Muslim cleric known as 'Father of the Taliban' killed in Pakistan

Erika Holt
November 3, 2018

"It's seems to be an organized attack as they knew that Maulana Samiul Haq was alone in the house", said Mohammad Bilal, a nephew, who added that the murder had occurred during a window when his uncle's bodyguard had briefly left his post. Some local media said ul-Haq was in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi when he was shot and killed.

Pakistani supporters gather around an ambulance carrying the body of a key cleric Maulana Sami ul-Haq.

The intense gunfire also reportedly injured Haq's driver and guard.

Haq's sprawling Haqqani seminary taught many of Afghanistan's Taliban and thousands of other students a strict interpretation of Islam.

"We lost a great scholar and religious leader today", said Khan in a statement from China where he is on an official visit.

Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rahman said he graduated from Darul Uloom Haqqania and had a strong relationship with Maulana Samiul Haq.

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He has twice been a member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.

His JUI-S party was an ally of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The prime minister has sought a report and directed that an investigation be carried out immediately to trace those responsible.

"With Maulana Sami-ul-Haq's martyrdom, the country has lost an important religious and political leader", he said on Friday.

A spokesman for the military condemned the "assassination" and expressed "grief and condolences" to his family. The President paid tributes to Maulana Samiul Haq s religious, social and political services.

Earlier, Haq's son, Maulana Hamidul Haq, had said: "He was trying to reach the protest in Islamabad but came back home due to roads being blocked".

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