The man who spent his life trying to get politico-religious and secular parties to sit together for a common cause finally succeeded in drawing them to the same place. Unfortunately it was at his funeral.
Several members of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as the outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), Awami National Party (ANP) and others stood side by side as they offered the funeral prayers for the former Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) vice chairperson Prof. Ghafoor Ahmed on New MA Jinnah Road.
JI chief Munawar Hasan led the funeral prayers, after which Prof. Ahmad’s body was taken to Sakhi Hassan graveyard for burial.
The JI leader passed away at the age of 85 on Wednesday, after suffering through prolonged bouts of poor health. He breathed his last on the way to Patel Hospital.
Hasan praised Prof. Ahmad efforts in promoting unity among the country’s political and religious parties. “Ghafoor Ahmad was an institution in himself. He was able to get people to engage in mutually beneficial politics.” Hasan also credited the late JI leader for his role in formulating the Constitution of 1973.
PML-N’s Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that Prof. Ahmad was one of the few people in the country who actively worked to get political parties on the same page. “He was a very different [kind of] politician,” he said.
Prof. Ahmad used to work as an accountant, but later adopted teaching as a profession and remained a faculty member of the Commerce and Economics Department at Urdu College from 1950 to 1956, and then again from 1957 to 1961. He was elected a member of the city government from Liaquatabad in April 1958, when the JI decided to take part in the local body elections of Karachi for the first time. He won by securing 5,803 votes.
MWM’s Maulana Nasir Abbas Jafferi and Maulana Mirza Yousuf Hussain, ASWJ chief Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, MQM’s Amir Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Arif Alvi, ANP’s Noorullah Achakzai, PML-N’s Saleem Zia, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s Pir Abdul Shakoor Naqshbandi, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Imtiaz Sheikh, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad and other JI leaders, including Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Asadullah Bhutto, Naimatullah Khan, Muhammad Hussian Mehnati, Mairaj Muhammad Khan and others also attended the funeral.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2012.