January 6, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Religious parties on Wednesday seemed united in protecting Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin Malik Mumtaz Qadri.
Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a Bralevi sect party, called a meeting for tomorrow (Friday), likely to be held in Rawalpindi to discuss the fallout of the assassination of the Punjab governor.
Senior SIC member Haji Hanif Tayeb told Daily Times by phone that Sahibzada Fazal Karim would chair the meeting and then it would be decided whether to support Qadri or otherwise. The Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz, a forum of Bralevi school of thought, also seemed determined to protect Qadri. Maulana Raghib Naeemi told Daily Times that anarchy would increase in society if some one tried to amend the blasphemy law. “It is a principled decision of the Mahaz to support Qadri,” Naeemi categorically stated. Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer, Syed Munawar Hassan, justified Qadri’s act, saying Salmaan Taseer himself had to be blamed for his fate.
In a press statement, he said Taseer’s views on the blasphemy law provoked Qadri into killing him. Badshahi Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abul Khabir Azad asked the government not to amend the blasphemy law, as it would hurt the sentiments of 180 million people of Pakistan.
Replying to a question, he denied that he refused to lead Taseer’s funeral prayers saying he was busy and could not spare time.