Tasser''s killing not about blasphemy, says Pak advocate

Hyderabad, Feb 8 (PTI) The killing of Salman Taseer,former Governor of Punjab province in Pakistan, has nothing todo with his views on blasphemy and it was his personalbehaviour with his bodyguard that led to his assassination, asenior advocate from the country claimed.

"As per the investigations, it has been found that SalmanTaseer, the Governor of Punjab province, had spoken impolitelyand used bad words against his guard (Malik Mumtaz HussainQadri) while driving in his car. The killing of Taseer hadnothing to do with the blasphemy laws in Pakistan...but it wasthe Governor''s personal behaviour with his bodyguard that ledto his assassination," advocate Akram Sheikh claimed.

Sheikh participated as a speaker in a session on ''Rightsof Religious and other Minorities'' at the ongoing CommonwealthLaw Conference here.

Responding to a question from former Attorney General ofIndia Soli J Sorabjee that lawyers in Pakistan hadcongratulated Taseer''s assassin, Sheikh said "Taseer was shotdead only due to his personal behaviour against the guard."

He claimed the person (Qadri) who was charged with theoffence, was supported by 500 lawyers in the court for the"torture" that was inflicted on him during the custody andnot because he had assassinated the Governor.

"Nobody sympathised with him (Qadri) for killing theGovernor. But Qadri was kept awake and not given food to eat.

Qadri was ill-treated because he was the alleged killer of theGovernor. The attitude of the custodial forces was rejected bythe lawyers but they appeared in the court after (boycott) onthe first day," Akram Sheikh said.

There were only some issues with regard to application onthe blasphemy laws in Pakistan, he said.

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