Small Wars Journal

After Slaying of ‘Father of Taliban’ in Pakistan, Mourners Underscore Complex Legacy

After Slaying of ‘Father of Taliban’ in Pakistan, Mourners Underscore Complex Legacy by Haq Nawaz Khan and Pamela Constable – Washington Post

Several thousand people gathered Saturday near the Afghan border to mourn the death of Maulana Sami ul-Haq, 82, a leading Sunni cleric and “father of the Taliban” who was stabbed to death by unknown assailants.

 

Officials and religious leaders from across the ideological spectrum in Pakistan and Afghanistan joined students from the renowned seminary in Akora Khattak where Haq taught and mentored two generations of Afghan Islamist fighters.

 

A delegation of Afghan leaders came to pay their respects to Haq, whom the Kabul government had asked to help persuade Taliban insurgent leaders to begin negotiations for an end to the 17-year war.

 

Some Pakistani attendees from banned religious groups hid their faces behind turbans.

 

Haq’s mysterious slaying Friday was a shock to the nation, coming amid several days of nationwide violent protests by traditionally moderate Sunni groups in Pakistan enraged by the Supreme Court’s acquittal of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy.

 

The packed funeral was a momentary pause in the nation’s divisive turmoil as well as a tribute to Haq’s multifaceted influence on the country…

Read on.