KARACHI: A religious scholar was shot dead in what police described as a targeted attack in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Tuesday morning.

The area police said that Mufti Abdul Qayyum, 45, was targeted by two assailants in Block-9 at around 7am when he was returning home after offering Fajr prayer.

SSP-East Zubair Nazeer Shaikh said that the scholar was on foot when two men on a motorcycle intercepted him, fired a single shot in the head and rode away after their swift action.

The scholar died on the spot. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.

The victim was the khateeb and head of Jamia Masjid Muhammadia Noorania and Islamic Centre in Architect Society, Gulistan-i-Jauhar. He was also the head of the Women Islamic Mission University in Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

The SSP said that it appeared to be an incident of targeted killing.

He said that the victim was part of the Sunni Ulema Council and also associated with prominent religious scholar Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman.

A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that the killers appeared to be ‘professional’ as they targeted the victim with a single headshot. “Definitely, it’s a targeted killing incident but the exact nature and motive will be ascertained after a proper probe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mufti Munib said in a statement that the APP Society in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Block-8 had given a piece of land to the Saylani Welfare Trust to construct a mosque there. The trust had appointed its imam/khateeb after which certain people started a drive to “take control” of the mosque.

He stated that it was being said that some “land-grabbers linked to a mosque in APP Society” were involved in the murder, but “God knows better”.

He called upon the chief minister and police chief to arrest the killers of Mufti Qayyum.

However, a police officer told Dawn that it would be premature to jump to any conclusion.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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