Assassinated Governor's Funeral Prayers Offered; more than 600 Clerics Refuse to lead Prayers - UPDATED

It appears Salmaan Taseer; Governor of the largest populated province of Pakistan; Punjab has been killed in a targeted incident of violence. His motorcade was attacked at one of the most influential places in Islamabad; Kohsar. Earliest reports suggested that firing was heard and then a small intensity bomb was blasted on Governor Punjab’s motorcade.

 

Pakistan's Punjab Province Governor, Salmaan Taseer Shot Dead

UPDATE: January 5th 2:00 AM

Funeral Prayers offered for slain Pakistani Governor

(Carbonated.TV News Update)

Governor Salmaan Taseer’s funeral was held in Lahore amid tight security. The funeral prayers were offered at the Governor’s House in Lahore. A large number of people and other senior leaders present at the funeral included Law Minister Babar Awan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Military officials also gathered at the Governor House to participate in the prayers. A six-member MQM delegation was also present at the Governor House.

Some 4000 police and security personnel were put on high alert and the city of Lahore was almost at a virtual shut-down for the prayers.

Salmaan Taseer was assassinated outside the Kohsar area in Islamabad by his own personal security detail. Malik Mumtaz Hussain known as Qadir, shot Salmaan Taseer at close range and surrendered to the other security guards.

 

More than 600 Ulemas refused to read out prayers for Salmaan Taseer's funeral.

 

Update: January 4th 10 50 PM

Most religious parties avoid outright condemnation; Some assail murder

KARACHI: Leading Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan (JASP) in a joint statement have asked Muslims not to offer Namaz-e-Janaza nor try to lead funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.

In a joint statement issued here they have also asked not to express regrets or sympathies over his assassination. Those issuing the statement include the JASP Central Ameer Prof Syed Mazhar Saeed Shah Kazmi, Allama Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, Allama Zamir Sajid, Pir Khalid Sultan, Pir Ghulam Siddiq Naqshbandi, Allama Syed Khizr Hussain Shah, Alhaj Amjad Chishti, Allama Ghulam Sarawar Hazarvi, Allama Syed Shamsuddin Bokhari, Pir Syed Ashiq Ali Shah Jilani, Mufti Muhammad Iqbal Chishti, Allama Fazal Jamil Rizvi, Agha Muhammad Ibrahim Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Maulana Muhammad Riaz Qadri, Maulana Gulzar Naeemi, Allama Syed Ghulam Yaseen Shah, and over 500 other ulema and honorable muftis attached to the JASP.

A policeman signals to the media to keep away from the site where the governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer was shot dead in Islamabad January 4, 2011. A gunman assassinated the governor of Pakistan's central Punjab province, a senior member of the ruling party, in Islamabad on Tuesday, an aide said, as a new political crisis gripped the strategic U.S. ally. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Taseer was killed by one of his guards probably because of his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, which rights groups say is often exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores.

Those favouring the person indulged in blasphemy are themselves blasphemous, they announced. Paying glowing tributes to Malik Mumtaz Hussain, and his courage, who killed Governor Salman Taseer, they said he is lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and is a ‘Ghazi’. Mumtaz had revived the 14-century-old tradition of Islam and put their head high in pride. It was only Prophet (PBUH) who could forgive any act of blasphemy but none other could ever do it.

They asked the rulers to save their faith by announcing that they would desist from attempting to amend the law of blasphemy. Asim Hussain adds from Lahore: Leaders of majority of religious parties desisted from expressing their views on the murder of Salman Taseer, while others gave a guarded response, saying the slain Punjab governor had been inviting such kind of reaction for quite some time.

The body of the governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer is carried out of a hospital after he was shot dead in Islamabad January 4, 2011. A gunman assassinated the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, a senior member of the ruling party, in Islamabad on Tuesday, an aide said, as a new political crisis gripped the strategic U.S. ally. Taseer was killed by one of his guards because of his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, citing initial reports.

