posted on social media showed Qadri’s supporters jeering Pakistan’s Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid at the Karachi airport. One threw a shoe at the minister, who ducked to avoid it.
Qadri’s hanging on Monday triggered street protests in several Pakistani cities. A number of prominent religious leaders, politicians and militant groups in Pakistan had defended his actions.
He was executed for killing secular Gov. Salman Taseer, who had called for reforms of the country’s harsh blasphemy laws. Qadri said he killed Taseer because the governor had allegedly committed blasphemy by campaigning to change the laws and by supporting a jailed Christian woman accused of desecrating Islam’s holy book, the Quran.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws allow for anyone convicted of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad to be sentenced to death, though people often take the law into their own hands.
The January 2011 assassination horrified Pakistan’s relatively small liberal elite. However, many Pakistanis, including some in the religious establishment and in legal circles, praised Qadri.
Tens of thousands of Qadri’s supporters walked for miles to reach the funeral venue as police had blocked most of the roads for traffic, said police official Mohsin Abbas.
Many chanted in support of Qadri while others carried posters with photographs of the former officer. Ahmad Nadeem wore a shirt reading: “I’m Mumtaz Qadri.”
Pakistan is deeply conservative, and for decades the government tolerated and even encouraged certain Islamic militant groups, viewing them as a bulwark against archrival India. Perceived affronts to Islam can ignite street protests and lynchings.
Rawalpindi: Tens of thousands of Islamist supporters of Mumtaz Qadri chanting provocative slogans on Tuesday attended his funeral, a day after the ex-police commando was executed for killing liberal Punjab governor Salman Taseer who sought reforms in Pakistan’s mainstream blasphemy law.
“Qadri, your blood will bring the revolution” and “The punishment for a blasphemer is beheading” were heard as supporters of Qadri threw flowers at the casket and flocked the historic Liaquat Bagh ground in the heart of Rawalpindi, less than 20 kms from Rawalpindi.
While a police official said that over 15,000 people were present inside the sprawling ground in the garrison city, private estimate put the number of those attending the funeral nearly 1,00,000.
The roads to Liaquat Bagh were blocked off but thousands arrived on foot. Roads around government buildings, the Parliament and diplomatic compounds were also closed.
The gathering was peaceful as the ambulance carrying the body inched through the sea of supporters to the burial site at Qadri’s ancestral village near Bhara Kahu in suburbs of Islamabad.
Pakistan remained on high alert as security personnel were deployed at all main junctions and sensitive areas in the capital and the adjacent Rawalpindi to avoid any untoward incident as some supporters were also seen carrying sticks.
“Special measures have been taken to check any untoward incident,” said an Interior Ministry official.
Fearing violence by Qadri’s supporters, most of the private schools in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been closed for a second day.
Former police commando Qadri, who shot Taseer 28 times in broad daylight in an upmarket locality of Islamabad in 2011, was hanged in Adialia jail in Rawalpindi on Monday.
His execution triggered protests by thousands of Islamists who called it a “black day”. Within hours of the hanging, street protests broke out in several cities by the supporters of Qadri, who considered him as a hero for defending the faith.
The supporters blocked roads and forced many shopkeepers to close down their stores.
The biggest protest was held in Karachi with around 8,000 people taking to the streets.
After the execution, Qadri’s body was handed over to his family living in Sadiqabad area of Rawalpindi where hundreds of his supporters belonging to radical religious groups gathered to mourn his death.
Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, with even unproven allegations often triggering mob violence.
RAWALPINDI: Thousands of people from Rawalpindi and nearby towns turned out at Liaquat Bagh ground on Tuesday to participate in the funeral prayers of Mumtaz Qadri amidst tight security.
Qadri was hanged the previous day in accordance with the verdict of the Supreme Court, which had found him guilty of assassinating Punjab’s then governor Salmaan Taseer five years ago.
Large parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi were shut as a precautionary measure or out of fear.
The workers of Sunni Tehreek and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat were posted around the stage at Liaquat Bagh instead of local police and law enforcement agencies.
Strangely enough, the law enforcement agencies were not allowed to enter the Liaquat Bagh and surrounding roads leading to the ground. Police were limited to rooftops of buildings and at the places where they closed the roads with containers.
Youngsters belonging to religious parties were seen carrying bamboo sticks. They wore armbands inscribed with the picture of Mumtaz Qadri. However, no untoward situation took place in the area.
