QUETTA: A young religious scholar was shot dead by unknown assailants on the busy Kasi Road in Quetta on Saturday.
According to eyewitnesses, Qari Abdul Basit, the son of well known religious scholar Maulvi Abdul Samad, was on his way to the mosque from his residence when armed men on a motorbike opened fire, killing him instantly. The gunmen fled the scene.
He was shifted to Provincial Sandeman Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival. A number of people reached the hospital for mourning.
After legal formalities, the body was handed over to an heir for burial.
Angry protestors burnt tyres on Kasi Road to protest the killing, blocking the road for most vehicular traffic. Most of the shops on Kasi Road and adjacent areas were closed due to the protest.
“It could be an incident of targeted killing and police are investigating,” a local police official said.
President of Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam Quetta Hafiz Hamdullah condemned the incident and said over 10 religious scholars belonging to the Sunni sect have been killed in the last few months in Quetta alone.
“It seems a powerful group is behind the targeted killings and incidents of kidnapping for ransom in Quetta which is why not a single culprit was brought to book,” he told The Express Tribune.
JUI-F leaders said religious scholars of Sunni and Shia sects were being killed following a conspiracy to spread religious differences in the province and that law enforcement agencies should unmask the killers otherwise the party would launch a protest campaign.