Chief cleric of the Darul Uloom Haqqania, Maulana Samiul Haq, rejected Rehman Malik’s charges of his students’ involvement in Benazir’s assassination asking him to prove them guilty.

Samiul Haq, who is also head of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S), observed, “I have asked the government and security officials several times to take concrete steps to prove the accused students guilty, instead of leveling allegations against them”.

The chief cleric further stated that he had offered his cooperation in this regard on several times. He, who is members of the upper house of parliament, claimed that not a single student of his seminary was involved in terrorist activities or in targeting security installations.

Sami stated that his seminary’s syllabus is balanced and peaceful, offering an inspection to prove it.

A spokesperson for the Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak, Maulana Syed Yousaf Shah, issued a statement saying that Benazir was a great leader and a leading thinker, and pointing fingers to the seminary for her assassination appeared to be an attempt to hide her real murderers.

In his view, religious seminaries and political parties faced no threats from Benazir but it was the establishment and other political actors who had to lose in case of her coming into power.

He observed, “Darul Uloom Haqqania considers these allegations a part and parcel of international propaganda waged against religious institutions across the world”.

He termed the report a collection of contradictions, saying the accused students mentioned in the report, including Atizaz, Hassnain and Rafaqat, had no links with Jamia Haqqania.

The spokesperson further informed that there were two students, Ismael and Ibad, whose record they gave to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

He commented, “They studied at the Haqqania but were not students when Benazir was assassinated.Many people study at different madrassas. What does the madrassa have to do with what they do once they have left?”

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik vociferously blamed former president Pervez Musharraf and former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) head Baitullah Mehsud for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. He claimed that the conspiracy to assassinate Benazir Bhutto was hatched in the Jamia Haqqania.