Religious scholar Maulana Samiul Haq assassinated in Rawalpindi

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Muslim cleric Sami ul-Haq, known as the "Father of the Taliban" for having taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement's leaders, was found killed on Friday in Pakistan, a relative and his deputy said. Haq's body is being shifted to the district headquarters hospital, Dawn reported, quoting TV reports.

Maulana Sami has four brothers including Maulana Anwarul Haq who is presently responsible for the administration of Darul Uloom Haqqania - located in Akora Khattak.

Haq's son, Hamidul Haq, said his father was alone in his bedroom when he was attacked by an assailant, who escaped undetected. Some local media said ul-Haq was in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi when he was shot and killed.

Yousaf Shah, Haq's spokesman, told The Associated Press that neither the attacker nor their motive was yet known.

In recent weeks, dozens of Afghan clerics had appealed to Haq to use his influence with Afghanistan's Taliban to plot a path to peace that would end the 17-year-long war there.

Unknown motorcyclists opened indiscriminate fire on the vehicle of the JUI-S chief.

Haq, a former senator, was the leader of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Sami.

Haq was aligned with the ruling Pakitan Tehreek-i-Insaf for July 25 election.

A holder of Sanad-e-Fazilat-o-Faraghat and Sanad Daura Tafseer-e-Quran from Darul Uloom Haqqania, and Shaikh-ul-Hadith (honorary) from Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Sami imparted religious education at his alma mater to the students and held important positions in the academic and administrative staff of the seminary.

Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, expressed condolences for Haq's death.

Haq's funeral is expected to be held Saturday in Akora Khattak.

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