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Mumtaz Qadri

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Mumtaz Qadri
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Native nameممتاز قادری
BornMumtaz Hussain
1985 (1985)
Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
DiedFebruary 29, 2016(2016-02-29) (aged 30–31)
Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi
Cause of deathexecution by hanging
Resting placeBara Kahu, Islamabad

Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri (1985 – 29 February 2016), better known as Mumtaz Qadri (Urdu: ممتاز قادری‎), was the assassin of Salmaan Taseer, Governor of Punjab. Qadri was a a commando of the Elite Police and, at the time of the assassination, a member of the squad of personal bodyguards assigned to protect Salmaan Taseer. A follower of Barelvi sect of Islam,[1] On 4 January 2011, he assassinated Taseer. He claimed to have killed the Governor because Taseer spoke in defense of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Qadri was convicted by the Islamabad High Court, sentenced to death and hanged in February 2016.

Life and career[edit]

Qadri was born in 1985 in Rawalpindi, Punjab.[2] He was a son of a vegetable seller in Muslim Town, Rawalpindi.[2] Qadri joined Punjab Police in 2002 and promoted to Elite Police in 2007.[2] In 2009 he got married and had one son.[2] In 2010, he joined the squad of the security guards of former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer.[3]

Taseer's murder and conviction[edit]

On the evening of 4 January 2011 Governor Taseer was at Kohsar Market in Islamabad. Qadri, who was there in the capacity of Taseer's bodyguard, shot Taseer 28 times and killed him.[4] He surrendered immediately after the shooting and was arrested.[5] According to Qadri, he killed the governor for his support of Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and for speaking against the blasphemy law in Pakistan.[5]

From the day he was arrested, held in custody on a five-days remand. He appeared in court on 9 January 2011 and confessed that he had killed Salman Taseer because of his speaking against the blasphemy law. During his appearance in court over 300 lawyers offered to represent him pro bono.[6] On 10 January 2011, he was sent to Adiala Jail on 14 day judicial remand. Because of the security issues, his trial was held in Adiala Jail; it began on 14 January 2011. He was charged with the murder of the Governor of the Punjab.


On 10 October 2011 the court found him guilty and condemned him to death. He filed an appeal in Islamabad High Court on 6 October 2011 against his death sentence, and the appeal was admitted on 11 October 2011. 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.[7] His appeal was rejected in December 2015,[8] and he was hanged on 29 February 2016 around 4:30 a.m. at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.[9] The funeral of Mumtaz Qadri was held on 1 March 2016 at Liaqat National Bagh in Rawalpindi.[10] According to an estimate, the funeral was attended by over 100,000 people including Hamid Saeed Kazmi. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority banned electronic media from broadcasting his funeral because it was violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists condemned the ban on media.[11] It was also noted that Barelvis attended the funeral in large numbers.[12] Qadri was buried in a village Bara Kahu in Islamabad.[13][14]


Mumtaz Qadri tomb

Protests began immediately by the Sunni Islamist organisations all over the country against the execution. Activists protested in major cities of Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Lawyers in Islamabad called one day strike against the decision. Sunni Tehreek announced protests all over the country. Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus was also suspended due to the protests in the city. Markets and business centers were closed and disturbance in traffic was reported in different locations of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.[15] The adulation that Qadri received following his execution was compared to that given to Ilm-ud-din, who murdered a book publisher in 1929.[16] However, the execution decision was supported by many Islamic scholars, including Mohammad Khan Sherani, chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology said, "Mumtaz Qadri’s act though driven by religious sentiments was illegal because he had taken the law into his own hands and he faced punishment because no one is above the law".[17] Qadri's supporters also claimed that he was hanged on 29 February, a date which comes round every four years, in order to deny his anniversary."[16]

