ISLAMABAD: Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) Executive-Director Dr Mumtaz Ahmad passed away on Wednesday after protracted illness. He was 76. His funeral prayers were offered at his native village in Gujar Khan.
A noted social scientist, scholar and academic, Dr Mumtaz had been associated with the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) since 2007. In addition to his current position as the executive-director of the IRD, he earlier served the university as its vice president, and later as president.
His funeral was attended by among others IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai, Riphah International University Vice-Chancellor Dr Anis Ahmad, and IIUI Director-General Raja Khalid Mahmood.
Dr Yasinzai expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Dr Mumtaz and said the loss was irreparable.
The IIUI rector further said that the university was deprived of a great academic and his contributions and directions for the progress of the university would always be a source of guidance.
IIUI President Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh also expressed his sorrow over the passing of Dr Mumtaz.
He said that the gulf left by Dr Mumtaz could not ever be bridged as he was a great scholar and a man of letters.
The IIUI president said the whole Pakistani academic community was extremely depressed over the loss.
Dr Mumtaz was a professor of political science at Hampton University, VA, USA.
He published nine books and numerous journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, and encyclopaedia articles on politics of contemporary Islamic movements, political sociology of religious groups, and political developments in South Asia and the Middle East.
He served as: member of “Islam and Social Change Project” of the University of Chicago; research fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; senior Fulbright fellow in Bangladesh and Pakistan; fellow of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Sudan, Pakistan and Malaysia; American Institute of Bangladesh Studies Fellow; American Institute of Pakistan Studies Fellow; member of the “Fundamentalism Project” of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Chicago; and senior consultant for the “Muslims in American Public Square” project of Georgetown University.
He was currently also president of the South Asian Muslim Studies Association, and vice-president of Centre for Islam and Public Policy, Washington, DC.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2016.