‘Father of Taliban’ Maulana Sami-ul Haq killed in Pakistani city – deputy

The influential religious leader lived in Rawalpindi with his son Maulana Hamid-ul Haq.

In this file photograph taken on August 23, 2017, Mullah Sami Ul Haq, head of the Defence of Pakistan Council, a coalition of around 40 religious and political parties, speaks during a press conference in Islamabad.


 

Islamabad: Maulana Sami-ul Haq, a renowned Islamic scholar and religious leader known as the “Father of Taliban” was assassinated in Rawalpindi on Friday evening. The assassination took place not far from the scene of protest led by Tehreek-e-Labbaik and at a sensitive time when religio-political parties are protesting acquittal of Christian woman Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

Maulana Sami, who was ill and weak, was trying to mediate to end current protests.

The son of former Senator, Maulana Hamid-ul Haq said his father was brutally stabbed to death while he was resting in his room. Maulana Sami was 83 years old and a heart patient, according to his son. “His driver Haqqani had gone out. On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of bed. He was no longer alive,” Hamid told media.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr. Arif Alvi expressed sorrow and grief over the death of Maulana Sami ul Haq. In a message of condolence from Beijing, PM Khan has said that the nation has been deprived of one of the most learnt scholars of Islam and directed to investigate the incident to bring the culprits to justice. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condoled the death of Maulana Sami and said “The resolve of Pakistani nation cannot be deterred by such cowardly acts.”

Experts and journalists express fear that enemies of Pakistan may take undue advantage during his funeral, which is expected to be attended by thousands of his followers and students. “The victim is Maulana Sami but the real target is Pakistan at this critical time as the assassination may spark further unrest” remarked senior journalist Saleem Safi.

He will be buried in his hometown in Akora Khattak, a town in Nowshera district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Who was Maulana Sami-ul Haq?

Maulana Sami-ul Haq was the chancellor of Pakistan’s famous madrasa, Darul Uloom Haqqania, founded by his father. Besides running the madrasa, Maulana was a famous political figure and member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997. He was among the founders of Pakistan’s Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) coalition of Islamic religious parties.

Sami-ul Haq had played a pivotal role in peace talks with Taliban. Last month, he offered his religious school as a venue for possible talks between the Taliban and Afghan government-sponsored peace council to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He had close links with Afghan Taliban first Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar and Haqqani leaders who are sought by the US and Afghan forces.

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