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ICC Note:
According to reports, thousands of religious hardliners in Pakistan rallied to commemorate Mumtaz Qadri, a man convicted and executed for the assassination of a Pakistani governor that called for reforms to the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. Salman Taseer, the then governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was murdered by Qadri after he called the blasphemy laws “a black law” and stood in support of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. As Pakistan continues to recover from a series of terrorist attacks from religious extremist groups, these open rallies have many religious minorities and moderates concerned for the future of Pakistan.  
03/02/2017 Pakistan (Times of India) – Thousands of religious hardliners in Pakistan defied a ban on demonstrations to rally on Wednesday in support of a man executed for murdering a popular governor over his call to reform the country’s blasphemy laws.
Mumtaz Qadri was executed on February 29 last year for killing Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province.
Qadri had been assigned as one of Taseer’s bodyguards after the governor enraged the religious right by calling for reform to the country’s blasphemy laws in support of a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death.
After his arrest, Qadri became a hero to many in hardline factions for his action, seen as defending Islam.
Despite the increased security on Wednesday, with included police shutting down entire roads, people thronged to a shrine glorifying Qadri on the outskirts of capital, Islamabad.
As space at the site became limited, people climbed on top of fences and ramparts to get a view of the stage. The crowd chanted slogans exalting Qadri and proclaiming Pakistan an Islamic state.
Islamabad police confirmed that the crowd was somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

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