Lahore, Oct 6(ANI): All major religious parties in Pakistan, affiliated with all schools of thought, have rejected the death sentence awarded to Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and announced launching a countrywide movement for his release.
Qadri, one of Taseer's own elite security force protectors, had shot the then Punjab Governor dead on January 4 because of his vocal opposition to the blasphemy law that was recently used to sentence a Pakistani-Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death.
An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi had sentenced Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of Taseer, to death last Saturday, saying that it was a heinous crime and there was no justification to it.
Addressing an all parties' conference hosted under the banner of Tehrik Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat (TNR), top religious leaders hailing from 40 parties termed the court verdict as violation of the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, and the result of a prejudicial trial in which anti-terrorism law was applied to a murder committed out of rage, The News reports.
Terming the verdict as a direct attack on the ideology of Pakistan, the participants in the conference vowed to protect the honour of the Holy Prophet with every drop of their blood by foiling all the west-funded conspiracies to neutralise the blasphemy laws, besides struggling for the release of Mumtaz Qadri.
A declaration unanimously adopted at the moot demanded immediate dismissal of the Rawalpindi judge who pronounced the judgment, announcing a countrywide protest on October 7 against the verdict.
Addressing the participants, Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Syed Munawar Hasan said that the judgment of anti-terrorism court against Mumtaz Qadri was the outcome of the secular environment prevailing in the country and the western conspiracies, adding that there was a dire need of launching a well-directed struggle.
He said that Qadri was a hero not only for the Pakistani nation, but also for the entire Ummah, as he had put to death the man who expressed his designs to undo the blasphemy law, taking undue advantage of his high office as governor.
Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed said that the verdict was a part of the global war against Islam and it was a matter of concern for all the Muslims, and stressed upon the nation to unite and convey a strong message to the enemies of Islam.
TNR convener and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan President Sahibzada Abual Khair Muhammad Zubair said that the rulers had pronounced death sentence to the assassin of a blasphemer, in clear violation of the injunctions of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
JUI-S general secretary Abdul Rauf Farooqi said that no Muslim could compromise on the honour of the Holy Prophet, and that every citizen had the same feeling as that of Qadri.
Tanzeem-e-Islami ameer Aakif Saeed said that vested interests were making efforts to make Pakistan a secular country, and that there was a need for unity and sincere efforts to fail their nefarious designs. (ANI)