Punjab Governor and owner of newspaper and television channels Salmaan Taseer gunned down by own security guard
ISLAMABAD: Punjab Governor and the Media Times Limited owner Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by one of his guards for criticizing blasphemy laws in the federal capital on Tuesday.
Salman Taseer established Daily Times, an English language daily newspaper in 2002. He also established Business Plus television channel which was the country’s first business news channel in 2004-05 and Zaiqa television channel in 2010.
According to sources and witnesses, Taseer, who was residing in a guest house of his company located in sector F-6/3, after visiting the Presidency and Parliament House, had a meeting with the information minister and came back to F-6 and had lunch at a restaurant in the Kohsar Market.
After having lunch, the 65-year-old Taseer came out of the restaurant, but his gunman Malik Mumtaz Qadri shot a burst with an SMG gun, due to which the governor died on the spot. His body was shifted to the Polyclinic, where doctors confirmed his death.
It was the most high-profile political killing in the country since former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007.
A witness said Taseer was stepping out of his car at a shopping area when he was shot.
“The governor fell down and the man who fired at him threw down his gun and raised both hands,” said the witness, Ali Imran.
Security personnel rushed to the scene of the crime and cordoned off the area.
It was learnt in the postmortem report that the gunman had fired on the governor from behind.
The postmortem was done by Dr Arshad of Polyclinic, Dr Farukh of PIMS and other doctors, in which it was learnt that there were marks of 27 bullets on the body, which had hit the legs, back and neck, but the governor’s heart was safe.
Sources told that the bullets that hit the neck had been the reason for the governor’s death.
Meanwhile, Qadri and nine other personnel of the Elite Force were arrested from the scene of the crime and shifted to the Kohsar Police Station. “He confessed that he killed the governor because he had called the blasphemy law a black law,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Taseer was outspoken against the Taliban and terrorists hunkered down in the country’s northwest, who have also made increasing inroads into Punjab in recent years.
Also, Federal Population Welfare Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said that an FIR had been filed, adding that other details would be included after consulting the aggrieved family.
Taseer’s body reached Lahore around midnight and was received by his family members.
The funeral prayers of the late Punjab governor — who will receive a state funeral — will be held at the Governor’s House today (Wednesday) at 1pm.
Source: Daily Times