A Pakistani high court has transferred an anti-terrorism court judge who recently awarded the death sentence to the self-confessed assassin of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for security reasons.
Lahore high court chief justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry issued the order transferring Judge Pervez Ali Shah, who went on long leave after receiving threats for awarding the death sentence to Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of Taseer.
The chief justice placed the services of Shah at the disposal of the Punjab government and transferred him from anti-terrorism court no II in Rawalpindi to the child protection court in Lahore.
The incumbent presiding officer in the child protection court, Muhammad Muzaffar Ali Khan, had been repatriated in the public interest, said a notification issued by the high court's registrar.
A grouping of 40 radical religious and hardline groups, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Sunni Tehrik, have demanded that the government should remove Shah from his post after he pronounced the death sentence to Qadri.
Radical clerics have criticised Shah for giving an "un-Islamic" verdict and called for action against him.