Lahore: A grouping of 40 religious and
hardline groups, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, have rejected
the death sentence given to the assassin of Governor Salmaan Taseer and called for a countrywide protest against the
verdict on October 7.
The parties came together under the banner of the Tehrik
Namoos-e-Risalat for a meeting held here yesterday to discuss
a coordinated response to the death sentence given recently by
an anti-terrorism court to Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the
self-confessed assassin of Taseer.
Addressing the meeting, JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed
said the court`s ruling was part of a "global war against
He called for "unity of the nation to give a strong
message to the enemies of Islam".
Saeed claimed Qadri did what any Muslim would do whenever
anyone dared to commit blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed.
"We strongly condemn the court`s verdict and it should be
withdrawn at once," he said.
The parties demanded the removal of anti-terrorism court
Judge Pervez Ali Shah, who gave the verdict against Qadri, and
contended that his decision had gone against Islamic
injunctions and the ideology of Pakistan.
A resolution passed at the meeting said: "Handing down
death sentence to Qadri shows the judge has no knowledge of
Islamic jurisprudence and, thereby, he should not be allowed
to perform his duties as a judge."
The resolution claimed the people of Pakistan were not
ready to "tolerate" the judge and could not see him holding
his office any longer.
There have been unconfirmed reports that leaders of some
hardline parties have offered a reward for anyone who kills
Maulana Amir Hamza, a senior JuD leader, suggested that
the parties should form a committee comprising `qazis` (judges
of Islamic law) to try Qadri in line with Shariah.
Tehrik Namoos-e-Risalat convener Sahibzada Abul Khair
Muhammad Zubair regretted that CIA contractor Raymond Davis,
who was arrested in Lahore for gunning down two Pakistani men
earlier this year, was set free while Qadri was given the
death sentence "to please Jews and Christians".
Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan described the
verdict as an outcome of the "secular environment" prevailing
in Pakistan and announced that his party would protest against
the judgement across the country on Friday.