Cousin of Pakistan's first Nobel laureate killed in sectarian attack | Reuters

By Saad Sayeed | ISLAMABAD ISLAMABAD A prominent member of Pakistan's minority Ahmadi community and relative of its first Nobel Prize winner was gunned down on Thursday in an attack claimed by banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.Malik Saleem Latif, a cousin of Abdus Salam, who shared the physics prize in 1979, was shot just yards from his home in the town of Nankana, near Lahore in the southern province of Punjab, said Saleemuddin, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community.

Reuters March 30, 2017 22:05:38 IST
Cousin of Pakistan's first Nobel laureate killed in sectarian attack
| Reuters

Cousin of Pakistans first Nobel laureate killed in sectarian attack
 Reuters

By Saad Sayeed
| ISLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD A prominent member of Pakistan's minority Ahmadi community and relative of its first Nobel Prize winner was gunned down on Thursday in an attack claimed by banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.Malik Saleem Latif, a cousin of Abdus Salam, who shared the physics prize in 1979, was shot just yards from his home in the town of Nankana, near Lahore in the southern province of Punjab, said Saleemuddin, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community. Latif was riding his motorbike to work with his son when a gunman opened fire, said Saleemuddin, who goes by only one name."Threats against Ahmadis are common in the area and Latif was a prominent member of the community and a well-known lawyer," he added. The Ahmadi community has been a target of mob violence and attacks since the government legislated the sect as non-Muslim in 1974.

"Saleem Latif was spreading Ahmadi beliefs in the region," the militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, said in a statement claiming Thursday's attack. It was the latest in a series of sectarian incidents in Pakistan, where security forces have battled groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for years."We have three teams investigating and searching for the assailants and trying to apprehend them," district police officer Shahzada Billa Umer told Reuters.

Ahmadis are not allowed to call themselves Muslim or use Islamic symbols in their religious practices, a crime punishable under Pakistan's blasphemy laws. The laws also make propagation of Ahmadi beliefs an offence, with 494 Ahmadis accused in 1,335 such cases over the past 30 years, rights body Amnesty International has said in a report.

Salam, who was Pakistan's only Nobel laureate until Malala Yousufzai shared the peace prize in 2014, remains a contentious figure because of his religious background. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government recently named a university physics department after Salam, drawing condemnation from the religious right, including the state funded Council of Islamic Ideology. In 2010, two simultaneous attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore by the Pakistani Taliban killed 94 people. Three days later, militants stormed the hospital where survivors were taken, killing 12 people, mostly police and hospital staff.Salam, who died in 1996, shared the Nobel Prize with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for helping to pave the way to the discovery of the "God particle," one of science's greatest achievements in the last 100 years. (Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.