Qadri’s body was brought in an ambulance by hundreds of his supporters.
Lengthy speeches by some of the participants held up the funeral for two hours. It finally went ahead at 3.45pm.
Pir Syed Hasseen-un-din Shah of Golra Sharif led the funeral prayer.
Mumtaz Qadri was buried in Athaal village of Islamabad’s Bhara Kahu area.
The participants chanted slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the government.
The speakers urged the participants to remain peaceful and disperse after the prayer.
In their speeches, the speakers lashed out at the government for execution of Qadri.
Other speakers were of the view that all schools of thought were united on the issue and called the execution unjustified.
Mumtaz Qadri, who was one of the police guards deputed to protect Governor Taseer, used his official weapon to shoot him dead in Islamabad on Jan 4, 2011, as, according to him, the governor had committed blasphemy by calling for review of the controversial law.
Speakers at the funeral urged the government to start the trial in all those cases which were registered under the blasphemy act.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) has convened an “All Parties Conference” in Rawalpindi on Thursday (March 3) to chalk out a strategy against the government over the execution of Qadri.
“We have invited all the opposition parties, including the PPP and PTI as well as all religious-cum political parties. The ruling PML-N has not been invited,” JI leader Malik Azam told Dawn.
TIMERGARA: More protest demonstrations were held by the religious parties and groups in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
Hundreds of Jamaat-i-Islami workers marched on road from Balambat and gathered in front of the Timergara Press Club. The marchers, carrying banners and placards, chanted slogans against the government and in favour of Qadri.
Addressing the rally, Lower Dir JI chief Izazul Mulk said that Feb 29 was the darkest day in the history of Pakistan when a true lover of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was hanged by the government. He said that Qadri was a ‘hero’ of the nation and not a criminal.
Mr Mulk said that killers of Ziaul Haq, Liaquat Ali Khan and Benazir Bhutto could not be hanged so far, but Qadri was executed only to appease India, America and the western world. Other JI leaders, including Shafiullah, Maulana Hidayatullah and Shad Mohammad, also spoke on this occasion.
The central leader of Jamiat Talba Islam, Maulana Mohsin Mehmood, also condemned hanging of Qadri. Talking to mediapersons, he claimed that the government had committed a blasphemy by hanging him. He said that American spy Raymond Davis was pardoned and set free though he had killed three Pakistani citizens.
In Swabi, JI staged a protest demonstration at Shewa Adda against the hanging of Qadri. JI activists gathered in Razaar tehsil office of the party and marched from there to Shewa Adda where they blocked the Swabi-Mardan road for traffic for an hour.
The protesters were led by local party leader Mahmoodul Hassan. Addressing the protesters, Mr Hassan said that they were shocked to hear the news. “Mumtaz Qadri was a true lover of Islam and that was the reason that we opposed his execution,” he said.
Meanwhile religious figures of Chota Lahor tehsil blocked Swabi-Jehangira road at Tordher bus stop to protest the hanging. In Kohat, the religious parties and groups, including JUI-F, JI, ASWJ and traders, brought out a protest procession from Tehsil Gate against the hanging.
The participants marched through the main bazaar and the procession culminated at King Gate where local leaders addressed it.
Haji Abid said that there were dozens of other prisoners who were in the prison for several years in blasphemy cases, but only Qadri was hanged and that too in a hasty manner. He said that Qadri’s sentence could have been turned into life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the main bazaar remained closed on the call of the political and religious parties. However, PML-N did not take part in the protest. Local PPP leader Abdur Rauf advocate said that Salman Taseer had not done anything blasphemous and it was the propaganda of the religious parties that took his life.
In Abbottabad city, strike was observed on the call of Tahaffuz Khatam-i-Nabauwat against hanging of Qadri, followed by a peaceful protest rally taken out from Markazi Jamia Masjid. The rally ended in front of the Cantt police station.
JI Abbottabad chief Abdur Razzaq, district Khateeb Maulana Abdul Wahid and traders leader Naeem Awan spoke on the occasion.
In Shangla, activists of Islami Jamiat Talba staged a protest march against Qadri’s execution at Karora bazaar. Divisional nazim Iftikhar Hussain led the march. In Charsadda, protest rallies by activists of religious parties and students were held against the execution of Qadri. Funerals in absentia for Qadri were also held in various parts of the province.
RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD – Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was buried in the suburbs of the federal capital yesterday amid fears of violence as the law-enforcing agencies’ personnel threw a tight security cordon around the flashpoints.
