Pakistan's 'father of Taliban' cleric killed in knife attack

03 November, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Pakistani cleric Maulana Samiul Haq known as ‘father of Taliban’ shot dead Reports

Maulana Samiul Haq, 81, was attacked inside his house in the city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad, by two knife-wielding assassins, his son Hamidul Haq said on Friday.

Maulana Samiul (82) was the head of the Islamic religious seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak town.

"Unidentified attackers killed Maulana Sami ul Haq inside his residence", Umar Jahangir, a senior government official, told state-run Pakistan television.

Saeed-ur-Rehman Sarwar, a leader of Haq's JUI-S political party, also confirmed the killing.

The news of his death comes at a sensitive time, with religio-political parties out on the streets protesting the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, in a blasphemy case.

The prime minister's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) entered into a pre-election alliance with Haq's JUI-S, although the two later parted ways before Pakistan's July general vote, which Khan's party swept.

He was regarded as "Father of the Taliban" and had close ties to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

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Haq's spokesperson, Yousaf Shah, said the attacker's identity and motive were unknown. He was member of the Senate from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.

"It was really sad to hear the news of the martyrdom of Maulana Samiul Haq", Nawaz said, praying the Almighty to have mercy on Pakistan.

In a statement, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

However, initial reports had said that Haq had been shot.

He was a religious scholar and former Senator.

Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the awful news of the assassination was very tragic.

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