Islamabad: Condemnations started pouring in following the assassination of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq on Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is currently in China for an official visit, was informed about the assassination immediately. Condoling the death, Imran said the country had been deprived of an important religious leader whose services would always be remembered. The prime minister has sought a report and directed that an investigation be carried out immediately to trace those responsible.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned Haq’s assassination and expressed grief over it, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter. The army chief also extended his condolences to the bereaved family.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also denounced the assassination and sought a report from the Inspector General of Punjab Police. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the martyrdom of Maulana Sami and expressed immense grief over it. “It was really sad to hear the news of martyrdom of Maulana Samiul Haq,” Nawaz said, praying to the Almighty to have mercy on Pakistan. He also prayed for the spiritual elevation of the deceased.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned the murder and said it was an attempt to cause further disturbance in Pakistan. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also offered his condolences to the aggrieved family.
State Minister for Interior Shahryar Afridi condemned the slaying in a statement and said he “shared the pain” of his family. He said Samiul Haq’s religious and political service to the country would be long remembered. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said the brutal murder of Maulana Samiul Haq was “utterly condemnable.”
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. “I have had a strong relationship with Maulana Samiul Haq, based on mutual respect,” Fazl said, voicing solidarity with the family of the slain cleric and his party.
PML-N leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the terrible news of assassination was very tragic. The prime minister’s aide on political affairs, Naeemul Haq, said the religious scholar’s martyrdom was a huge tragedy. He said the government funded Haq’s seminary for institutionalising modern curriculum, while the slain cleric had also backed the government for the anti-polio drive.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail expressed deep grief over Maulana Sami’s assassination. In a statement, the governor said the assassination of Maulana Samiul Haq was a sad and highly condemnable incident. Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the “people of Afghanistan will never forget (Haq’s) services for them” and his killers were the “enemies of Islam”.