He had continuously been violating the constitution of Pakistan by supporting an amendment to the blasphemy laws and interfering in the judicial process of the blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi, though he knew well that Muslims were very touchy on the matter, they said while talking to The News.

Some religious leaders like Jamiat Ahle Hadith President Prof Sajid Mir and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Farid Piracha, however, condemned the murder saying Islam forbids people to punish even the criminals by taking the law into their hands.

Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) President Abdul Khair Mohammad Zubair said Islam strictly forbids taking the life of anyone without judicial or state order, but added that Salman Taseer had shown utter disregard for the religious sentiments of the entire nation.

Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a man identified as a guard of the governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer, is detained at the site of Taseer's shooting in Islamabad January 4, 2011. A gunman assassinated the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, a senior member of the ruling party, in Islamabad on Tuesday, an aide said, as a new political crisis gripped the strategic U.S. ally. Salman Taseer was killed by one of his guards because of his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said. Malik said the slain politician's guard, identified as Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, confessed and had been arrested but investigations would determine if others were involved.

The mobile phone of Sahabzada Fazal Karim, chairman Sunni Ittehad Council, remained switched off throughout Tuesday evening. A spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan said he was not feeling well and could not be available on phone. The spokesman also expressed his helplessness to obtain any formal statement on the issue saying that any statement on the matter would be issued on the next day after consultations. Other main leaders of the Sunni Ittehad Council - Haji Hanif Tayyeb, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali, Sarwat Ijaz Qadri - were also not available.

Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM) leaders held an emergency meeting after receiving the reports of murder of Salman Taseer. The meeting, chaired by Razaul Mustafa Naqshbandi, continued for two hours. Later, in a statement the TNRM said Taseer had been violating the laws of the land by supporting a blasphemy convict, Aasia Bibi, from day one. His irresponsible acts from the high office of the Governor of Punjab were inappropriate and offending 170 million Muslims of the country.

Meanwhile, Sunni Tehrik Lahore President Mujahid Abdul Rasool said Muslims should not attend the funeral prayers of Salman Taseer since he had wilfully committed blasphemy and shown disrespect towards protecting the honour of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

 

(Tribune)

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was attacked and killed in a firing incident in Islamabad’s Kohsar market on Tuesday.

4:50pm

The hospital says the Governor received nine bullets.

4:48pm

Attackers were part of the governor’s convoy, witnesses say.

4:46pm

Police source say they have arrested a suspect in the attack.

Zulfiqar Mirza, Sindh Home Minister Qaim Ali Shah, as well as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack.

4:30pm

The governor died on the spot, according to governor house spokesman Farrukh Shah.

According to initial reports, unidentified persons fired upon the governor’s convoy and he was shifted to the Polyclinic hospital for treatment.

Witnesses said that two uniformed personnel attacked him.

(Carbonated TV News Update )

It appears Salmaan Taseer; Governor of the largest populated province of Pakistan; Punjab has been killed in a targeted incident of violence. His motorcade was attacked at one of the most influential places in Islamabad; Kohsar. Earliest reports suggested that firing was heard and then a small intensity bomb was blasted on Governor Punjab’s motorcade.

Recent reports by the media channel, GEO, suggests that it was the Elite Forces which fired on the Governor Punjab’s motorcade. The reports are still pouring in from all media outlets. People near the area of Kohsar, Islamabad have been tweeting furiously over the incident which they first thought was random firing.

Newspaper Express Tribune just reported that the Spokesman from Governor's House has confirmed the death of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer.

Taseer was also one of the first politicians of Pakistan who made use of the micro-blogging site; twitter. ( twitter.com/salmaantaseer) Taseer was a vocal opponent of the recent blasphemy debate which fueled anger inside conservative Pakistan. He was bombarded from all sides of the media for granting his voice to the case of the jailed Christian woman Asiya Bibi. 

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