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Openness costs Taseer life

Guard kills Governor Punjab; says Taseer spoke against blasphemy law
Other guards also detained; President, PM condemn; order high-level probe
PPP announces 2-week mourning, suspends all political activities
ISLAMABAD: Governor Punjab Salman Taseer was assassinated on Tuesday afternoon by one of his guards of Elite Force. Late Governor Punjab Salman Taseer was assassinated by one of his guards of elite forces in the federal capital F-6 after he was coming out of a restaurant after eating lunch with one of his friends.
The elite force security man identified as Malik Mumtaz Qadri emptied the entire burst of his automatic SMG Kalashnikov into the Governor injuring him critically.
He was taken to a hospital, where he died, apparently from blood loss. The elite force security man Malik Mumtaz Qadri surrendered before the police immediately.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told that Taseer was assassinated because he spoke out against blasphemy law.
Mumtaz Qadri told the police that he had assassinated the Governor due to his blasphemous statements. He said that the Governor had described the blasphemy law as ‘Black Law’ due to which he killed the governor and he has no remorse or guilt as he has killed a ‘blasphemer’.
The guards told Mumtaz Qadri was not a permanent elite guard of the Governor and he had recently been inducted in the squad and belonged to Rawalpindi. The guards said that whenever Governor used to come to Islamabad he used to change some members of the security guard. They said that they can’t believe Mumtaz Qadri was capable of such an act as he was a religious person. The Elite Force is used in a range of special operations including “high-risk searches, raids and rescue operations.” President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has strongly condemned the assassination of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer on Tuesday afternoon and directed the Interior Minister Rahman Malik to personally supervise the investigations and report to him urgently. The President was informed about the tragic assassination during a meeting with the Members of the Provincial Assembly of the PPP belonging to Sukkur, Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Gotki in the Bilawal House. Describing the crime as ‘most ghastly’ the President said that no words were strong enough to condemn it. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be punished, he said adding also, “they will be punished.” Paying tributes the President said that Salman Taseer was endowed with great courage and energy employed these qualities in the service of the province and the country. He faced the vicissitudes of life with composure, resilience and courage, the President said. The President also prayed to Allah to rest the departed soul in peace and give courage to members of the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude. Prime Minister Gilani said in a statement he “strongly condemned” the incident. The Pakistan People’s Party said it would observe two weeks of mourning over Taseer’s death A witness at the scene said Taseer was stepping out of his car at a shopping area when he was shot.”The governor fell down and the man who fired at him threw down his gun and raised both hands,” said the witness, Ali Imran. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gilani announced three-day mourning, while national flag will remain at half-mast in the wake of assassination of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.


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