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JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI

JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI The Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Organization) was founded by Maulana Abul Maududi in 1941 as an ideological movement to reinculcate Islamic values among all Muslims-in particular, those who lived in British India The Jamaat’s appeal was initially limited to a small number of people, all of them dedicated followers of Maulana Maududi Its opposition to the idea of Pakistan-the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India-inhibited the Jamaat from expanding its presence among the Muslim masses In 1940, by getting the Muslim League to pass the Pakistan Resolution, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had succeeded in galvanizing the Muslim massesThe Jamaat changed its position once it became obvious that Jinnah had succeeded in persuading both the British and the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress to agree to the establishment of Pakistan In 1947, following the birth of Pakistan, Maulana Maududi moved the headquarters of his organization to a suburb in Lahore Lahore at that time was the largest city in Pakistan, and Maududi knew that the base of his support was basically among the more literate urban communities Once in Lahore, the Jamaat’s main objective was redefined as the establishment of an Islamic state in PakistanIn order to cleanse Pakistan of “aberrant and deviant” behavior, the Jamaat launched a campaign against the Ahmadiya community in 1953 in most large cities of Punjab The campaign resulted in thousands of deaths as the party’s followers fought pitched battles with law-enforcement authorities in Lahore and other cities of Punjab



The Jamaat did not immediately succeed in its purpose since the government was not prepared to declare the Ahmadiyas a non-Muslim minority It had to wait for two decades before this objective was realized and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto accepted its demand in 1974 The Bhutto administration moved a bill through the National Assembly that classified the Ahmadiya community as “non-Muslims” and deprived it of the right to practice its religionThe Jamaat took part in a number of opposition movements against the government of the day It supported the Combined Opposition Party (COP) in the presidential elections of 1965; it worked with the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) that agitated against the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto following the elections of 1977; it participated, off and on, in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) that worked against the government of President Zia ul-Haq In spite of all of this, the Jamaat did not succeed in expanding its political base In the National Assembly elections of 1970, it won only four seats in a house of 300, all of them from West Pakistan Out of the 33 million total votes cast in the elections, the Jamaat polled less than 2 million, 1 million each in East and West Pakistan The entire contingent of 70 candidates it fielded in East Pakistan lost, and only 4 of the 78 it nominated in West Pakistan won in the elections In the “party-less” elections called by the martial-law government of Zia ul-Haq, the Jamaat was able to significantly increase its representation in the National Assembly Of the 237 members in the house, 12 were said to be associated with the Jamaat

Maulana Maududi resigned as the Jamaat’s amir (president) in 1972 and was succeeded by the considerably less charismatic Mian Tufail Muhammad Under the new leadership, the Jamaat attempted to work with the government of President Zia ul-Haq The Jamaat supported Zia’s program of Islamization The party entered into an electoral alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League in 1988 and 1990 and joined the Islami Jamhuri Itehad (IJI) administration led by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, which took office in November 1990 In the elections of 1993, however, the Muslim League decided to dissolve the IJI, and the Jamaat once again had to fight the elections on its own It did not fare very well, winning only three seats in the National Assembly In 2002, the Jamaat became an active member of Muttahida Mujlis-e-Amal College and Government College, both in Lahore He began his political career as a member of the Pakistan People’s Party, which he joined in the 1970s In 1977, he was elected to the Balochistan provincial assembly In the 1980s, he served in one of the administrations put into office by General Zia ul-Haq, Pakistan’s third military president

He was one of the three contenders to become prime minister in 1985 when Zia ul-Haq decided to lift martial law and hand over power to a civilian government When Muhammad Khan Junejo was chosen by the president to be prime minister, Jamali joined the cabinet as minister for war and power In November 1996, President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari appointed him chief minister of Balochistan after dismissing Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the federal and provincial governmentsAfter the decision by Mian Nawaz Sharif to accept exile over long incarceration, a group of senior members of the Pakistan Muslim League decided to form their own faction, the PML (Quaid-e-Azam) Jamali became the secretary general of this new party The party gained the most seats but not a majority in the assembly elected in October 2002 On 21 November 2002, Jamali was elected the twenty-first prime minister, after securing 172 votes from a house of 329 members He was the first person from Balochistan to hold that position He was in office for 581 days and resigned on 26 June 2004 after it became known that General Pervez Musharraf was not pleased with the way the prime minister had handled the volatile National Assembly The assembly had a messy start as the opposition refused to accept the Legal Framework Order promulgated by President Musharraf as part of the constitution; refused to accept that a constitutionally elected president could retain his army uniform; and indicated that the president would not be welcomed into the chamber if he sought to address the parliament as required by law It took months before this impasse could be resolved

Jamali was deemed to be a weak leader

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