Bereavement: One after another

Difference of opinion apart, Prof Ghafoor and Qazi Husain were a rarity in today’s politics



Two personalities in Pakistan left this world, one immediately after another. Prof Ghafoor Ahmed in the last week, last year, followed by Qazi Hussain Ahmed in the first week, this year. Both were, for a long time now, known political figures of Pakistan, and both represented a particular kind of political leadership. Cutting across party lines, people like Prof. Ghafoor and Qazi Husain Ahmed are respected for their integrity and uprightness. With the loss of these men not just Jam’at-e-Islami, but all those who cherish integrity, and commitment to values, are in a state of mourning. Reading the columns and comments about Prof. Ghafoor - from Wusatullah Khan of BBC Urdu to the columns and features of Pakistani Urdu newspapers like Daily Dunya - one would feel deeply moved by the simplicity of his character, his life-long devotion to a principled politics and an affable personality. A person so important to his party and the political history of Pakistan, member of National Assembly and the head of many political forums, Prof Ghafoor was finally a story of a simple living with high values and lofty ideals. Wusatullah Khan’s account of how he met him in his house is enough to describe the person called Prof Ghafoor. No security guards, no secretaries, and no servants. When Khan knocked the door Ghafoor answered the call, and opened the door himself. Then the two sat in a room barely furnished. Prof Ghafoor served the tea himself citing the reason that his wife was little indisposed. In a world where a petty worker of a political party arrogantly displays power in every detail of his life, people like Ghafoor instill hope that the world is not completely deprived of good people.
Prof. Ghafoor! We never met you, but you have left us too in a state of mourning. We might not agree with the way you and your party conducted politics in Pakistan; we might even feel uneasy with the sort of engagement you had with Kashmir dispute, nevertheless your life is an example, worth emulating. You were an asset, not just for Jam’at-e-Islami or Pakistan but for many others beyond Pakistan and beyond Jam’at-e-Islami.
Qazi Husain Ahmed. What one could gather from the speeches and the interviews, and the overall presence in the Pakistani politics, he was temperamentally way different from Prof Ghafoor. Very assertive, energetic, and a public mobilizer, Qazi Husain was the man responsible for bringing out Jam’at from its own chosen circles to the larger sphere of popular politics. If Prof Ghafoor belonged to the kind of personalities brought up by Syed Maududi in the shape of Naeem Siddiqui and Mian Tufail Muhammad – very calm, withdrawn, soft and tranquil, Qazi Husain was the face of renewed thinking in Jam’at. Someone who, with the force of his personality – pulsating and vibrant, equipped with the qualities of public speaking and a knack to reach out to people across party lines and sects -  employed Jam’at-e-Islami fully into electoral and public politics. If certain columnists are to be believed Qazi Husain was the person who heeded the renewed thinking of Khurram Murad that elections were not fought just to reach out to people, but to win. A very animated leader, Qazi Husain went on mending fences with the religious parties to form larger political alliances. That way he was ahead of the Islamic parties of Middle East and Turkey who realized that apart from the ideological core, separate political parties and alliances are needed to bring about a change through electoral politics. How far did Qazi Husain succeed in this is a matter of open debate. We can take that up in the subsequent columns, but how can we ignore the fact that this man did not take a penny from his party for forty long years; and he served it day and night. Even the salary he drew as a Senator was deposited in the Party Treasury ( Bait ul Maal); because Qazi Husain believed that it was not his person is the Senate but the member of Jam’at-e-Islami. 
Again the same words: Qazi Husain, we never met you, but you have left us too in a state of mourning. We might not agree with the way you and your party conducted politics in Pakistan; we might even feel very uneasy with the sort of engagement you had with Kashmir dispute, nevertheless your life is an example, worth emulating. You were an asset, not just for Jam’at-e-Islami or Pakistan but for many others beyond Pakistan, and beyond Jam’at-e-Islami.
In the times of massive corruption in politics and colossal trickery in religion, Qazi Husain and Prof Ghafoor were impressive with their simple living and indomitable courage to stand by their ideals. When politics and religion serve as sources of earning power and amassing wealth, both of them proved incorruptible. They were deep into politics, and they gave their lives to the theme of religious revival, but none can tell you that they used politics or religion for their personal ends. That is why they deserve to be remembered. The greatness of their lives was not in the ideology they upheld or the ends they achieved but in the lives they lived; simple and incorruptible.  

Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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