ISLAMABAD:The Islamabad High Court's division bench, comprising of Mr.Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Mr.Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi, reserved a verdict on murder appeal of Mumtaz Qadri,the self-confessed killer of Salman Taseer former Governor of Punjab against his death conviction after hearing the arguments of councils from the both sides.
During the arguments, Qadri's counsel pleaded that Pakistan is a Muslim country and it is not a western or a secular nation.He gave references from Islamic history in which the blasphemers were killed for making derogatory remarks against Prophet of Islam and their act was endorsed and appreciated by Prophet of Islam.He said his client killed Taseer because he opposed blasphemy law and pointed it as black law.He further pleaded that the matter between individual and the state would be referred to the Quran and he contended that the matter involves religion and it should be referred to Federal Shariah Court.
Advocate General Mian Abdul Rauf, who was representing the federal government, argued that extrajudicial killing is against the constitution and law and Qadri’s crime was known to all and hence the court should dismiss his appeal.
Justice Shaukat remarked whether to say blasphemy law as a black law and its opposing would come under the domain of blasphemy.He further added that nothing at all could justify the murder of the victim hence after hearing the arguments the Court reserved the verdict against Qadri's appeal.
In November 2010,Asia Bibi,a Christian mother,was convicted under section 295 C PPC and sentenced to death.Since from the accusation to death conviction,she is languishing in jail. Two high-profile politicians ,Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti were killed in 2011 after advocating for reforms to the blasphemy law.
Reportedly,Punjab Prosecution Department has short-listed 50 cases of blasphemy and debarred Christians from the list.The government says these are the cases by which the alleged blasphemers have been victimized by the complainants. Several Christians are languishing in jails in false blasphemy accusations and in this selection is an apparent discrimination with Christians.
Blasphemy law is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan where 96 per cent of the population is Muslim and uncertain claims regularly lead to mob violence and the rights campaigners threatened and killed by the hands of extremists.Last year,Rashid Rehman was killed who was representing to a alleged blasphemy accused after getting life threats from extremists and the supporters of the blasphemy law burned alive a Christian couple after making a false allegation of blasphemy of Quran.