RAWALPINDI: Jamiat Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq was assassinated at his residence in Rawalpindi, his family and party officials confirmed, saying that the senior religious scholar and former senator was “stabbed multiple times”.
“He was trying to reach the protest in Islamabad but came back home due to roads being blocked. He was resting in his room during Asr time when his driver-cum-guard went out for 15 minutes,” Haq’s son Maulana Hamidul Haq said.
“When he returned, he found Maulana Samiul Haq dead in his bed and his body covered in blood.”
Hamid added that his father had been “stabbed multiple times.”
JUI-S leader Maulana Abdul Majeed said there was no one present at the residence when Haq was killed. “We do not know who attacked him. He was alone, the person who was supposed to be with him had gone to the market,” Majeed said.
The body of the JUI-S chief will be taken to his native town of Akora Khattak, his spokesman Maulana Yousuf Shah said.
Shah said Haq will be laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard, however, an announcement regarding his funeral prayers will be made after post mortem and consultation with his family.
Pakistan ‘deprived of important religious leader’
Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the assassination of Maulana Samiul Haq, stating that the country had been deprived of an important religious leader. He said that Haq’s services would always be remembered.
The prime minister sought a report and directed that an investigation be carried out immediately to find the perpetrators.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also denounced the assassination and sought a report from the Inspector General Punjab Police.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the martyrdom of the JUI-S chief and expressed immense grief over it.
“It was really sad to hear the news of the martyrdom of Maulana Samiul Haq,” Nawaz said, praying the Almighty to have mercy on Pakistan.
The former premier also prayed for heightening of the stages of the departed soul in the hereafter and grant patience to the bereaved family.
Chief of 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.
Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said that 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.
PM’s aide on political affairs, Naeemul Haq, said Haq’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.
Who was Maulana Samiul Haq?
Born in 1936, Haq was one of the senior-most religio-political figures in Pakistan and came from the spiritual family of Akora Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He was the son of late Maulana Abdul Haq, a respected religious scholar and founder of the Darul Uloom Haqqania, one of the largest and most influential madrassas (seminaries) in the country. Maulana Samiul Haq later served the head of the Darul Uloom Haqqania after his father’s death.
He was twice elected as member of the Senate of Pakistan—from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.
According to the Senate website, Haq was an active protagonist of the Tahreek-i-Khatam-e-Nabowat in 1974 and Tahreek-i-Nizam-i-Mustafa in 1977.
“He was a member of the Majlis-i-Shoora in 1983-85 and was a member of the Presidential Committee on religious matters. He was elected to the Senate in 1985 and was one of the principal movers of the historic Shariat Bill in the Senate. He [was] re-elected as Senator in 1991 for another six-year term,” reads the Senate website.
In 2014, the JUI-S chief headed a committee formed for peace talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The talks, despite repeated rounds, failed to yield results and the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government subsequently launched a crackdown on militants following terrorist attacks on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport and then the Army Public School in Peshawar later that year.
His party has been an ally of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The PTI also gave him ticket for the 2018 Senate election, but he could not be elected to the upper house.