Earlier, the funeral prayer of Qadri, a police commando who was hanged for murdering former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer for criticising blasphemy laws, was offered at Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi and attended by thousands of mourners who hailed him as a hero.
Life in most of the capital continued as routine except road blockades near the Red Zone, but the scene was quite different in Rawalpindi where schools were closed, shops were shut and there were people on almost all major roads leading to Liaquat Bagh.
People from different parts of the country had started gathering from Monday night to offer the funeral of Qadri, who was sentenced after lengthy court proceedings and the sentence was upheld by superior courts of the country.
In view of precarious security situation and expecting huge rush that could cause some fatal accident, the law enforcement agencies had blocked some key roads to stop vehicles from entering the funeral prayer venue.
The participants made queues on Murree Road from Marrir Chowk to Chandni Chowk and on Liaquat Road and at College Road to offer the funeral prayer.
The ground of Liaqat Bagh was jam-packed by 11am.
The funeral prayer was supposed to be offered at 2pm but it took almost three hours to shift the body of Qadri from his Sadiqabad house to the venue due to huge rush, and finally the prayer was offered around 3:45pm.
The prayer was led by Pir Haseen ud Deen Shah, an influential cleric of the country who administers a seminary in Rawalpindi and is Chief Caretaker of Tanzeem ul Mudaris Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan.
The prominent among the attendees were Jamat-e-Islami chief Siraj-ul Haq, Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman, the head of country’s Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi.
Apart from JI chief and Hamid Kazmi, no prominent political figure from ruling or opposition parties attended the funeral.
Among the prominent leaders of various Sunni organisations, Pirs and custodians of different famous sufi shrines were Pir Muhamamd Afzal Qadri, Dr Ashraf Asif Jilali, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Sahibzada Abu Al-Khair Muhammad Zubair, Pir Muhammad Naqib, Allama Kokab Noorani, Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Engineer Sarwat Ijaz Qadri, Shah Muhammad Awais Noorani, Hafiz Ahmed Raza Qadri, Sahibzada Hamid Raza Hashmi, and Qari Hanif Qurehsi and Sahibzada Usman Qadri.
The dead body was later taken to Athaal village, four kilometres away from Bara Kahu in the capital’s suburbs.
Qadri supporters threw rose petals on his coffin and chanted slogans against the government.
Thousands of police were deployed along the route of the funeral procession from Liaqat Bagh to Bhara Kahu area in the Islamabad’s suburbs and the law-enforcers monitored the proceedings by helicopters.
Though the students of different seminaries and activists of different religious organisations – who made up most of the crowd – largely remained peaceful, some people attacked a DSNG of a private television channel at Committee Chowk.
Supporters of Qadri were annoyed with the media persons for not covering the execution and the funeral.
They did not allow the media persons to use cameras as some photographers took pictures from rooftop of the building of Rawalpindi Press Club.
Sufficient security arrangements were made by Rawalpindi district administration while the DCO and police high ups were present in Water and Sanitation Agency office near Liaqat Bagh to monitor the funeral proceedings.
Pakistan Rangers was deployed on track of the Metro Bus Service for surveillance.
Policemen were also deployed on high rise buildings around Liaqat Bagh and on the Murree Road.
The government had closed all education institutions in the city and the metro bus service.
There was red alert in three major public sector hospitals.
A district government official told The Nation that Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif was personally monitoring the funeral and other security arrangements in Rawalpindi.
He said the CM had approached different religious leaders on Monday about their plan to hold funeral and requested them to control the sentiments of the people, who were made to believe by religious extremists that Qadri did the right thing by killing Salmaan Taseer and that he was wrongly convicted.
JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that all schools of thought have a unanimous stance that no one will be allowed to turn Pakistan into a secular state.
Addressing a news conference here at Jamia Khairul Madaris after condoling the demise of Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Siddique with Wifaqul Madaris General Secretary Qari Hanif Jalindhri on Tuesday, he added that all attempts to make the country secular would fully be resisted. He said that he had a difference of opinion on some steps taken by the government and consultations are underway to chalk out future line of action. He said that Rana Sana Ullah taunted the religious parties that they could not form government due to little vote bank. “But I want to remind him that we can topple the governments whatsoever,” he maintained.
