Prominent Pakistani cleric, known as godfather of Taliban, assassinated in Rawalpindi

Maulana Samiul Haq considered 'father of Taliban', killed in Pakistan

"Unidentified attackers killed Maulana Sami ul Haq inside his residence", Umar Jahangir, a senior government official, told state-run Pakistan television.

He was shifted to the Safari Hospital in Rawalpindi for medico-legal formalities.

Haq's son, Hamidul Haq, said his father was alone in his bedroom when he was attacked by an assailant, who escaped undetected.

"He was resting in his room. On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of blood", Hamid said while talking to Geo News.

Haq was known as the "Father of the Taliban" because he trained some of the leaders of the Islamist movement in Afghanistan.

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A spokesman for the military condemned the "assassination" and expressed "grief and condolences" to his family. He said Maulana Sami-ul-Haq was a great scholar of Islam.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has condemned the assasination of Maulana Sami-ul-Haq and sought report from the Inspector General of Punjab police.

Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the bad news of the assassination was very tragic.

A member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islaml Pakistan has confirmed Sami ul Haq's assassination.

His seminary is located in the town of Akora Khattak in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan. There he studied fiqh, usul al-fiqh, Arabic literature, logic, Arabic grammar (sarf and nahw), tafsir, and Hadith.

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The prime minister's aide on political affairs, Naeemul Haq, said the religious scholar's martyrdom was a huge tragedy.

DW interviewed Haq in 2015, during a visit to Haqqania.

In a statement, he said Maulana Samiul Haq's political and religious services will be remembered.

He had also served as a member of the Senate.

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