Great, who’s guarding the nukes? “Pakistani governor bodyguard served on President Zardari’s security team,” by Dean Nelson for the Telegraph, January 14:
Mumtaz Qadri was part of Punjab Police’s Elite Force whose members are selected to protect the province’s most senior ministers, politicians and VIPs. He had also served on security details for Rehman Malik, the interior minister, Ifthikhar Mohammed Chadhry, the state’s chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, and his brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Four more of its members have now been suspended after Qadri told his interrogators that they shared his extremist views, including his cousin.
The assassination of Salman Taseer plunged the volatile country further into crisis after Qadri said he had killed him because of his campaign to repeal Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and to seek a reprieve for a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad.
The blasphemy is believed to be widely misused to accuse members of the country’s Christian and other minorities.
A law that is inherently abusive of freedom of speech and conscience can only be “misused.”
Police are currently investigating claims that officials ignored a formal warning from a senior Punjab police officer who told them Qadri’s extremist views meant he should not be deployed to protect ministers and other VIPs.