On March 27, 2016, twenty-five thousand had gathered at Liaquat National Bagh in Rawalpindi. Ten thousand of them marched from Rawalpindi into the Red Zone in Islamabad to commemorate the Chehlum of death of Qadri, which is the end of the forty-day mourning period. The protesters torched a station of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus and several cars parked there.[18] Several major arteries leading into the city were closed, and cellular service was suspended as well. They staged a sit-in outside the Parliament of Pakistan and refuse to leave unless Sharia was imposed throughout Pakistan. The Pakistan Armed Forces was called in to disperse the protesters. On the same day, protesters carrying pictures of Qadri attacked the Karachi Press Club, and burned a car belonging to Jaag TV, in retaliation for the press's "lack of coverage of their event".[19] This happened on the same day that a bomb attack in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore killed 69 people.[20]

Qadri's execution has become a rallying point for Pakistan’s Barelvis and some Sufis.[21][22] Hundreds of people per day visit his grave, which is being transformed into a pilgrimage site.[23]


In 2014 a Barelvi mosque was built in Islamabad named after Mumtaz Qadri and as of 2014, the mosque was so popular that it started raising funds to double its capacity.[24]

See also[edit]

  • Ilm-ud-din, similar blasphemy attack against Hindu


  1. 1.0 1.1 Karin Brulliard (29 January 2011). "In Pakistan, even anti-violence Islamic sect lauds assassination of liberal governor". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Who were Salmaan Taseer and Mumtaz Qadri?". The News Station. 29 February 2016. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  3. Nasir, Jibran (1 March 2016). "Mumtaz Qadri: From Ghazi to Shaheed". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. Asad, Malik (10 March 2015). "Qadri acquitted of terror charge; murder conviction upheld". Dawn. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Salman Taseer: Thousands mourn Pakistan governor". BBC. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  6. Tanveer, Rana (13 January 2011). "Expert opinions: Legal minds weigh in on Qadri's options". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  7. Iqbal, Nasir. "SC maintains Mumtaz Qadri's death penalty, says he is a terrorist". DAWN. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  8. Malik, Hasnaat (14 December 2014). "SC rejects Mumtaz Qadri's review petition against death sentence". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  9. "Taseer's killer Mumtaz Qadri hanged". DAWN. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  10. Yasin, Aamir (2 March 2016). "Religious figures attend Qadri's funeral". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  11. Aftab, Noor (12 March 2016). "PFUJ criticises Pemra over non-coverage of Qadri's funeral". The News International. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  12. Shah, Saeed. "Pakistanis Throng Funeral of Man Hanged for Killing Critic of Blasphemy Laws". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  13. Boone, Jon (1 March 2016). "Thousands at funeral of Pakistani executed for murdering governor". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  14. "Pakistan Salman Taseer murder: Thousands mourn at Mumtaz Qadri funeral". BBC. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  15. Jon Boone (29 February 2016). "Pakistan on alert as liberal governor's killer is hanged". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  16. 16.0 16.1 J.B.; ERASMUS (2 March 2016). "Pakistan and blasphemy: Worryingly, a liberal's killer is honored in Pakistan". The Economist. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  17. "Qadri punished for taking law into his own hands, says CII head". DAWN. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  18. "Tension grips Islamabad as protesters enter Red Zone". Samaa Web Desk. Samaa TV. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  19. Ali, Imtiaz; Haider, Ali (27 March 2016). "Military called to rein in violent pro-Qadri protesters in Islamabad". Dawn News. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  20. Masood, Salman (27 March 2016). "Explosion at Park in Lahore, Pakistan, Kills Dozens". New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  21. Ur Rehman, Zia (3 March 2016). "In Qadri's fate, Barelvis see their redemption". The News International. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  22. "Qadri buried peacefully". The Nation. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  23. "Religion and politics in Pakistan: Bad moon rising: Pakistan's Barelvis used to be trusted as anti-militants. Perhaps no longer". The Economist. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  24. Jon Boone (30 April 2014). "Pakistan mosque built to honour politician's killer to double in size". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External links[edit]

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