Qadri’s Pakistan or Taseer’s Pakistan?

By Imran Ahmad Khan


A radicalized Pakistan’s long-drawn struggle to de-radicalize itself took a key turn when the law of the land took its due course, resulting in Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging. However, it is what happens next that will define the narrative around Qadri and whether his hanging will help Pakistan on its way to de-radicalization.

The country has been at the cross-roads of an impending ideological shift for a long time now. In a slow move towards realizing the trouble that we have engulfed ourselves in, there have been multiple tipping points in our war against violent extremism. Bone chilling stories of the Hazara genocide, the Mehran airbase attack, the APS attack – on multiple occasions, we have somehow managed to find a small voice to highlight what is evidently very wrong.

But for every protest against the APS attack, there is an Abdul Aziz. For every potential ideological shift against radicalization, there are calls by Jamaat-e-Islami to protest against Qadri’s hanging.

The state’s continued inaction after Salman Taseer’s murder went a long way in making Mumtaz Qadri the hero that he has become for many. Qadri’s famous court appearances saw hundreds of lawyers coming out in his support. He was able to inspire the formation of a Mumtaz Qadri Lovers’ Forum. Such has been the support for Qadri that it took our judicial system five years to exercise its authority. Basically, it took our state five years to gather the courage to execute a man who had confessed to having committed a murder. In such a context, many of us will see this as a small yet meaningful victory. However, this itself is an indictment of our society.

As anticipated, Qadri’s hanging has led to protests in various parts of the country. His funeral was reportedly attended by 100,000 people. While the protests have been blacked out by the country’s electronic media, it is how the state reacts to these protests that is of importance to us. Qadri was served with justice and that is the end of his story. But those who glorify him need to be talked to with reasoning.

Isn’t it ironic that those who glorify Qadri do so under a false sense of love and reverence for a man who is remembered by everyone as an institution of compassion? Perhaps we have been blessed with a special moral compass that allows us to consider the possibility of killing others like this.

There is a need for an honest, state-led dialogue on this issue and the need is greater today than it was ever before. This is also where Pakistan’s political leadership needs to stand up and help in weaving a narative of de-radicalization. There are scores of people on the streets who believe that Qadri had a right to take away another man’s life. Many might call this a reductionist approach but this is what it boils down to – the fact that Qadri murdered another human being.

Qadri’s supporters idolize him as someone who epitomized the selflessness that a true Muslim should possess. But the tale of selflessness and compassion as shown by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Taif is what we need to relate to instead of the one that Qadri propagated.

And if the laws will remain as they are then a question that needs answering is who committed blasphemy after all? Taseer, who asked for an end to the misuse of the law? Or Qadri, who violated the law and took it in his own hands to protect the same law? Sounds paradoxical.

This is a dangerous conversation to have but one that is extremely critical. For if we really want to live in a Pakistan free from the suffocating hold of radicalization, we must immediately address the mindset that continues to penetrate through the masses.

The writer can be contacted on twitter: @imranahmadkh

  • dunkirk

    Hindus had to be slandered and terrorized in order to create the islamic paradise of Pakistan. This process is 1200 years old. And the quislings of islam are so proud of it. Did Jinnah ever say a good word about hindus and hindu religions? Never. So how can you expect that the nation created by by him through lies and slander to glorify an arab fascist tribalism ever bring forth anything good?
    Don’t fool us and yourself with any tales of glory of this arab religion and its quislings.

  • dunkirk

    Do you remember how much this Taseer use to ridicule, hate and slander hindus? Did he speak out a word of repentance before the bullets searched him out?
    Quislings of islam cannot escape the law of karma.
    Your lies will hunt you down. Your arab religion is based on lies. You know it, you experience it DAILY. And you make us experience it too. But you are cowards due to your indoctrination.
    Qadri was younger than Taseer – Qadri was a product of the very anti-hindu slander that Taseer had absorbed and multiplied in the islamic paradise of Pakistan.

  • Paki Terrorist

    Spot on … I am surprised, PTI allowed this comment of yours … !!

  • Nuree

    Why not four spouses for Muslim women too, asks Kerala HC judge

    Kerala high court judge Justice B Kamal Pasha stirred a hornet’s nest on Sunday by asking why Muslim women could not have four husbands while the men enjoyed the same privilege under the Muslim personal law.
    Addressing a seminar organised by an NGO run by women lawyers in Kozhikode, Pasha said Muslim personal laws are heavily loaded against women. He blamed religious heads for establishing the hegemony of men and wanted them to introspect during religious discourses on sensitive issues.
    Under the Muslim personal law, a man can marry four times. Although many Muslim countries have banned polygamy, it is still prevalent in India.
    “Religious heads should do self-introspection whether they are eligible to pronounce one-sided verdicts. People should also think about the eligibility of persons who are pronouncing such verdicts,” he said, adding that women were deprived even of the rights enshrined in the Quran.
    Pasha also said that it was unfair to oppose a uniform civil code. “Even the highest court is a bit reluctant to interfere in this. Women should come forward to end this injustice,” he said.
    “Personal law is loaded with discrimination. Besides denying equality, it also denies women’s right to property and other issues,” he said. The judge added that the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, will be fruitful if the right of a woman to her husband’s property is properly defined.

  • shafiz1

    Taking back the country by Saad Hafiz

    Thus far, reactionary forces largely unchecked have made profound inroads in society, and the state has shown little or no resolve to fight back

  • dunkirk

    A totalitarian ideology can produce only cowards and mental slaves. This arab religion proves this since 1400 years.

    Every justification, glorification or defence of this religion will only increase its fascism.

    Why non-arabs have become such mental slaves of this arab imperialism? What evil power is inherent in this ideology that non-arabs want to become bootlickers of arabs and their tribalism and a totalitarian arab god-concept?

    Whatever is good in this arab religion (their propaganda is always trying to tell us impressive things) and its arab book can also be obtained from other modern sources – and that without having to become mental slaves of the fascism in this arab religion.

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