Referring to the Women Protection Bill passed by Punjab Assembly, Fazl said that it conflicted with “our customs and constitution,” adding that its approval is a clear deviation from the ideology of Pakistan. He added that secular powers hatched conspiracy with the help of NGOs against Eastern traditions and this new law is a step towards accomplishment of international agenda. He pointed out that the same bill was passed by Indian Parliament in 2001 and the same bill was tabled in Punjab Assembly after removing just one word India from it. He said that the law had serious ambiguities as complaint could be lodged even if one would say something a little harsh to his daughter, sister or wife.
He pointed out that Ayub Khan, Musharraf and the PPP governments also introduced likewise laws but they withdrew them after their opposition from religious parties. He said that the incumbent government is bent upon turning Pakistan into a secular state on the orders of their foreign masters but the people of Pakistan would not let them accomplish this task.
Answering a question, he said issuance of death warrants for the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri in the darkness of night showed that there was something fishy. He maintained that thousands of 302 cases are pending but the government did not show any efficiency to dispose of them.
Talking to the journalists on this occasion, Qari Hanif Jalindhri said that the character assassination of Ulema is underway under a vicious conspiracy since long while the students of religious institutions were picked up from Masjids and roads which is against the law. He said that if there are any evidence of any student’s involvement in any unlawful activity, he should be tried in the court of law instead of taking him to unknown places. He warned that the bill passed by Punjab Assembly would promote killings and divorces in the province.
He said that the way Mumtaz Qadri was hanged was a judicial murder. “If they had paved way for Remind Davis, they could have found an exit for Mumtaz Qadri as well,” he added.
LAHORE – Protests demonstrations and statements in condemnations against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri continued by religious parties leaders on second day.
The religious parties also organised absentia funeral prayers of Qadri at different places.
They also announced holding major protest demonstrations on Friday.
The Jamiat Ulam-e-Islam-F, Aalmi Majlise Khatam-e-Nabowat and Jamaat-e-Islami held separate protests against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri.
JUI-F held protest outside Lahore Press Club while JI held protests at Mansoora.
The protesters carrying placards and banners chanted slogans against the PML-N government and said the blood of Qadri would not go in vain.
Absentia funeral prayer of Mumtaz Qadrfi was offered at Mansoora lawns on Tuesday afternoon.
The JI workers and the residents of the surrounding area joined the prayer.
JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch led the prayer which was also attended by JI deputy chief Hafiz Idrees, Maulana Abdul Malik and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Liaqat Baloch said that Mumtaz Qadri had earned a distinct place by embraced martyrdom whereas those executing him had blackened their faces by themselves.
He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed himself to be Quaid Sani, but he was practically negating the Quaid e Azam’s principles.
He said that the Quaid-e- Azam had fought Ghazi Ilmud Din’s case while Nawaz Sharif had hanged a lover of the Holy Prophet.
He said that by sending Mumtaz Qadri to the gallows, the rulers had placed the yoke of masses hatred around their neck.
He said the nation would never forgive this sin of the rulers and would unite on the issue to avenge Mumtaz Qadri’s martyrdom.
Baloch said that Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam, and nobody could end its ideological character.
The JI secretary general condemned the total blackout of Mumtaz Qadri’s execution by the media.
He said the JI had always fought for the freedom of the press and had also undergone imprisonments for this cause.
He counseled the media houses not to stifle the masses voice and warned that if the rulers ever placed restrictions on the media, the masses would not come out in their support.
Tens of thousands of people in Pakistan Tuesday attended the funeral of a man executed a day earlier for the killing in 2011 of a powerful politician who criticized the country’s blasphemy laws.
Funeral prayers for Mumtaz Qadri were held in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh park, the same place where former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007.
The crowd carried the body more than 20 kilometers to bury it in a place called Bhara Kahu, near Islamabad, the nation’s capital. All roads leading to Islamabad were blocked for traffic with heavy shipping containers guarded by police in riot gear.
Schools and most marketplaces in Rawalpindi were closed for the day.
Earlier, the crowd chanted slogans in favor of Qadri and against the government and judiciary. His supporters hailed him as a hero and a defender of the faith.
Qadri supporters had beaten up some members of the media, including a Reuters cameraman, on Monday and smashed his equipment. Anticipating further violence directed toward them Tuesday, both local and foreign electronic media mostly stayed away from the funeral. No television cameras could be seen on site in a country where such crowds are usually covered live by multiple stations.
Qadri, who worked for the elite unit of the police and was on duty to guard the governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, shot him almost 30 times outside a popular market in Islamabad. When Qadri arrived at court to stand trial in Taseer’s death, he was showered with rose petals by lawyers who offered to take his case for free.
