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Pakistan Lawyers’ Garland for Assassin Shows Deepening Militancy

Pakistani lawyers, clerics and politicians from religious parties defended the policeman who killed a provincial governor for opposing an Islamic blasphemy law in what secular leaders and analysts called an unprecedented show of militancy.

Lawyers rallied in Islamabad, the capital, to support policeman Malik Mumtaz Qadri, 26, a day after his backers honored him with flower garlands during his first court appearance. The head of Pakistan’s main association of Islamic schools said Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, one of Pakistan’s most outspoken secular politicians, had provoked his own assassination.