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November 3, 2018

Maulana Samiul Haq slain

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November 3, 2018

RAWALPINDI: Some unidentified attackers on Friday assassinated Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq during sleep while he  was alone at his house in Rawalpindi. He was 82.

The assassination came amid violent nationwide protests by the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) against a ruling by the Supreme Court that acquitted a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, on charges of blasphemy.

The Maulana’s aides said he’d tried to attend the TLP protest after the Jumma prayers but came back, as the roads were blocked. He was brutally stabbed to death in the absence of two attendants who were supposed to guard him.

The body of the religious leader carried multiple stab wounds. The assailants barged into his house at around 7:00pm and escaped unnoticed. How the assassins managed to broke into the house remains a mystery.

The Maulana was rushed to the nearby Safari Hospital where doctors told the attendants that he had died from excessive bleeding long before reaching the hospital. There were also unconfirmed reports of intense firing in the area at that time.

According to the investigating officer (IO) two persons, who had often visited the Maulana in the past as well, came to see him on Friday. “Maulana Sahib himself sent his servant to go and bring some refreshments for the guests. However, it is surprising that both the servant/driver and the gunmen left him alone with guests and went out,” the IO told this reporter.

“On their return, they found Maulana Sahib lying in bed with the upper part of his body soaked in blood because of deep wounds inflicted by some sharp edged weapon. He was rushed to the nearest hospital (Safari Hospital) where he was pronounced dead,” said the IO.

He said both the driver and gunman had been taken into custody and the glasses and other utensils found on the table sent to the forensic laboratory. Maulana Sami was two-time member of the Senate and was referred to as ‘Father of the Taliban’ for his close relations with them.

The deceased religious leader had a large following. He ran Darul Uloom Haqqania (a seminary) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for decades and also taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement leaders.

Agencies add: Haq's son, Hamidul Haq, told reporters that his father was alone in his bedroom when he was attacked by an assailant, who escaped undetected. "My father has been martyred. He was alone at his home. His guard had gone out minutes before the attack and upon his return he saw my father in critical condition," Hamid said.

The motive behind his assassination was not immediately known. The police are investigating why his bodyguard and driver were apparently not there to defend him at the time of the attack.

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