NOWSHERA, Jan 6: Former Amir of Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed was laid to rest on Sunday in his ancestral graveyard in Ziarat Kaka Sahib village near the shrine of prominent Sufi saint Sheikh Rahamkar, popularly known as Kaka Sahib. A large number of JI workers, relatives, friends and well-wishers attended the burial.

The funeral prayer of Qazi Hussain Ahmad, who died on Sunday night in a hospital in Islamabad, was earlier offered in Peshawar. A large procession took the coffin to the village as JI workers raised popular party slogans. Many of them were wailing and crying.

The prayer was led by JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan and attended by leaders of various parties and people from different walks of life. Prominent among them were JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PMAP leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, Javed Hashmi of the PTI, JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and Amir Muqam of the PML-N.

Maulana Fazl praised efforts made by Qazi Hussain Ahmed to unite Muslims of the world. He said his death was an irreparable loss to the cause of Muslim unity and deprived Muslims of one of their great leaders.

Javed Hashmi described him as his teacher and a great human being.

Sameeul Haq praised him for having waged a relentless struggle for the rights of Muslims.

Asif Luqman Qazi, son of Qazi Hussain, said he thought that his father had only two children but “now I see thousands of his sons (JI workers) mourning his death”.

Qazi Hussain was born in 1938 in Ziarat Kaka Sahib village, 10km from here.

After graduation from the historic Islamia College of Peshawar, he did his masters in geography from the University of Peshawar. He joined Jahanzaib College, Saidu Sharif, Swat, as a lecturer but quit the job after three years and started taking active part in politics.

He joined the JI in 1970, became its general secretary in 1978 and led the party from 1987 till 2009.

He was twice elected senator, in 1985 and 1992, and an MNA from two constituencies in general elections of 2002. He had defeated PPP leader Naseerullah Khan Babar in his home constituency of Nowshera.

Qazi Sahab was considered founder of Shabab-i-Milli, the youth wing of the JI, and moving spirit behind the Kashmir Day which is observed on Feb 6 across the country.

He was also associated with alliances of religious parties. He served as secretary-general of the Muttahida Shariat Mahaz in 1986 and succeeded Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani as president of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal during the Musharaf regime.

Qazi Hussain led anti-government rallies and demonstrations against atrocities on Muslims in various countries. He was sent to prison several times.

He was a leader of the Afghan Defence Council and was imprisoned under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance in 2001 after violent demonstrations were held against Nato attack on Afghanistan.

“Qazi Sahab supported Afghan Jihad during the Soviet occupation and visited remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan to boost the morale of Mujahideen,” JI’s Nowshera district chief Merajuddin said.

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