Religious patriots and religio-political parties held rallies across the country including the Lahore on Friday to protest against death sentence to Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, killer of former Governor, the blasphemer Salman Taseer and to press the government for his immediate release. Religious patriots and religio-political parties had given call to observe Friday as protest day to condemn the pro-Qadiyani Anti-Terrorism Court verdict against Qadri at a conference held in the City a couple of days back. At a rally in the City, Sunni Ittehad Council leaders warned the rulers of long march to Islamabad if Mumtaz Qadri was not released.
Ulema and khatibs delivered special sermons on the issue of blasphemy and West-funded conspiracies to amend the relevant laws, vowing to resist all such moves with full might. Demonstrations were held outside mosques to condemn the ATC verdict and to press the govt for the release of Qadri. In Lahore, the SIC rally emerged from Data Darbar and culminated at Nasir Bagh. President SIC MNA Sahibzada Fazal Karim, Razae Mustafa Naqshbandi, Ashraf Asif Jalali, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Qari Zawwar Bahadur, Pir Atharul Qadri, Naeem Arif Noori, Dr Raghib Naeemi, Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi, Mujahid Abdul Rasool Qadri, Karamat Hussain Shah and Nawaz Kharal led the rally largely participated by activists. The participants were carrying flags and placards and banners inscribed with writings condemning the court decision and demand of early release of Mumtaz Qadri.
Addressing the participants, Fazal Karim offered President Zardari a guarantee of a complete 5-year term to his government if Qadri was released. He questioned the release of CIA operator Raymond Davis and capital punishment to Mumtaz Qadri, a lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He said none of the terrorists were hanged in many years but a Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) lover was being sentenced to death to please enemies of Islam. Qari Zawwar Bahadur said Mumtaz Qadri’s trial never fell in the jurisdiction of Anti-Terrorism Court since he killed Salman Taseer on provocation and not in cold blood. He demanded dismissal of the ATC judge and immediate release of Qadri. Razae Mustafa announced to observe protest day on every Friday till the release of Mumtaz Qadri. Raghib Naeemi said father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam pleaded the case of Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed while Allama Iqbal led movement for his release but it was sad that present rulers were doing exactly the opposite. Leading a demonstration at Multan Road, Jamaat e Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said Mumtaz Qadri had opted for the path of Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed and his conviction was against Islam. He warned the rulers to correct themselves and cautioned the tiny secular lobby in the country against playing with the religious sentiments of the masses.
He said the USZ, the Pope at Vatican and the foreign funded NGOs had been pressurising President Zardari to amend the Blasphemy Law but Pakistani people had foiled the conspiracy. Farid Ahmed Piracha said CIA spy Raymond Davis who killed three Pakistanis in cold blood was released against the public demand, while other terrorists like Ajmal Pahari who had committed 100 murders, had not been given death sentence, but only a Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) lover was being awarded death sentence to please the Western masters. Jamiat-e-Ittehadul Ulema Pakistan chief Maulana Abdul Malik, while delivering Friday sermon at Mansoora Mosque, said the Constitution provided death sentence for blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) whereas Salman Taseer had publicly dubbed the blasphemy laws as black laws and promised clemency for Aasia Bibi, a convict in blasphemy case. He said that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had pardoned many people in His life time but nobody involved in blasphemy was forgiven. As such, Salman Taseer deserved death sentence and Mumtaz Qadri got this honour.
He said that the ATC judge holding the trial had no knowledge of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Tehrik Tahafuz Namoos Risalat (TNR) leaders also staged a demo at Chauburji where various leaders warned the rulers of a tough movement if they ignored masses sentiments on this highly sensitive religious issue.
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