The personal secretary and guard of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's (JUI-S) slain leader, Maulana Samiul Haq, were on Saturday questioned for three hours in connection with his murder, DawnNewsTV reported citing police sources.

Maulana Sami, an influential religious scholar and former senator, was assassinated by unknown persons at his residence in Rawalpindi last night. He was buried in his hometown of Akora Khattak on Saturday afternoon. Thousands attended the funeral prayers.

According to the Associated Press, the JUI-S chief's funeral prayers were led by his son, Maulana Hamidul Haq.

Various political leaders were in attendance for the funeral prayers, which were offered at the Khushal Khan College Ground.

They included Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Awami National Party's (ANP) Ghulam Bilour and PML-N's Raja Zafarul Haq. KP Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan also attended the funeral.

Maulana's personal staff interrogated

Maulana Sami's personal secretary and guard were interrogated by police today, but both were later let go so that they could attend the funeral of their deceased employer.

The duo were released on Hamidul Haq's request asked the police to do so. However, the police said they could be taken into custody again for further questioning.

Meanwhile, a first information report (FIR) of Maulana Sami's assassination was registered at the Airport Police Station in Rawalpindi on his son's complaint.

The case was registered against unknown suspects.

According to the FIR, Maulana Hamid said his father's secretary, Ahmed Shah, had informed him over the phone that someone had stabbed his father.

The FIR stated that Maulana Sami was shifted to the Safari Hospital but could not be resuscitated.

Further details in the FIR reveal that Maulana Sami received a total of 12 wounds on his stomach, heart, forehead and ears.

The son said that he did not want to have a post-mortem examination conducted on the body of his father as it was "against Islamic law".

Maulana Sami — the 'Father of the Taliban'

Maulana Sami, said to be around 82 years old, was the head of the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak.

He was a member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.

He had been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the July 25, 2018 election.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's party had sought to work closely with him to implement various reforms and mainstream madrassah education.

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

Last month, a high-level delegation from Afghanistan had called on Sami, known as the "Father of the Taliban", at Darul Uloom Haqqania and urged him to play a role in resolving the Afghan issue.

The delegation had appealed to the JUI-S chief to play the role of a mediator between different groups of Taliban as they considered him [Maulana Sami] their elder. The delegation members assured him that they would accept his decision for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Maulana Sami had told them that the Afghan issue was very complicated and its resolution was not an easy task for him. However, he had said he wished to see a logical end to the Afghan issue and an end to bloodshed in the country.

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