Islamabad: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) chief and former senator Maulana Sami ul Haq has been stabbed to death at his residence in Rawalpindi, family says.
Maulana Hami ul Haq, son of Maulana Sami ul Haq, confirmed that his father was assassinated in his room.
“My father could not join the protest in Islamabad due to road blockage and returned to his house for rest due to his old age,” he said. “His driver went out for half an hour and when he returned, he found Maulana lying in a pool of blood,” he said.
Maulana’s body was later shifted to DHQ Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
“Maulana Sami ul Haq has been assassinated. Small protests have erupted in Aabpara chowk. Everyone is advised to please stay at home for a while. We will take control of the situation in a while,” Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad tweeted.
Speaking to Geo News, Maulana Haseem, a central leader of the JUI-S, confirmed the death of Maulana Sami ul Haq in the knife attack.
The news of his death comes at a time when religious groups are staging nationwide protest against the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, in a blasphemy case.
Maulana had recently been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Maulana Sami ul Haq was the chancellor of Dar ul Uloom Haqqania based in Peshawar.
Senior journalist Salim Safi described the death of Maulana Sami ul Haq as a big tragedy for the country.
Known as father of Taliban, Maulana Sami ul Haq had been member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.
Speaking to Geo, JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman condemned the assassination of Maulana Sami ul Haq.
“I myself studied at Darul Haqqani for eight years. I extend my deepests condolences to the family of Maulana Sami ul Haq ,” Rehman told Geo.
Naeem ul Haq, special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, strongly condemned the killing of Maulana Sami ul Haq.
“The martyrdom of Maulana is a big tragedy for the nation,” he said, adding that Maulana had met Prime Minister Imran Khan 15 days ago as part of PTI government’s efforts to introduce modern education in religious seminaries.
He recalled that Maulana Sami ul Haq was one of the few clerics who had openly supported the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in running polio eradication campaign.
Maulana had also played an instrumental role in creation of Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, an alliance of religio-political parties.
PM Imran Khan takes notice
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 minster 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.