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Mumtaz Qadri

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Mumtaz Qadri
ممتاز قادری
Mumtaz Hussain

1985 (1985)
Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Died29 February 2016(2016-02-29) (aged 30–31)
Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Resting placeBara Kahu, Islamabad
Criminal statusExecuted
MotiveVictim's support for Asia Bibi
Criminal penaltyDeath
VictimsSalmaan Taseer
Date4 January 2011; 13 years ago (2011-01-04)
Location(s)Kohsar Market, Islamabad
Imprisoned atAdiala Jail (2011–2016)

Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri (1985 – 29 February 2016), better known as Mumtaz Qadri (pronunciation, Urdu: ممتاز قادری), was a terrorist who murdered Salmaan Taseer, Governor of Punjab. Qadri was a commando of the Elite Police and, at the time of the assassination, a member of the squad of personal bodyguards assigned to protect Taseer. A follower of the Barelvi version of Sunni Islam,[1] he assassinated Taseer on 4 January 2011. He claimed to have killed the Governor because Taseer spoke in defense of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Qadri was convicted by the Islamabad High Court, sentenced to death and hanged in February 2016.

Life and career

Qadri was born in 1985 in Rawalpindi, Punjab.[2] He was a son of a vegetable seller in Muslim Town, Rawalpindi.[2] Qadri joined the Punjab Police in 2002 and was promoted to the Elite Police in 2007.[2] In 2009 he got married and had one son.[2] In 2010, he joined the squad of the security guards of former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer.[3]

Taseer's murder and conviction

On the evening of 4 January 2011, Governor Taseer was at Kohsar Market in Islamabad. Qadri, who was there in the capacity of Taseer's bodyguard, shot Taseer 28 times and killed him.[4] He surrendered immediately after the shooting and was arrested.[5] According to Qadri, he killed the governor for his support of Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and for speaking against the blasphemy law in Pakistan.[5]

From the day he was arrested, he was held in custody on a five-day remand. He appeared in court on 9 January 2011 and confessed that he had killed Salman Taseer because of his speaking against the blasphemy law. During his appearance in court over 300 lawyers offered to represent him pro bono.[6] On 10 January 2011, he was sent to Adiala Jail on a 14 day judicial remand. Because of the security issues, his trial was held in Adiala Jail; it began on 14 January 2011. He was charged with the murder of the Governor of the Punjab.[citation needed]


On 10 October 2011, the court found him guilty and condemned him to death. He filed an appeal in Islamabad High Court on 6 October 2011 against his death sentence, and the appeal was admitted on 11 October 2011. Justice Dost Mohammad made clear his view that the accused, a uniformed officer, was not entitled to take the law into his own hands and murder a man who was under his protection. His appeal was rejected in October 2015, with the Supreme Court calling him a terrorist.[7] A further review was rejected in December 2015,[8] and he was hanged on 29 February 2016 around 4:30 a.m. at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.[9]


Qadri's funeral was held on 1 March 2016 at Liaqat National Bagh in Rawalpindi and was attended by Hamid Saeed Kazmi.[10] Security forces had expected between 20,000 and 35,000 people to attend, but an unnamed police officer estimated total attendance at around 90,000.[10] The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority banned electronic media from broadcasting his funeral because it was a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists condemned the ban on the media.[11] It was also noted that Barelvis attended the funeral in large numbers.[12] Qadri was buried in the Bara Kahu district of Islamabad.[13][14]


Mumtaz Qadri tomb

Protests began immediately by Sunni Islamist organisations all over the country against the execution. Activists protested in major cities of Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Lawyers in Islamabad called a one-day strike against the decision. Sunni Tehreek announced protests all over the country. Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus was also suspended due to the protests in the city. Markets and business centers were closed and traffic disruption was reported in different locations of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.[15] The adulation that Qadri received following his execution was compared to that given to Ilm-ud-din, who murdered a book publisher in 1929.[16] However, the execution decision was supported by many Islamic scholars, including Mohammad Khan Sherani, chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, who said, "Mumtaz Qadri’s act, though driven by religious sentiments, was illegal because he had taken the law into his own hands and he faced punishment because no one is above the law."[17] Qadri's supporters also claimed that he was hanged on 29 February, a date which only comes every four years, in order to deny his anniversary.[16]

