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Qazi Hussain Ahmad to step down as head of JI

March 28, 2009

Qazi Hussain Ahmad, chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, addresses a press conference. -File Photo

PESHAWAR Qazi Hussain Ahmad, who headed the Jamaat-i-Islami for over two decades, is going to finally relinquish the leadership of the party in the first week of April. He is being replaced by the party central secretary general Syed Munawar Hasan.

Qazi Hussain made this announcement at a press conference at Al Markaz-i-Islami, the JI provincial secretariat on Saturday. He said that the party central election commission had declared in Lahore that Hasan had been elected for the slot and he (Munawar) would serve as ameer (chief) of the party for the next five years.   

He said that Hasan would assume his new responsibilities in the first week of April. About 23,000 members cast their vote and according to the result Munawar Hasan was declared the winner. The party central vice president Liaqat Baloch and JI NWFP president Sirajul Haq were also candidates for the slot.

Qazi Hussain who assumed the responsibility of running the Jamaat in 1987 said that he would continue to play his role in politics. I am relinquishing only responsibility and will remain active in politics, he replied when asked about his future.

He was elected secretary general in 1978 and was made central president of the party in November 1987 after succeeding Mian Muhammad Tufail. In his press conference he said that he was handing over trust of the JI and people of Pakistan to the new president who according to him was honest and talented.

During the press conference Qazi Hussain welcomed President Zardari's announcement regarding removal of the governor rule in Punjab province. He however said that JI had reservations about restoration of judges. He said that November 2 judiciary had not been restored and the judges appointed through the Provisional Constitution Order had not been removed.

He flayed the new strategy of President Barack Obama for Pakistan and Afghanistan, saying that the statement of Obama was an insult to the nation by saying that America would not provide a blank cheque.

In fact the US government has declared war against Pakistan, he said, adding that Islamabad should reject the new economic package and quit the US led alliance against terrorism.

He criticized the government for welcoming the new strategy and said that Islamabad should give a categorical reply to the US administration that it would withdraw from the alliance. He denied the US charges that Al Qaeda had training centers and bases in the tribal area.