News Analysis |
The 8th death anniversary of late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was observed on Friday, Jan 4 in Pakistan. On his death anniversary a hashtag “#IAmMumtazQadri”, celebrating his murderer, started to trend on Twitter in Pakistan.
It is important to mention here that the former governor was assassinated by his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, on January 4, 2011, because he had reportedly defended a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. The Elite Force commando, convicted of killing Taseer, was executed in 2016.
Experts in Pakistan suggest the policymakers reform the education system to make youth less intolerant and less extremist when it comes to religious issues.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has also acquitted accused Asia and declared her innocent in the said case. After her acquittal from the court, the country had to see lockdown in megacities and religious fanatics demanding death penalty to Ms.Asia. The government did not listen to their demands and later on arrested the top leadership of the campaign and put them behind the bars.
Mr. Salman was a human rights activist and also a seasoned politician who had been associated with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He became a member of Punjab Assembly in 1988 and served as a minister in the caretaker cabinet of prime minister Muhammad Mian Soomro under Pervez Musharraf during the 2008 elections. He was appointed Punjab governor in 2008 and served for three years until his assassination.
Some people called the murderer of late governor a symbol of sincerity.
— لبیک یارسولﷺ(نوکرغازی صاحب دا) (@LabikyarasolSAW) January 4, 2019
Another user was glorifying the killer.
A civil engineer asked if the world remembered 27 bullets of Mr. Qadari?
— Muhammad Abrar (@Abrar19125) January 4, 2019
Experts argue that religion is generally misused in Pakistan. Political leaders and religious clerics interpret the religious text in a way which best suits them. The latest example is the rise of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, a far-right Islamist political party led by Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Mr. Rizvi used Mumtaz Qadari-card after his hanging and urged people to come out against the state.
Until a few days ago, Mr. Rizvi was considered to be the most powerful person of Pakistan who could have shut down the country even on his one call. But PTI-led government has wisely arrested him and his followers who stood up against the state and damaged public property during a protest against the decision of the SC.
Experts in Pakistan suggest the policymakers reform the education system to make youth less intolerant and less extremist when it comes to religious issues. It is argued that without a comprehensive policy to reform our education system and counter the extremist narratives Pakistan will continue to face such fanaticism in the years to come.