WHY PAKISTAN ARMY KILLED ‘FATHER OF TALIBAN’? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

WHY PAKISTAN ARMY KILLED ‘FATHER OF TALIBAN’?

On Friday evening, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq was found dead in his Rawalpindi residence. The assassination was as gruesome as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was stabbed multiple times in chest, stomach and forehead.

Sami-ul-Haq was widely known as the “father of the Taliban” because he was a renowned religious cleric who used to administer a sprawling religious seminary, Darul Uloom Haqqania, in Akora Khattak in northwestern Pakistan. During the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, the seminary was used for training and arming the Afghan so-called “Mujahideen” (freedom fighters), though it is now used exclusively for imparting religious education. Many of the well-known Taliban militant commanders received their education in his seminary.

In order to understand the motive of the assassination, we need to keep the backdrop in mind. On October 31, Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted a Christian woman, Aasiya Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy and had been languishing in prison since 2010. Pakistan’s religious political parties were holding street protests against her acquittal for the last three days and had paralyzed the whole country.

But as soon as the news of Sami-ul-Haq’s murder broke and the pictures of the bloodied corpse were released to the media, the religious parties reached an agreement with the government and called off the protests within few hours of the assassination.

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