Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Samiul (JUI-S), a regional splinter faction from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam political party, has called for a strike across Pakistan on Friday, November 9, to denounce the recent killing of its founder Maulana Sami ul-Haq and demand that his killers be brought to justice. Associated demonstrations and transportation disruptions are likely in major cities - including in Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Peshawar - amid a heightened security presence. Further protests are to be expected in Pakistan over the coming days and weeks.
Maulana Sami ul-Haq was reportedly stabbed to death at his home in Rawalpindi on the evening of November 2. He was a former senator and religious scholar, and was described as the "Father of the Taliban" because of his links to late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and other Taliban members that studied at his Deobandi Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom Haqqania. Haq formed JUI-S following a split from the national JUI party. Related protests have been staged in Aabpara chowk (Islamabad) and near Nowshera (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) in recent days.
Haq's death comes amid already high social tensions and significant unrest in Pakistan following the recent acquittal of a Christian woman previously sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. Islamist groups, notably including Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), have staged protests and acts of civil disobedience nationwide since October 31, resulting in clashes with security forces, roadblocks, large demonstrations, and rail and flight disruptions across the country.
Individuals in Pakistan, particularly those in the abovementioned cities, are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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