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Assassin praised for death of Pakistani Governor

If you grieve over your assassinated Governor, you may face the same fate.

That is the message five hundred religious scholars are sending to anyone who expresses grief over the death of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, who was killed by one of his own security guards yesterday.

Even more pivotal is the celebration of the assassin as he arrived to court today. The guard, Mumtaz Qadri, was greeted with flowers, embraced with kisses, and hailed with cheers. The late Governor was purportedly shot because he contested the country's blasphemy law.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other senior ruling party officials joined up to 6,000 mourners at a ceremony at the governor's official residence in the city of Lahore in eastern Pakistan, before Taseer was buried at a nearby cemetery.

Taseer was a close ally of U.S.-backed President Asif Ali Zardari and the highest-profile political figure to be assassinated since former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was slain three years ago.

Mian Khursheed / Reuters

Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the bodyguard arrested for the killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, shouts religious slogans while being taken away by police after he was presented at a court in Islamabad, Jan. 5. Five hundred moderate Pakistani religious scholars have warned that anyone who expresses grief over the assassination of a senior ruling party official who opposed the country's blasphemy law could suffer the same fate. The Punjab province governor was killed on Tuesday by one of his guards, who was apparently incensed by the politician's opposition to the blasphemy law, in a parking lot at the block of shops popular with foreigners in Islamabad.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani mourners comfort a grieving woman during the funeral procession of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 5. Thousands of Pakistani police were on high alert in Lahore on Wednesday ahead of the funeral for an outspoken provincial governor shot dead by a bodyguard reportedly enraged by his opposition to laws decreeing death for insulting Islam. Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, a high-profile, 66-year-old businessman and media tycoon, was a stalwart of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, and his assassination Tuesday sent nuclear-armed Pakistan reeling at a time of great political turmoil.

Mohsin Raza / Reuters

Supporters wave at a helicopter carrying the body of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer as it takes-off from the grounds of the Governor's House, where thousands took part in Taseer's funeral prayers, in Lahore, Jan. 5. The Punjab province governor was killed on Tuesday by one of his guards, who was apparently incensed by the politician's opposition to the blasphemy law, in a parking lot at a block of shops popular with foreigners in Islamabad.

Md Nadeem / EPA

Supporter of the ruling Pakistan People Party burn a barricade during a protest against the assassination of Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan's most populous province of Punjab, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Jan. 5.

Images shot in the wake of yesterday's assassination can be seen HERE.

You can read our full story HERE.