Known as the father of the Taliban, Maulana Samiul Haq has been killed at his living place in Rawalpindi, his son has confirmed.
Maulana Hamidul Haq said his octogenarian father was killed while he was resting in his room.
“His driver Haqqani had gone out. On his arrival, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of blood,” Hamid said while talking to Geo News.
The news of his demise comes at a touchy time, with religio-political gatherings out in the city challenging the Supreme Court’s absolution of Asia Bibi, a Christian lady, in a blasphemy case.
Maulana Sami, the head of his own group of the Jamiat Ulema-I-Islam, was not able to participate in the protest that was against Bibi’s acquittal due because of road blockades and had returned home, his child said.
“He was stabbed on various occasions,” Maulana Hamid said. Maulana Sami’s driver/shooter had gone out, situated in Bahria Town, for around 15 minutes when he was stabbed.
Yousaf Shah, the maulana’s spokesman, said the attacker’s identity and their motive were not immediately known.
Police have begun an investigation into the case.
Maulana Sami, said to be around 82 years of age, was the leader of the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary college in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Akora Khattak.
Afghan officials had recently asked the cleric, believed to have been in his 80s, to help convince the Taliban to begin peace negotiations.
He had been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the July 25, 2018 election.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a five-day visit to China, has taken notice of the killing of Maulana Sami ul Haq and asked for a report.
“Maulana Sami ul Haq’s political and religious services for the country will always be remembered,” PM Khan said in a statement.
The prime minister reportedly called Faisal Vawda from Beijing and directed him to contact the family as soon as possible.
The family of Maulana Sami ul Haq should not be left alone, PM Khan said.
In a separate statement, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has strongly condemned the killing of Maulana Sami ul Haq and expressed her deep sympathy with his families.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain also condemned the assassination of Maulana Sami ul Haq and said that strict implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) could have averted such a tragic incident.