Pakistan

Mumtaz Qadri’s lawyer says “punishing blasphemer is a religious duty”

ISLAMABAD: Justice Asif Saeed Khosa of the Supreme Court, while hearing a plea of Mumtaz Qadri, expressed reservation that if people took law in hands to punish blasphemers then a trend will start which will be “dangerous for society”.

He also asked whether individuals had the authority to punish a blasphemer.

Further, the judge said that there are a number of precedents in the superior courts wherein individuals have leveled allegations of blasphemy on the basis of their personal grudges.

Justice Khosa also questioned whether the accused had approached the state against former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

Counsel of Mumtaz Qadri Justice (retd) Nazeer Akhtar.

In his response, the counsel for the accused who is also a former Lahore High Court judge, Nazir Akhtar said, “Punishing a blasphemer is a religious duty which has to be performed by everyone.”

“In 80 cases, courts have given punishment and in 40 cases individuals have taken steps against blasphemers,” Akhtar added.

During a hearing a day ago, Qadri’s lawyer said his client had acted on his own interpretation of the blasphemy law after being influenced by speeches of a religious scholar to assassinate ex-Punjab governor.

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