On 27 March 2016, 25,000 people gathered at Liaquat National Bagh in Rawalpindi. 10,000 of them marched from Rawalpindi into the Red Zone in Islamabad to commemorate the Chehlum of death of Qadri, which is the end of the 40-day mourning period. The protesters torched a station of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus and several cars parked there.[18] Several major arteries leading into the city were closed, and cellular service was suspended as well. They staged a sit-in outside the Parliament of Pakistan and refused to leave unless Sharia was imposed throughout Pakistan. The Pakistan Armed Forces was called in to disperse the protesters. On the same day, protesters carrying pictures of Qadri attacked the Karachi Press Club, and burned a car belonging to Jaag TV, in retaliation for the press's "lack of coverage of their event".[19] This happened on the same day that a bomb attack in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore killed 69 people.[20]

Qadri's execution has become a rallying point for Pakistan’s Barelvis and some Sufis.[21][22] As of April 2016 his grave was receiving hundreds of visitors per day and being transformed into a pilgrimage site.[23][needs update]


In 2014, a Barelvi mosque[24] shrine[25] was built in Islamabad named after Mumtaz Qadri and as of 2014, the mosque was so popular that it started raising funds to double its capacity.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Karin Brulliard (29 January 2011). "In Pakistan, even anti-violence Islamic sect lauds assassination of liberal governor". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Who were Salmaan Taseer and Mumtaz Qadri?". The News Station. 29 February 2016. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  3. ^ Nasir, Jibran (1 March 2016). "Mumtaz Qadri: From Ghazi to Shaheed". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. ^ Asad, Malik (10 March 2015). "Qadri acquitted of terror charge; murder conviction upheld". Dawn. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Salman Taseer: Thousands mourn Pakistan governor". BBC. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  6. ^ Tanveer, Rana (13 January 2011). "Expert opinions: Legal minds weigh in on Qadri's options". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  7. ^ Iqbal, Nasir (7 October 2015). "SC maintains Mumtaz Qadri's death penalty, says he is a terrorist". DAWN. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  8. ^ Malik, Hasnaat (14 December 2015). "SC rejects Mumtaz Qadri's review petition against death sentence". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Taseer's killer Mumtaz Qadri hanged". DAWN. 29 February 2016. Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b Yasin, Aamir (2 March 2016). "Religious figures attend Qadri's funeral". Dawn. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  11. ^ Aftab, Noor (12 March 2016). "PFUJ criticises Pemra over non-coverage of Qadri's funeral". The News International. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  12. ^ Shah, Saeed (March 2016). "Pakistanis Throng Funeral of Man Hanged for Killing Critic of Blasphemy Laws". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  13. ^ Boone, Jon (1 March 2016). "Thousands at funeral of Pakistani executed for murdering governor". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Pakistan Salman Taseer murder: Thousands mourn at Mumtaz Qadri funeral". BBC News. March 2016. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  15. ^ Jon Boone (29 February 2016). "Pakistan on alert as liberal governor's killer is hanged". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  16. ^ a b J.B.; ERASMUS (2 March 2016). "Pakistan and blasphemy: Worryingly, a liberal's killer is honored in Pakistan". The Economist. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Qadri punished for taking law into his own hands, says CII head". DAWN. March 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Tension grips Islamabad as protesters enter Red Zone". Samaa Web Desk. Samaa TV. 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  19. ^ Ali, Imtiaz; Haider, Ali (27 March 2016). "Military called to rein in violent pro-Qadri protesters in Islamabad". Dawn News. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  20. ^ Masood, Salman (27 March 2016). "Explosion at Park in Lahore, Pakistan, Kills Dozens". New York Times. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  21. ^ Ur Rehman, Zia (3 March 2016). "In Qadri's fate, Barelvis see their redemption". The News International. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Qadri buried peacefully". The Nation. 2 March 2016. Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Religion and politics in Pakistan: Bad moon rising: Pakistan's Barelvis used to be trusted as anti-militants. Perhaps no longer". The Economist. 16 April 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  24. ^ a b Jon Boone (30 April 2014). "Pakistan mosque built to honour politician's killer to double in size". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 September 2023. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  25. ^ Group, International Crisis (2022). A New Era of Sectarian Violence in Pakistan. International Crisis Group. pp. Page 8–Page 14. Archived from the original on 20 July 2023. Retrieved 20 July 2023.