An accusation of blasphemy is considered a de-facto death sentence in Pakistan. At least 65 people have been murdered in connection with blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies and a tally by the Reuters news agency.
Qadri’s execution, however, shows the government is toughening its stance on hardliners carrying out vigilante justice.
ISLAMABAD: Many prominent religious personalities attended the funeral prayer of Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, at Liaquat Bagh on Tuesday.
Mumtaz Qadri was hanged early on Monday morning after his clemency appeal was rejected by President Mamnoon Hussain.
“The government protected terrorists and delayed their cases for several years despite the fact they killed hundreds of people but it executed Qadri in haste,” said Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi, a former federal minister for religious affairs in ex-prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s cabinet, while talking to Dawn.
Mr Kazmi, who arrived in the city to attend the funeral prayers, said Mumtaz Qadri killed the former governor out of his love for the holy prophet (peace be upon him). He said the huge gathering at the funeral was enough to prove that people considered Mumtaz Qadri as a martyr.
Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman added: “The presence of such a large number of people in the funeral is a referendum against the government. The government killed Mumtaz Qadri and people rejected the government’s act. I have never seen such a big gathering in any political or religious function,” he said.
Police and the capital administration remained on their toes throughout the day on Tuesday to ensure that the funeral procession of Mumtaz Qadri passed Islamabad to Athaal village in Bhara Kahu without any hindrance. All arrangements were put in place to meet any untoward incident.
Roads along funeral procession route from Rawalpindi to Bhara Kahu in capital remained closed till evening
The funeral procession entered Islamabad from Faizabad in the afternoon. An assistant commissioner (AC) and a magistrate received the procession as per directions and accompanied it to the Athaal Chowk.
In anticipation of a law and order situation, the capital administration changed the processions route which was accepted by Qadri’s family and from Faizabad the procession moved via Park Road to Athaal village at about 4:30pm. The funeral finished at around 8:15pm, the officials said.
Roads along the procession’s route, including Murree Road, were blocked to traffic till late into the evening. Traffic was diverted to Khayaban-i-Suharwardy, Islamabad Highway and I.J. Principal Road.
Senior officials of the capital administration were deployed at 11 locations from 1pm onwards till the funeral was over.
The SSP operation was asked to draw up a security plan, deploy policewomen at different locations and ensure that necessary equipment were available.
A source said: “Sharpshooters were also stationed at selected locations and on rooftops and were put under the supervision of inspectors. The police were asked to keep an eye on suspicious individuals and vehicles,” he added.
The SSP security was told to coordinate with Rangers who were deployed as a backup for the police if the need arose, another source said.
On directives from the district administration, the assistant inspector general of police, Special Branch, stationed bomb disposal squads along the procession’s route and the officials escorting the procession remained in contact with the Special Branch.
The district administration asked SSP traffic to ensure that traffic staff was available at all diversions and to make arrangements for possible VIP movement.
Secretary Islamabad Transport Authority coordinated with Islamabad Traffic Police to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and the district health officer kept in touch with hospitals and made arrangements necessary for possible emergencies. Ambulances, paramedics and fire brigades were also deployed at Athal Chowk, Faizabad, Dhokri Chowk, Kurri Road and Nadra headquarters.
The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Capital Hospital and the Federal Government Services Hospital were asked to remain on a high alert till March 2. Three-time more people attended the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri at Liaquat Bagh than the estimates earlier made by government agencies’ and the local police.
Inspector General of Police Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera along with an adviser to the chief minister and MPA Jehangir Khanzada arrived in the city on Tuesday morning and monitored the funerals and security arrangements until the coffin was taken to Bhara Kahu. A central control room had also been established at the office of the regional police officer (RPO) to monitor the law and order situation.
According to security sources, the Special Branch had estimated that 20,000 to 25,000 people would attend the funerals. The intelligence agencies and local police had expected around 30,000 to 35,000 people. However, a police official, who requested not to be named, claimed that around 90,000 people attended the funeral prayer.
“Had the funeral prayer been offered on Monday afternoon, the number of participants would have been less than the police and intelligence agencies were expecting,” a security official said and added that efforts by the police were made to convince the family of Qadri to complete the burial as soon as possible on Monday. He said the number of participants increased only due to the time gained by Mumtaz Qadri’s family and supporters.
