Top cleric escapes, two guards killed in gun attack in Pakistan’s Karachi

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Mufti Taqqi Usmani's Vehicle targeted by unidentified armed men (Photo Courtesy: Arab News)
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Police chief of district east, Amir Farooqui, meeting Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani at hospital after assassination bid on his life here on Friday, March 22, 2019. ( Photo by Sindh Police)
Updated 22 March 2019
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Top cleric escapes, two guards killed in gun attack in Pakistan’s Karachi

  • Darul Uloom’s Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani unhurt in attack on convoy by four gunmen
  • Scholar Maulana Amir Shahabullah in critical condition

KARACHI: Prominent Pakistani cleric Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani narrowly escaped while religious scholar Maulana Amir Shahabullah was critically wounded in a gun attack on their convoy in the port city of Karachi on Friday, police said.

Two guards were killed in the attacks that city police chief Dr Amir Shaikh said could have a sectarian motive but were more likely an attempt to kill a major religious figure in Karachi “to terrorise the people.”

Both clerics are affiliated with the Darul Uloom seminary in Karachi. Usmani is also a former judge of the Supreme Court Shariah court and a permanent member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, an organ of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“Mufti Taqi Usmani has remained safe in the attack,” Shaikh said, adding that both incidents occurred within ten to twenty minutes of each other on the Nipa flyover in the seaside metropolis.

The head of Karachi’s Counter-Terrorism Department, Raja Umar Khattab, said four gunmen on two motorbikes opened fire on two cars that were travelling together. He said Usmani was the main target.

Saud Usmani, Usmani’s nephew, said the cleric’s wife and two grandchildren were also present in the car but escaped unhurt “as the driver continued to drive despite being hurt.”

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ordered the immediate arrest of the attackers and sought a report from police.


Pakistan’s religious affairs minister praises Saudi Arabia for Hajj arrangements

Updated 18 April 2019
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Pakistan’s religious affairs minister praises Saudi Arabia for Hajj arrangements

  • Says the crown prince’s visit was appreciated by everyone in his country
  • Expresses hope that Pakistan would soon get a bigger Hajj quota

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri applauded Saudi Arabia for making extensive Hajj arrangements during his ongoing visit to the Kingdom on Thursday.
Qadri held a meeting with Saudi Minister for Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten and discussed matters of mutual interest.
He praised King Salman bin Abdulaziz for taking care of pilgrims from across the world, and noted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent visit to Pakistan was deeply appreciated by everyone in his country.
Qadri also expressed his optimism that Pakistan would soon get a bigger Hajj quota, adding that, much like Islamabad, the government would also implement the Road to Makkah project in other cities of Pakistan.