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Taseer case: Cops quiz stepmother, stepbrother

September 06, 2011 18:19 IST

Pakistani police have questioned the stepmother and a stepbrother of kidnapped son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer over their alleged "property dispute" and now believe that religious fundamentalists could be behind the abduction.

Shahbaz Taseer (27) was kidnapped by four armed men near his company head-office in Gulberg area here on August 26. The police investigators quizzed Ayesha Bokhari, third wife of Taseer and Shan, Taseer's son from first wife.

The investigators asked them about their reported "property dispute" with Shahbaz and other family members.

Bokhari in a written statement to investigators said that Taseers had recently deprived her of lawful share in her husband's property. She said she had ownership documents of a few flats and a house.

Shahbaz's family claimed that Bokhari, who got ownership letters of commercial and residential property of Taseers company, had failed to pay full money.

An investigator further told mediapersons that kidnappers had not yet contacted the family adding the police did not see any 'business-related' dispute behind the incident after interrogating all the acquaintances of Taseeer.

Meanwhile, the police have released some suspects after nothing was established against them. The police had taken into custody some of visitors of Qadri, who had recently met him in Adiala jail Rawalpindi.

Though the investigators say they have not yet got any clue from them but they believe that Qadri's case had something to do with Shahbaz's kidnapping.

Capital City Police Officer Ahmad Raza Tahir reiterated the police teams had been working on different leads but could not find any success. Governor Taseer was gunned down by Qadri in Islamabad on Jan 4, 2011.

Later Qadri confessed his crime saying he had killed Taseer for "committing blasphemy by calling the blasphemy laws as black laws".

Taseer had raised voice against controversial blasphemy laws introduced by military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq in 1970s and requested President Asif Zardari to suspend the death sentence of Christian women Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

The religious extremist groups have been issuing warning to both the court and the government against convicting Qadri as what they say he had done a "commendable job to kill a blasphemer".

A large number of lawyers in Rawalpindi had showered flowers on Qadri, when he appeared for his first hearing in the court. The case is in an anti-terrorism court and the next proceeding is on Sept 10.

M Zulqernain in Lahore
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