Though there was no untoward incident, two police officers were beaten up and injured by a group of youngsters after they were intercepted by the police at Sadiqabad. The injured officials were treated at Benazir Bhutto Hospital and later allowed to go home.
“The emergency ward was prepared to cope with any emergency throughout the day but the city remained peaceful,” a doctor at the hospital told Dawn.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2016
KARACHI: Protest demonstrations continued for a second day on Tuesday against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri with Rangers and police personnel resorting to baton charge to disperse the participants in a protest sit-in at the Numaish traffic intersection. Funeral prayers in absentia were also held at places for the convicted killer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
The security administration of the Sindh government banned public gatherings in an apparent move to curb pro-Qadri demonstrations organised by different religious organisations. Though there was no word from the police authorities about their action against the sit-in participants, a spokesman for the organisers said a number of activists were missing and were believed to be arrested by law enforcement agencies.
The Jamaat-i-Islami organised funeral prayers in absentia for Mumtaz Qadri in the evening near the Empress Market in Saddar which was attended by a large number of people. Before the prayers, the leaders in their speeches condemned the execution of Mumtaz Qadri arguing that the formalities for true justice were not fulfilled during the trial.
Senior JI leader Asadullah Bhutto led the prayers, which were also attended by Abdul Karim Abid of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Qazi Ahmed Noorani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and Shia cleric Allama Yousuf Mirza.
At the Numaish traffic intersection a large number of people started converging in the first half of the day and within a few hours scores of protesters staged a sit-on on the main road. The situation worsened when talks between officials of the law enforcement agencies and organisers of the sit-in failed, triggering baton charge by police and Rangers personnel.
“The sit-in was jointly called by the JUP, Anjuman Talaba-i-Islam, Anjuman Naujawanan-i-Islam, Fidayan-i-Khatam-i-Nubuwwat and Markazi Jamaat-i-Ahl-i-Sunnat,” said Saif-ul-Islam, the spokesman for the participating organisations. “We were peaceful and were only registering our protest but we were attacked by the police and Rangers. Several participants were injured in the baton charge and a number of them were picked up by law enforcement personnel. They are still in their custody.”
Meanwhile, the provincial home department imposed a ban on public gatherings for four days just a day after it had banned pillion riding. Though no reason was mentioned by the authorities for the fresh measure, sources privy to the situation said it was taken on advice of police high-ups to curb pro-Qadri protest demonstrations and prayers in absentia being organised by different religious parties.
“The ban has been imposed for four days, till March 4,” said an official. “Under the Section 144 of the criminal procedure code, public gatherings, rallies or any other activity which involve assembly of more than five people is no more allowed till March 4 in the city. The same is directive for pillion riding, which will remain across Karachi till March 4.”
Tens of thousands of supporters chanted slogans and threw rose petals on Tuesday at an ambulance bearing the body of Mumtaz Qadri, a Pakistani Islamist executed for killing Punjab’s former Governor Salman Taseer, as schools closed and police guarded flashpoints. Crowds flooded into a park in the garrison city of Rawalpindi for funeral prayers for Qadri, chanting slogans such as “Qadri, your blood will bring revolution”. An AFP estimate put the number of people at up to 100,000.
Main junctions and sensitive buildings in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were guarded by thousands of police and paramilitary Rangers.
Security forces kept a careful distance from the crowd at Liaqat Bagh park, and some of the supporters dispersed after the prayers. But hundreds continued to march behind the flower-strewn ambulance as it inched its way through a sea of supporters towards the burial site. — AFP
Buried in outskirts of Islamabad
RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi witnessed a historic gathering of people at the Namaz-e-Janaza of Mumtaz Qadri, who was hanged in the case of killing former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. The people who came from all over Pakistan on Tuesday threw flowers at the casket of Mumtaz Qadri.
Security was tight at the funeral as the police blocked off roads to Liaquat Bagh. A large number of people arrived in Rawalpindi on foot.The demonstrations first broke out on Monday as the news spread that he had been executed.The stick-wielding Sunni Tehreek activists were maintaining security at Tuesday’s funeral.
Most participants at the funeral were religious and political workers. JI chief Sirajul Haq, Sunni Tehrik leader Sarwat Qadri, Chairman Ruet-e-Halal Mufti Muneebur Rahman and other religious leaders addressed the participants and payed glowing tributes to Mumtaz Qadri. Later, Mumtaz Qadri was buried in Bhara Kahu.
