The killing of Salman Taseer, former Governor of Punjab province in Pakistan, has nothing to do with his views on blasphemy and it was his personal behaviour with his bodyguard that led to his assassination, a senior advocate from the country claimed.
"As per the investigations, it has been found that Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab province, had spoken impolitely and used bad words against his guard (Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri) while driving in his car. The killing of Taseer had nothing to do with the blasphemy laws in Pakistan...but it was the Governor's personal behaviour with his bodyguard that led to his assassination," advocate Akram Sheikh claimed.
Sheikh participated as a speaker in a session on 'Rights of Religious and other Minorities' at the ongoing Commonwealth Law Conference. Responding to a question from former Attorney General of India Soli J Sorabjee that lawyers in Pakistan had congratulated Taseer's assassin, Sheikh said "Taseer was shot dead only due to his personal behaviour against the guard."
He claimed the person (Qadri) who was charged with the offence, was supported by 500 lawyers in the court for the "torture" that was inflicted on him during the custody and not because he had assassinated the Governor.
"Nobody sympathised with him (Qadri) for killing the Governor. But Qadri was kept awake and not given food to eat. Qadri was ill-treated because he was the alleged killer of the Governor. The attitude of the custodial forces was rejected by the lawyers but they appeared in the court after (boycott) on the first day," Akram Sheikh said.
There were only some issues with regard to application on the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, he said.