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"His driver Haqqani had gone out".

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) condemned the killing of Maulana Samiul Haq and said that serious action would be taken against the killers. "He had been ill, and was a heart patient", said Hamidullah. Maulana Sami's driver/gunman had left the house, located in Bahria Town, for approximately 15 minutes when he was stabbed.

Unknown attackers shot the prominent cleric, who runs an Islamic school in northwestern Pakistan, his deputy Yousaf Sha and nephew said.

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

Within Pakistan, Haq was considered a hardline right-wing religious cleric, but his party contested elections, rather than outright backing armed struggle against the state, as was undertaken by the Pakistani Taliban.

Maulana Sami was an influential figure among members of the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Haq was known as the "Father of the Taliban" because he trained some of the leaders of the Islamist movement in Afghanistan. After being informed of the demise of the JUI-S chief, a large number of party workers began reaching the hospital. The delegation members assured him that they would accept his decision for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

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

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

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the Haqqani network, a US -designated terrorist organization, was one of dozens of Taliban leaders who graduated from Haq's seminary, located in the conservative Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province on the border with Afghanistan.


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