Our Lahore correspondent adds: Protests and funeral prayers in absentia for Mumtaz Qadri continued in various cities on Tuesday.
The JUI-F Lahore staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club. Led by Maulana Amjad Khan, Maulana Muhibun Nabi, Qari Alimuddin, Hafiz Ashraf Gujjar and others, the workers raised slogans against the PML-N government.Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch led funeral prayers in absentia for Qadri in Mansoorah, attended by thousands of workers and residents of the surrounding areas. JI Naib Ameer Hafiz Muhammad Idrees, Maulana Abdul Malik and others were present.
MULTAN: A partial strike was observed in the city. Major markets including Wholesale Cloth Market of Andhi Khoi, Chowk Bazaar, Hussain Agahi Bazaar, Grain Market and Iron Market remained closed to mourn the hanging of Qadri. Funeral prayers in absentia were offered at Hussain Agahi under the auspices of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which were attended by the activists of religious parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, Tehrik-e-Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan. Asif Mehmood Ikhwani led the funeral prayers. Later, they organised a demonstration against the execution and announced a countrywide movement against the government.
BAHAWALPUR: Jamaat-e-Islami activists led by JI MPA and former Punjab JI Ameer Dr Waseem Akhtar staged a demonstration against the execution of Qadri outside the Fareed Gate after offering his Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza. The JI activists holing banners and placards raised slogans against the rulers as well as the media.
NANKANA SAHIB: On the appeal of the Anjuman-e-Tajran, shopkeepers observed a complete strike against the hanging of Qadri here. The Chemists and Druggists Association Nankana took out a protesting rally, which started from Ali Hospital and concluded at the Press Club. It was led by Muhammad Hanif.
TOBA TEK SINGH: A complete strike was observed here to condemn Qadri’s hanging. A rally was brought out from the Kamal Chowk and participants reached the Sadar Bazaar Chowk where Ulema including Maulana Munem Husnain Siddiqui, Maulana Mujeebur Rehman Ludhianvi, Maulana Saadullah, Allama Burq Toheedi and Anjuman-e-Tajran office-bearers criticised the government.
OKARA: The District Bar Association observed a strike in the district complex to protest the hanging. No lawyer attended any court
PESHAWAR: Activists of various religious organisations and religio-political parties on Tuesday staged protest rallies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.
The activists of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and Pasban Pakistan Town-I gathered near the Peshawar Press Club to record protest over the hanging.ASWJ district president Maulana Ismail Darvaish and president Pasban Town-I Zulfiqar Ali led the protesters.
They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging.The speakers alleged that the government executed Mumtaz Qadri to appease the US and other imperialistic powers.
They claimed the government wanted to amend the Islamic laws in the Constitution on the demand of the Western countries and hanging of Mumtaz Qadri was part of that plan.They believed that legal and constitutional requirements were ignored in the trial of Mumtaz Qadri.
The activists of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam also staged a protest at the Qissa Khwani Bazaar against the hanging.Protests were also staged in other parts of the province and in Fata.
BATTAGRAM: Activists of various political parties staged a protest rally here and blocked the Karakoram Highway for three hours.
Led by Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat provincial president Maulana Atta Muhammad Deshani, the protesters marched from Doraha Bazaar to District Headquarters Hospital.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Muhammad Rafiq, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Niaz Muhammad Khan and leaders of other political parties, including Maulana Mufti Fayyaz Ahmed and Nisar Ahmed Khan also spoke on the occasion.
HANGU: A shutdown was observed in parts of the district. Traders in Sangerh observed strike and chanted slogans against the government. Students of a religious seminary also staged a demonstration outside the Hangu Press Club.
BANNU: Seminary students and workers of Jamaat-e-Islami held rallies in various parts of Bannu district. JI district president Dr Nasir Khan spoke on the occasion.
MINGORA: Scores of people staged a rally at the Green Chowk. The protesters led by leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat said the government wanted to make the country a secular state on the directives of its foreign masters.
TAKHT BHAI: The JUI-F and JI organised protest rally in Shergarh and Lundkhwar against Mumtaz Qadri’s execution. The protesters holding banners and placards flayed the hanging.
The IJT also staged protest outside the Press Club in Shergarh.
BATKHELA: Activists of religio-political parties condemned the hanging. The protesters blocked the Malakand Road to traffic and chanted slogans against the government.
NOWSHERA: The funeral prayer for Mumtaz Qadri was offered in absentia here.
