Pakistan: Slain religious scholar laid to rest

Thousands attended funeral of Maulana Sami-ul- Haq, who was stabbed to death in garrison city of Rawalpindi on Friday

Pakistan: Slain religious scholar laid to rest

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

Thousands on Saturday attended the funeral of renowned religious scholar and parliamentarian Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who was stabbed to death on Friday at his residence in garrison city of Rawalpindi, local media reported.

The funeral was held in Akora Khattak, Haq’s native town located some 123 kilometers (76 miles) from capital Islamabad, which was attended by thousands of his students, party activists, politicians and parliamentarians.

He was laid to rest in the courtyard of Jamia Haqqania, for which he served as principal for decades.

Haq, 82, was stabbed to death by two unknown guests who came to see him at his residence, according to initial investigations.

His guard and servant who were taken into custody by the police for questioning told investigators that the two guests came and desired to see Haq who was resting in his bedroom.

Haq, according to the two, sent them to a nearby market to buy some refreshment for the guests. When they returned home, they found Haq lying in a pool of blood, the guard and the servant claimed.

The police, according to English daily Dawn, have released the two employees so that they could attend Haq’s funeral indicating that the two could be detained for further questioning.

Haq, a former senator, was head of a famous religious seminary at Akora Khattak town in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where several Afghan Taliban leaders, including their slain founding leader Mullah Omer, studied. For this reason, he was often referred to as the “Father of Taliban”.

He was member of the Senate from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.

In the July general election, he aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

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