Islamabad: A Pakistani court Tuesday stayed
the implementation of death sentence given to the self-confessed assassin of Governor Salmaan Taseer till it decided his appeal against the verdict.
A bench of the Islamabad High Court headed by Chief
Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman issued the order after it began hearing the appeal filed by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the police guard who gunned down Taseer outside a restaurant in Islamabad on January 4.
Qadri, who publicly confessed to killing Taseer for
criticising the country`s controversial blasphemy law, was
represented in the High Court by Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, a
retired Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court.
Sharif contended that the anti-terrorism court which
conducted Qadri’s trial did not have the power to give him the
The High Court also sought a response from the federal
government to Qadri’s appeal.
Several senior retired judges and dozens of members of
bar associations of various cities were present in the court
during today’s hearing.
Several of them offered to represent Qadri, witnesses
Authorities deployed a large contingent of security
personnel at the court complex as hundreds of Qadri`s
supporters, including members of hardline religious groups,
gathered there this morning.