The funeral prayer was organized by JI and Anjuman-e-Tajiraan. Traders’ leader Ayaz Paracha and JI leader Mirajudddin spoke after the protest.
CHARSADDA: Activist of political parties, including Awami National Party and Qaumi Watan Party organised protest rallies against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri.
Islami Jamiat Talaba and Insaf Students Federation also held rallies.
LANDIKOTAL: The ASWJ and JI staged separate protest rallies in Landikotal bazaar against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri. They were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands.
GHALLANAI: Members of the religious political parties organized protests in Mohmand Agency to condemn Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging and call for unity among the Muslims to foil the designs of the West against the Ummah.
Khyber Agency—After the execution of Mumtaz Qadri protest demo of various religious parties held in Khyber Agency on Tuesday denouncing the government decision.
A large number of leaders and volunteers of Jamat-e-Islami and Tanzeem-e-Ahlesunnah Waljumat (TAW) (Youth Wing) were gathered in the subdivisions Landikotal and Jamrud of Khyber Agency to denounce the execution of Qadri by the government.
The protest demo and rally participants were holding banners inscribed with the words of homage to the martyrdom of Mumtaz Qadri. The JI FATA naib Ameer Zarnoor Afridi and the president of TAW Landikotal Qari Said Alam Shinwari addressed the protestors and denounced the execution of Mumtaz Qadri.
Zarnoor Afridi criticized the government saying that Qadri was executed on western pressure .He said the religious party leaders would not accept any conspiracy against Pakistan and Islam.
Qari Said Alam Shinwari also addressed the huge gathering of TAW volunteers and tribesmen at Landikotal and condemned the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri saying that it was injustice to free a foreign killer of Pakistani citizens and hang a person who killed governor allegedly involved in the blasphemy of the prophet.
The leaders said that the agents of western powers had no relation with Pakistan and they were not loyal to their country.
Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of Mumtaz Qadri on Tuesday afternoon at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi amidst tight security arrangements. Qadri was executed at the Adiala Jail early on February 29 Monday morning. Qadri’s body was taken from his residence at Sadiqabad to Liaqat Bagh for funeral prayers and then his supporters took his body in the form of a procession for burial at his ancestral graveyard in the village Athal in Bhara Kahu amid vociferous sloganeering by mourners.
A large number of members of different religious organisations and loyalists of Qadri gathered at Liaqat Bagh hours before the funeral prayers and chanted slogans against the present government.
Pir Syed Haseenud Din Shah led the funeral prayers. Sarwat Ijaz Qadri of Sunni Tehreek, Pir Muneeb Rehman, Pir Naqeeb ur Rehman, Mufti Hanif Qureshi and many other religious scholars attended funeral prayers. The law enforcement agencies in twin cities had made tight security arrangements in order to avert any untoward incidents. All roads leading to Liaqat Bagh and adjacent areas were completely closed for traffic.
Heavy contingents of police were deployed at Liaqat Bagh and in nearby areas as well as at the route of funeral procession and the different of parts of the twin cities. The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had blocked all roads leading to the Red Zone where foreign missions, embassies and sensitive government buildings are located by placing containers and deploying heavy contingents of police.
The city police had closed the road from Rawal Dam roundabout to Red Zone for traffic. Similarly, the road from Serena Hotel to Diplomatic Enclave was also sealed through containers and the roads from NADRA headquarters towards Shahrah-e-Dastoor were also sealed. The ICT administration also deployed a heavy contingent of Rangers at Athal village and also conducted air surveillance of the area through a helicopter. Traders’ organisations in the garrison city closed down shops in protest against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri. The owners of shops in main markets in Rawalpindi were completely closed and educational institutions also remained closed.
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has imposed heavy fine on Samma TV and Neo TV for giving coverage to funeral procession of Mumtaz Qadri, TheNewsTribe.com reported.
In a meeting in Islamabad, PEMRA ordered both the channels to deposit fine by March 14 and apology. According to details, PEMRA stopped the TV channels from the coverage of country wide protests over the death of Mumtaz Qadri.
Samma and Neo News gave some to funeral procession of Qadri and due to this coverage, PEMRA decided to impose heavy fine on both channels.
PEMRA also mention in notification that transmission will be suspended if channels failed to submit the fine. It is important to mention here that Pakistani media completely ignored to cover the funeral procession of Mumtaz Qadri and also failed to report the sentiments of nation over his death.
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