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Administrative incompetence leads to another postponement of trial for Salman Taseer's killer!



Islamabad High Court has today Tuesday, 3rd February 2015 heard an appeal petition for Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.  The appeal is against the death sentence  imposed on him in 2011, by the Anti Terrorism Court of Islamabad. 

A two-member bench comprising of Justice Noor-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui re-issued a notice to Taseer's legal team.

In excess of 50 lawyers, including former chief justice of Lahore High Court Khawaja Sharif, the main leading counsel of Mr Qadri's appeal case, were present in the court for his defence. 

It has been alleged that important records relating to Salman Taseer's murder case, have mysteriously disappeared from the office of the Attorney General for Islamabad High Court.  These papers have not been seen since the appeal of Mumtaz Qadri was fixed for hearing last week.

During the last hearing of the case a one-week postponement was granted for prosecutors to prepare their arguments against Mr Qadri‘s appeal.  This further delay has placed the creaking Pakistani Legal system under further international scrutiny.

Lahore High Court upheld a death sentence, on appeal, for innocent Christian mother of five Asia Bibi, 16th October 2014.  Asia continues to languish in jail since 2009 after given death sentence.  She now awaits a date for a supreme court hearing which will be her last option for justice through the countries legal system.  Her crime was simply to offer water to Muslim co-workers during a hot day at work.  Offended by her untouchable Christian status, they beat and mocked her.  She retaliated by saying "My Christ died for me what did Muhammed do for you?"  For this she has been beaten and gang-raped, her children sexually abused and now she resides in a squalid prison.

Salman Taseer the former governor of Punjab Province vehemently campaigned for Asia Bibi’s release and for a reexamination of the nation's blasphemy law. Religious extremists were outraged by Taseer’s support for an untouchable Christian woman.  In the fervent mix of hatred and animosity Governor Taseer was shot dead by his own police security guard detail.  

Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill said, “It is an obscene law and it is being used as a tool for persecution and to settle other scores that are nothing to do with religion."

He added;

"It makes religious minorities particularly vulnerable because it's often used against them.”

Mr Gill told us that if Qadri's appeal is accepted, he believes this would have the affect of justifying the blasphemy law of Pakistan.  This would in turn, result in numerous more cases being registered against Minorities in Pakistan.

Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry, described his concern for Christians in Pakistan. He said;

"Pakistani Courts must uphold the guilty ruling for this murderer.  It alarms me that so many Pakistani people are rallying in support for a convicted felon, who admits guilt.  Their hatred for non-Muslims has reached such a peak that they will justify any act of malice that helps eradicate them from their supposedly democratic nation.  Even if it causes the death of one of the Muslim majority."  

He added;

"Such unconditional hatred is indicative of the worsening treatment of minorities in Pakistan. We pray that a just decision prevents the dilemma they face from worsening."

asia bibi Death sentence Salman Taseer Pakistan Legal system Justice
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