LAKKI MARWAT, May 13: A pro-government religious scholar and head of Marwat Qaumi Jirga, Maulana Syed Mohammad Mohsin Shah, was shot dead by unidentified persons in his seminary at Darra Pezu Town on Saturday night, police said.

They said that Maulana Mohsin Shah was asleep in his seminary Jamia Halimia when unidentified persons killed him. He was the administrator of the seminary. He was highly respected in religious and political circles of the district.

Mufti Abdul Ghani, the son of the deceased, lodged FIR with Shaheed Haibat Ali Khan police station against killing of his father. He told police that he found his father dead when he went to the seminary from home at 4:30am. He said that his father was killed with a firearm and he had bullet wounds on his body.

Police shifted the body of the assassinated cleric to a nearby hospital for postmortem. The body was later handed over to his relatives for burial after fulfilling medico-legal formalities.

The news of his killing spread like a jungle fire in the entire region. Common people, elders of the area and prominent religious scholars rushed to Jamia Halimia after getting information about the assassination of Maulana Mohsin Shah.

The deceased was a close aide of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman and a prominent religious scholar. He assumed the responsibilities of heading Marwat Qaumi Jirga at a time when militants posed threat to the writ of government in the district.

He united political leaders, tribal elders and religious scholars on a single platform to eradicate militancy and restore peace in the district with the support of law enforcement agencies.

His funeral prayers were offered in Darra Pezu. JUI-F provincial chief Maulana Amanullah Khan, MNA Maulana Attaur Rehman, Maulana Gul Naseeb, former MPAs Maulana Lutfur Rehman and Qari Gul Azeem, members of Marwat Qaumi Jirga, political leaders and religious scholars attended his funeral prayers.

MPA Yasmeen Zia and ANP district president Advocate Sadruddin strongly condemned the killing of Maulana Mohsin Shah. They demanded of the government to arrest of his killers.

Talking to this scribe by telephone from Peshawar, they said that services of the deceased for restoration of peace in the district were unforgettable. “He headed the peace jirga and helped government to bring normalcy to the district,” they added. —Correspondent