New Delhi: In an emotional outburst, Aatish Taseer, the son of slain Governor of Pakistan's Punjab province- Salman Taseer, expressed shock over the presence of thousands in the funeral of his father's murderer Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri .
In the Op-Ed, published in the New York Times, wondered how about 100, 000 people came on the Rawalpindi streets on Qadri's funeral, making it one of the biggest procession in the history of the country.
"An estimated 100,000 people — a crowd larger than the population of Asheville, N.C. — poured into the streets of Rawalpindi to say farewell to Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. It was among the biggest funerals in Pakistan’s history, alongside those of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation, and Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, who was assassinated in 2007. But this was no state funeral; it was spontaneous and it took place despite a media blackout," the Op-Ed read.
"Mr Qadri became a hero in Pakistan. A mosque in Islamabad was named after him. People came to see him in prison to seek his blessings. The course of justice was impeded. The judge who sentenced him to death had to flee the country. I thought my father’s killer would never face justice."
"But then, in the past few months, it became possible to see glimmers of a new resolve on the part of the Pakistani state. The Supreme Court upheld Mr. Qadri’s death sentence last October. Earlier this year, the president turned down the convict’s plea for mercy — which, at least as far as the law goes, was Mr. Qadri’s first admission that he had done anything wrong at all. Then on the last day of last month came the news: Pakistan had hanged Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. How would the country — not the state, but the people — respond?"
Almost after five years, Shahbaz Taseer was freed from his captors earlier this month.
Taseer was kidnapped from Lahore on August 26, 2011, near his company`s head office a few months after the assassination of his father Salman Taseer -- who was then Punjab governor -- at the hands of his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri.
He was freed during a raid jointly conducted by the Counter-Terrorism Department and intelligence agencies from near Quetta, capital of Balochistan province.