Pakistan: 'Father of Taliban' stabbed to death at home

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Religious scholar and parliamentarian Maulana Sami ul-Haq was assassinated on Friday, his family and local media reported.

Maulana Yousaf Shah, spokesman of his political party Jamiat Ulema Islam, confirmed to Anadolu Agency in a phone call that he was killed at his residence in Pakistan's northern city of Rawalpindi.

The cleric's elder son, Maulana Hamid ul-Haq told local Dunya TV that his father was stabbed to death.

He said a servant who lived with him left him alone to go to the market. When he returned he found him lying in a pool of blood.

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 Umer, 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.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a visit to China, in a statement condemned the killing and ordered an investigation into the incident.

*Islamuddin Sajid contributed to this report from Islamabad