Islamabad, March 1 (IANS) Only select officials knew about the plan to execute Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.
Qadri, trained as an elite commando and who was a bodyguard to Taseer, was on Monday morning executed at Adaila Jail in Rawalpindi.
Qadri shot dead Taseer in Islamabad on January 4, 2011 for supporting a blasphemy accused. An anti-terrorism court condemned him to death, a ruling upheld by the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.
Right till Sunday night, only a few officers knew of the plans to execute Qadri. Those who did were told not to tell others, Dawn online reported.
Expecting trouble, senior officers from the police and prisons departments had chalked out a strategy to cope with the fallout from the execution.
More than 30 members of his family were summoned for a final meeting with the prisoner late at night. They included his father Mohammad Shabir, wife and a brother.
Informed sources said a police team was sent to his residence to fetch his family after Sunday midnight. They were taken to the jail on the pretext that Qadri was ill and wanted to see them.
Officials had expected protests after Qadri’s mercy plea was rejected.
“We were committed not to disclose plans for Qadri’s execution before the process was completed,” a senior police officer said.
Similarly, the officers tasked with transporting Qadri’s body to his Sadiqabad home communicated with their seniors in code till it was handed over to his family.
Once this was done, police began efforts to convince the family to bury him without wasting time to avoid street protests.