'Father of Taliban' Mullah Sami ul-Haq killed in Pakistan: deputy

Maulana Sami ul-Haq, known as the "Father of the Taleban" for having taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement's leaders, was found killed on Friday in a Pakistani city, a relative and his deputy said.

The killing prompted scores of Sami ul-Haq's supporters to riot, damaging shops and vehicles in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

He said Maulana Sami ul Haq's driver and gunman were away when he was stabbed and added that when one of his servants returned he saw his father lying in a pool of blood.

Media reports said that a security guard of the deceased cleric was critically wounded.

Ul-Haq, who was in his 80s, was known as "Father of the Taliban".

Haq was a senior religio-political figure who had twice been elected as a senator.

Maulana Samiul (82) was the head of the Islamic religious seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak town.

The family of the religious scholar and the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) officials confirmed the news of his assassination.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the martyrdom of Maulana Samiul Haq.

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

Samiul Haq was now the chancellor of Darul Uloom Haqqania, a Deobandi Islamic seminary which is the alma mater of many prominent Taliban members. The army chief also extended his condolences to the bereaved family.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the "people of Afghanistan will never forget (Haq's) services for them" and his killers were the "enemies of Islam".

Earlier, Haq's son, Maulana Hamidul Haq, had said: "He was trying to reach the protest in Islamabad but came back home due to roads being blocked".

In a statement, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

  • Rogelio Becker