Qadri’s supporters have become political power, says Sheikh Rasheed

Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: A killers supporters have become political power after killing sitting governor in Pakistan. This can happen only in Pakistan. Mumtaz Qadri’s supporters have become ‘political power’ and we should not underestimate them, claimed Sheikh Rasheed. Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed talking to a private news channel said that the followers of Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of the former governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer will support Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the AML in the upcoming election in Pakistan.

Sheikh Rasheed is added in the list of the political leaders including the son in law of the Prime Minister Captain (Retd.) Safdar who have publicly supported Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed in early 2016 for killing former Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer on allegations of ‘blasphemy’. After the Qadri’s death, his funeral drew huge attention and large number of supporters from different religious groups staged protests throughout the country. Sheikh Rasheed’s statement once again sparked outrage on social media and number of activists and users reacted and condemn the AML chief’s bigotry.

One can imagine the future of the country if PTI and Sheikh Rasheed lead the country. Since I am writing there is no clarification from PTI side. It clearly shows the reality and future of parasite politics. Imran Khan, chief of PTI has already been supporters of Taliban and known as Taliban Khan. Since the US and Pakistan are wary allies in the war against militancy. But Imran Khan, the chief of PTI threatened to close NATO supply lines in retaliation for the drone attack. His speech in the national assembly is witness to it.

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What is the future of the country when politicians try to get votes in the name of murderers? PTI & AML support of a killer who was hanged by the executive order of at the time Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is equivalent to challenging the writ of the government. One wonders what the educated, liberal supporters of PTI have to say about their party’s ally supporting a cold-blooded murderer.

Mumtaz Qadri, one of the Governor’s bodyguards, shot Salman Taseer (Serving Governor Punjab) 27 times with an AK-47 assault rifle in a broad day light at Kohsar Market, Islamabad, as he was returning to his car after meeting a friend for lunch. After this incident some Sunni clerics and religious scholars showered him with rose petals. After his conviction Justice Dost Mohammad made clear his view that the accused, a uniformed officer, was not entitled to take the law into his own hands and murder a man who was under his protection. After his execution, protests began immediately by the Sunni Islamist organizations all over the country against his execution. Activists protested in all major cities of Pakistan even lawyers in Islamabad called one day strike against the decision. Thousands of the people had gathered into the Red Zone in Islamabad to commemorate the Chehlum. They staged a sit-in outside the Parliament of Pakistan and refuse to leave unless Sharia was imposed throughout Pakistan. Later Armed Forces was called in to disperse the protesters.

Qadri’s execution has become a rallying point for Pakistan’s Barelvis and some Sufis. Hundreds of people per day visit his grave, which is being transformed into a pilgrimage site.


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