The assassination of Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), has sent shockwaves throughout the country. The respected religious scholar wielded significant influence through his seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania based in Akora Khattak, which produced many leaders of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. He also wielded political weight, having served as a senator for many years, and was currently aligned with the ruling PTI. He was also connected to the politics in Afghanistan and was sought after for advice by many stakeholders.
His brutal killing coincided with violent protests over the Supreme Court decision that had brought life to a standstill in the country and heightened fears of the situation getting further inflamed. Good sense however prevailed. Maulana Samiul Haq was laid to rest on Saturday where thousands of mourners were present to pay him a tearful farewell.
It is imperative that the police solve this tragic crime at the earliest and identify the culprits. Given the high- profile theories about the murder of the much-respected religious leader and teacher and the motives of the killers have already started swirling around the country. The Afghan media is also throwing around seemingly irresponsible conjectures that can fan the flames of suspicion far and wide. Only a swift and conclusive investigation can bring all such wild speculation to a close. His murder took place in a populated locality inside his house in the early hours of the evening and therefore the police should be able to utilise modern forensic tools at their disposal to figure out who could access the inside of the house at this hour and commit the heinous crime.
In the meantime, the government should take whatever measures necessary to assure the late scholar’s family and thousands of his followers that no stone would be left unturned to track down his killers and bring them to justice. The top priority for now is to make sure that Maulana Sami’s murder is not allowed to be given a political colour that can destabilise an already fragile situation in the country. Speed and thorough probe is of essence.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2018.
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