LAHORE: Civil society activists organised two vigils in Lahore to honour slaim former governor Salmaan Taseer on his second death anniversary on Saturday.
A vigil was organised at Charing Cross and one at the Liberty roundabout. No member of the Taseer family showed up at either vigil.
Participants of the vigil at Liberty roundabout held placards and photos of Taseer, who was killed by one of his guards Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad in 2011.
“We organised this vigil to pay tribute to Shaheed Salmaan Taseer on his second death anniversary to commemorate his sacrifice and fearless championing the rights of minorities. We demand punishment for his killer Mumtaz Qadri,” said Abdullah Malik, one of the organisers of the vigil at Chairing Cross. He said Pakistan must not allow extremists to enforce their views on others.
Napoleon Qayyum, a rights activist who attended both vigils, said the woman Taseer had syphatised with for being unfairly prosecuted was still in prison. He said, “The blasphemy law has become more entrenched than it was before Taseer’s death. People are more afraid of speaking about it. The law should be amended.” He said Mumtaz Qadri was still to be punished.
Asif Aqeel, another participant at the vigil, said Taseer had stood for a Christian woman at a time when most people shied away from speaking for her. He said steps should be taken to stop the misuse of blasphemy law.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2013.