After arriving in my home country from USA a few months back, I decided to buy a residential plot at reasonable rates. For that purpose I selected Barahaku, a small town in the outskirts of Islamabad keeping in mind that it would be comparatively cheaper in rates than the other areas of the capital. But the rates of the plots the property dealer told me were unbelievably high. I was told that overall the rate of the land has increased manifold especially after the interment of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who ferociously gunned down Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer in 2011.

"Qadri’s grave has now turned into a shrine with the total cost of Rs7 million while so far his devotees have donated Rs8 million for the establishment of this shrine. This shrine is being attended by a large number of devotees every day. Resultantly the demand for residential plots has reached its peak followed by the high rates of property,” the property dealer, Nisar Ahmed elaborated.

How is it possible that a man who killed another human being has become a ‘hero’? The state has hanged him as a punishment for what he did but why the people are treating his grave as if he was a saint or a great devotee of Allah who killed someone just to please Him? Why these people do not understand that Islam does not teach us to assassinate someone against the laws of the state?

God Almighty has mandated for us to manage this earth with consideration for life. According to Chapter (5) sūrat l-māidah of the Holy Quran, ".....whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely…." This verse of the Holy Quran is self-explanatory.

From 1987 to 2014 over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy. Mumtaz Qadri killed Salman Taseer just because he proposed to reform the country’s blasphemy laws. Whatever Qadri did was a violation of the laws of a democratic country but the irony of the fact is he is being treated by the people as a ‘martyr’ and as their ‘hero’ that in my perception is condemnable.

What a pity…. According to the official statistics, 60 million Pakistanis are living under the poverty line. Similarly, 2016 Global Hunger Index shows that 22 per cent of the total population of the country is undernourished having a serious hunger level while on the other hand, millions of rupees are being spent to construct a shrine made of cement and stones as a tribute to someone who was hanged for murder.