Zeeshan Javaid/Muzaffar Ali
Islamabad/Lahore—The killer of former Punjab Governor, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed on Monday early morning at Adyala jail Rawalpindi. Qadri, a former personnel of police’s Elite Force, was sentenced to death for assassinating the Punjab governor Salman Taseer on January 4, 2011, in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market.
A senior prison official told Pakistan Observer that Qadri was hanged early morning at around 4:30am. He added, “after his appeals to superior courts including High Court and Supreme Court were rejected, the President rejected has mercy appeal.
The execution of Qadri was set after his last meeting with family on Sunday evening. Qadri’s brother said that the family had been called to the prison by officials saying Qadri was unwell.
But when they arrived, he greeted them with the news that authorities had deceived them, and that his execution was imminent, adding “we started crying, but he hugged us and chanted ‘God is great.’”
Heavy security consisting of Rangers, Police and Elite Force personnel along with ambulances were stationed at the residence of Qadri when his body was shifted from prison and handed over to his family.
Armed Rangers were deployed on the roof of the building housing Qadri’s residence and some roads in the neighbourhood were closed. Officials stepped up security in the garrison city of Rawalpindi as hundreds of people began gathering at Mumtaz Qadri’s family home early Monday. Some roads were closed in Islamabad as authorities braced for protests from hardliners. The protests erupted in Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore.
Islamabad Bar Council in its handout declared the day as black day and appealed to the lawyer community in the twin cities (Rawalpindi Islamabad) not to appear before courts in protest.
Metro Bus service remained suspended in Rawalpindi as protesters blocked the route and shut the key terminal. People blocked the Expressway and Faizabad Bridge that connects Rawalpindi with the Capital.
Protesters pelted vehicles with stones and broke windows. Section 144 was imposed in the Punjab’s provincial capital (Lahore) to counter attempted rallies causing trouble in the city.
Ravi Bridge was shut to traffic while heavy contingent of police was deployed at the site. Protest demonstrations at Lahore’s Shahdara Chowk.
Route of the Lahore Metro was restricted to M.A.O College. Workers of Sunni Tehreek (ST) demonstrated in several cities of Punjab and Sindh.
In Lahore Shahdara Mor and Thokar Naiz Baig entry and exit points were blocked for all kinds of traffic.
Dozens of trucks and trailers were blocked on the GT Road near Shahdara and protesters carrying sticks were not allowing anybody to move forward. “We are doing this in protest against hanging of Mumtaz Qadri,” said a protestor who introduced himself as Muhammad Abdullah.
“I had an appointment with the doctor for check-up at Mayo Hospital. It takes some 20 minutes from Shahdara to Mayo Hospital in normal days but I am standing here for last 2 hours. They are not letting anybody go forward,” said Sajjad Ali, a commuter.
The protesters also damaged four metro buses partially and blocked the route of metro buses in Shahdara. Meanwhile a mob of protesters entered into a traffic police office and broke the furniture.
The police was on high alert to avoid any untoward incident while many religious parties threatened to continue their protests against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri.
In Karachi Shara-e-Faisal was blocked. Ghareebabad area of the city also witnessed protests on road leading to Liaquatabad from Hassan Square was closed for all kinds of traffic.