Pak court dismisses petition seeking end of Qadri''s trial

Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Jan 21 (PTI) A Pakistani court has dismisseda petition seeking an end to the trial of the police guard whoassassinated Governor Salmaan Taseer for criticising theblasphemy law, saying that no one is allowed to take the lawinto their own hands even if someone has committed blasphemy.

Taseer, a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, wasgunned down in Islamabad on January 4 by Mumtaz Qadri, amember of his security detail. Qadri claimed that Taseer hadcommitted blasphemy by opposing the controversial law.

Justice Malik Mohammad Anwar Kansi of the IslamabadHigh Court rejected the petition filed by lawyer Zafar Awanafter a preliminary hearing, saying that even if someone hasblasphemed, no one is allowed to take the law into their ownhands.

The judge also rejected another petition seeking thecancellation of the First Information Report registeredagainst Qadri.

He said cases of blasphemy would be dealt with bycourts in accordance with the law.

Awan had pointed out in his petition that Pakistanilaw states that capital punishment will be given to those whocommit blasphemy.

He had contended that Qadri''s trial should not becontinued under these circumstances.

The next hearing in the trial of the assassin will beconducted behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi onJanuary 24.

Pakistan''s religious hardliners have praised Qadri andhis actions. Qadri was showered with rose petals by lawyersand madrassa students during two court appearances.

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