Former Pakistan Punjab governor Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri was hanged to death early on Monday at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail.
Qadri, a former Pakistani police commando, had shot dead Taseer in 2011or allegedly criticising Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. Qadri was deputed on the security of Taseer,
He confessed killing the governor and was handed the death sentence the same year by an anti-terrorism court.
His appeal against the sentence was successively rejected by the Islamabad High Court and the Supreme Court last year.
Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard for Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, shot him dead in the capital, Islamabad, in 2011. “Qadri was hanged at around 4:30 a.m.,” senior police officer Rizwan Omar Gondal said. The execution took place in the city of Rawalpindi outside Islamabad.
After his arrest, Qadri told police he killed Taseer because the governor had championed the cause of a Christian woman sentenced to death in a blasphemy case that arose out of a personal dispute. Taseer had said the law was being misused and should be reformed.
Qadri’s attorney said his client told him he had no regrets for killing the governor. “I have met him twice in jail. He said that even if Allah gave me 50 million lives, I would still sacrifice all of them,” lawyer Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry said.
Protesters briefly blocked the main road between Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Monday after news of the hanging broke. Police later dispersed them and closed off the road to prevent more demonstrations.
Chaudhry predicted larger demonstrations coinciding with Qadri’s funeral, which his legal group said would be held on Tuesday. “From what we are seeing, this protest movement is only going to increase,” he said.