ISLAMABAD – In 2015, an assortment of people including lawyers and supporters of convicted murderer of Governor Salman Taseer flocked outside the Islamabad High Court and outnumbered the police.

The men were carrying placards and shouting slogans in favour of the slain governor’s assassin, Mumtaz Qadri.

The focus of attention, however, was Advocate Yasir Shakeel.  Someone bearing great facial resemblance to IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Shakeel had kissed Mumtaz Qadri when he appeared before an anti-terrorism court in 2011.

After the appointment of Justice Siddiqui as IHC judge, a photograph of Shakeel kissing Qadri went viral on the social media and made it seem as if a Pakistani judge was kissing a convicted terrorist.

Shakeel is very active on social media and takes full credit and pride in being the ‘blessed person’ for kissing Mumtaz Qadri. He has also urged others to stop ‘vilifying’ the Honourable judge as it was he who kissed Qadri.

Quite ironically, the justice who has been accused of supporting Qadri was the one who in 2015, dismissed Qadri’s appeal against the death penalty. Despite serious threats to lawyers and judges hearing blasphemy-related cases, the two-member bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed the appeal.

Advocate Shakeel was also an office-bearer of the Namoos-i-Risalat Forum, which urged lawyers to appear in court to show support for Qadri.