A preliminary investigation in the murder of a seminary head in Karachi last night has pointed towards the involvement of the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the police claimed on Wednesday.

Unidentified assailants shot dead Ziaur Rehman, the administrator of the Jamia Abi Bakar madressah in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Tuesday night.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) East Syed Irfan Bahadur said that the scholar had arrived at a park in Block-14 near the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) office for a routine walk when suspects opened fire at him. He suffered critical bullet injuries and was transported to the Jinnah Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

“It was a targeted killing incident,” the SSP said.

An FIR was filed by Rehman’s paternal cousin, under sections 302 (intentional murder) and 34 (common intention).

No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

According to a Karachi police press release issued today: “The said incident is a terrorist attack which aimed to incite violence in the month of Rabiul Awwal.”

It added that Khadim Hussain Rind, who was appointed as the Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG) last week, took notice of the attack and asked for a complete inquiry report from the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East.

The chief of police had also issued instructions to form a team to investigate the incident.

“CTD (counter-terrorism department) has collected evidence of the incident, while during the preliminary investigation, evidence of the involvement of the intelligence agency of our neighbouring country, RAW, has been found in the incident,” it said, without elaborating further.

This is the second murder of a religious scholar in the metropolis in a week.

On Sept 6, Qari Khurram Shahzad, a seminary teacher was shot and wounded in North Nazimabad. He later succumbed to his injuries. Two other teachers of the same seminary in the Mithadar locality were also hurt by armed pillion riders.

RAW’s involvement was suspected in the killing of a Jamaatud Dawa-linked person in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Rawalakot area last week.

Who was Ziaur Rehman?

Muzammil Siddiqui, media coordinator of the Jamia Abi Bakar Al-Islamia told Dawn.com that Maulana Zia Ur Rehman had studied at a seminary in Madina, Saudi Arabia.

Siddiqui said the late cleric was a central leader of the Ahle Hadith Jamaat. He was the father of two daughters.

‘Hostile agencies’

Late last month, the Punjab Inspector General (IG) Dr Usman Anwar said that the police had unearthed a “network of hostile intelligence agencies” that were allegedly involved in the recent incidents of blasphemy across the country.

On August 16, a violent mob of hundreds ransacked and torched nearly two dozen churches and attacked the residences of members of the Christian community and the office of the local assistant commissioner in Jaranwala.

He said the aforementioned events were a “conspiracy” to “divert attention” from the communal clashes in India’s Manipur state.

But unlike the Indian state’s response, Anwar continued, Pakistani officials, civil society and scholars helped and supported Christian victims and spoke up against the injustice.

Karachi police also arrested an alleged Indian spy and his local facilitator in Lyari on August 23.

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