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Pak court dismisses petition of Qadri trial

Islamabad: A Pakistani court today dismissed a petition filed by a lawyer seeking an end to the trial of the police guard who assassinated Governor Salmaan Taseer for criticising the controversial blasphemy law.

Justice Malik Mohammad Anwar Kansi of the Islamabad High Court rejected the petition filed by Zafar Awan after a preliminary hearing.

Taseer, a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, was gunned down in Islamabad on January 4 by Mumtaz Qadri, a member of his security detail.

Qadri claimed that Taseer had committed blasphemy by opposing the blasphemy law.

Awan had pointed out in his petition that Pakistani law states that capital punishment will be given to those who blaspheme.

He contended that Qadri`s trial should not be continued under these circumstances. The judge dismissed the petition, saying that even if someone has blasphemed, no one is allowed to take the law into their own hands.

He said cases of blasphemy would be dealt with by courts in accordance with the law. The judge also rejected another petition seeking the cancellation of the First Information Report registered against Qadri.

The next hearing in the trial of the assassin will be conducted behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on January 24.

Pakistan`s religious hardliners have praised Qadri and his actions. Qadri was showered with rose petals by lawyers and madrassa students during two court appearances.

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