The police guard, who gunned down Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer eight months ago for opposing the countrys controversial blasphemy law, pleaded guilty in a Pakistani antiterrorism court, PTI reports.

Malik Mumtaz H

ussain Qadri, 26, pleaded guilty during proceedings of the anti- terrorism court, being held at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons.

In his statement recorded in the court, Qadri admitted to killing Taseer and gave the reasons behind his action.

The judge subsequently adjourned the case till September 24.

Qadri, who was part of Taseers security detail, shot dead the outspoken politician from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party outside a restaurant in Islamabad on January 4, sending shockwaves across the world. He laid down his weapon and surrendered moments after the killing.

He later told the media that he had killed Taseer for opposing the controversial blasphemy law and for coming to the aid of Christian woman who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

Qadri was feted during earlier court appearances by lawyers and madrassa students, who showered rose petals on him.

Hardline religious groups have warned the government and courts not to punish Qadri for his crime.

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