Prominent cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, who was known as the ‘father of the Taliban’, has been assassinated inside his house in Rawalpindi.
He was stabbed to death at his Bahria Town residence on Friday. He was taking a nap at the time.
“He was at his residence and had to travel to Akora Khattak. The servants had gone to get food when unknown attackers entered the house and assassinated him,” said his grandson Maulana Abdul Haq.
A medico-legal officer said that he was most likely attacked by one person. He has one stab wound on his right shoulder going all the way to his thorax. The attacker moved from right to left, Haq most probably received these incision wounds while trying to flee, the MLO said. His left ear and nostril were also affected.
The body has been shifted to DHQ Hospital for post-mortem. The funeral prayers will be offered at Madrassa Haqqania, Akora Khatak, at 2pm on Saturday.
A small protest is being staged at Aabpara Chowk after his assassination. An emergency meeting is underway at Darul Uloom Haqqania to devise their future strategy.
Maulana Haq was the head cleric of Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak. He has served on the post since the death of his father, Maulana Abdul Haq, who founded the madrassah in 1988. Many leaders of Afghan Taliban, including the movement’s founder Mullah Omar, studied at Darul Uloom Haqqania.
He was a part of JUI Darkhwati and was made its president after Darkhwati’s death. The group later came to be known as the JUI-S.
He formed the Difa-e-Pakistan Afghanistan council after 9/11, which later became the MMA. Haq served as a senator during the tenures of former president Zia ul Haq and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He tabled the famous Sharia bill during Nawaz’s last term.
Moulana Haq was close to Prime Minister Imran Khan. The PTI formed an alliance with his party before the 2018 general election.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had nominated Moulana Samiul Haq as the head of their five-member peace committee in 2014, after the Nawaz Sharif-led government entered in talks with the terrorist group.
The assassination comes at a crucial time when protests have erupted across the country against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. He wanted to be a part of the sit-ins against the release of Aasia Bibi, but decided against it after seeing the roadblocks, said his son Moulana Hamidul Haq.
Reactions pour in
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is currently in China, condemned the brutal killing of Maulana Samiul Haq. The country has lost a great religious scholar, he said. The premier has ordered an inquiry into the incident and summoned a report.
The army chief also condemned the attack.
COAS strongly condemns assassination of renowned religious scholar and political leader Moulana Sami ul Haq. Expresses grief and condolences to the bereaved family.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 2, 2018
President Dr Arif Alvi expressed sorrow and praised the religious, social and political services of the political leader.
Naeemul Haq, the special assistant to PM Khan, condemned the attack. “This is a great tragedy,” he said while speaking to SAMAA TV.
“He had met with the prime minister at his residence 15 days ago,” he said. “His father had signed the 1973 Constitution when he was a member of the National Assembly.” He had set up Pakistan’s largest seminary in Attock in which thousands of students are educated, Haq added.
This is a conspiracy against Pakistan, its political system and sovereignty, said Punjab government spokesperson Fayyazul Hassan Chauhan. It is an attempt to create anarchy in the country, said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.
PML-N leader Saad Rafique termed the assassination of Haq as “an attack on Pakistan’s stability”. He was pro-democracy and always supported dialogue, he remarked.
“This is quite tragic. I shared a close relationship with Moulana Samiul Haq,” said Maulana Fazlur Rehman. “Moulana was an asset of the country.”
Maulana Samiul Haq was a great religious scholar and a patriot, said KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan.
Interior State Minister Sheharyar Khan Afridi condemned the attack and expressed his condolence. PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Ilahi demanded that the culprits should be taken to task.