Pakistan: 'Father of Taliban' Maulana Samiul Haq killed in knife-attack
Pakistani political and religious leader Maulana Samiul Haq was killed in knife attack at his home in Rawalpindi on Friday evening. Haq, known as 'Father of Taliban', was 81 years old. His son Hamidul Haq said his father was alone in his bedroom when an unknown assailant attacked him. After killing him, he escaped. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died.
Haq taught many Taliban members 'interpretation of Islam'
Haq headed his faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party. At his Haqqani seminary, many members of Afghanistan's Taliban and thousands of other students were taught a strict interpretation of Islam. One of his students is Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of US-designated terrorist organization Haqqani network. Haqqani's influence grew substantially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area, at the border of Afghanistan.
Haq played a key role in negotiating with Afghan's Taliban
Haq, who had many followers, was playing a major role in negotiations with the Taliban. Many Afghan clerics appealed to him to use his influence to end the 17-year-long war. A member of his family said Haq offered his seminary 'to sit with each other and build trust'. Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said people of Afghanistan will never forget Haq's services.
Meanwhile, his followers burnt vehicles and shops
After news of his death surfaced, Haq's followers went on a rampage. Scores of shops and vehicles were damaged in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and the family of the slain leader urged everyone to maintain peace.
Visuals from Pakistan: Haq's followers go on a rampage
His funeral will be held at 3 PM on Saturday
Reports said Haq's funeral will be held at Garrison Ground in Akora Khattak at 3 PM on Saturday. His body has been transported to Akora Khattak. An initial investigation report has been forwarded to concerned authorities. His death was condemned by many, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan, who is on a visit to China, said the country lost a religious leader.