The security guard of a bank shot dead its manager, alleging that the latter had committed blasphemy, Geo News reported on Wednesday.
Police sources and a government official said the blasphemy accusation was fabricated and the murder had been based on personal enmity.
The incident took place in Khushab's Tehsil Quaidabad on Wednesday, where Ahmad Nawaz, a security guard posted at a bank branch, shot and fatally injured National Bank of Pakistan official Muhammad Imran Hanif.
Hanif was rushed to a hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds, but eventually succumbed to them, police sources said.
Nawaz said he had opened fire as Hanif allegedly committed blasphemy.
However, police sources said the two had actually been involved in a verbal argument over for the past couple of days, which had turned sour after they could not reconcile their differences.
Police arrived at the scene after being informed of the killing and took Nawaz into custody. As the security guard was being taken into custody, a large number of people came out and chanted slogans in his favour.
Maulana Tahir Ashrafi condemns killing
Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) chairman and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Dr Tahir Ashrafi condemned the bank official's murder, saying that the security guard had murdered the victim solely due to issues that stemmed from personal enmity.
"This is an extremely disappointing incident," said the prime minister's aide in a video message.
"The entire religious leadership of the country condemns this and Insha'Allah, the Government of Pakistan will take action against all such culprits who take the name of our religion, our deen and (under the garb of) respect of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to satisfy their personal enmity or madness," he said.
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