Qazi Hussain Ahmed, former Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and previously Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) -- an alliance of six religious parties, was born at Ziarat Kaka Sahib in Nowshera district of North West Frontier (NWFP) on 12 January 1938. His father Qazi Muhammad Abdul Rab was a religious luminary and a farmer by profession. A teacher by profession, his excelled in religious knowledge and political influence to the extent that he was appointed as the president of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind (an influential religious party before independence of Pakistan) for NWFP. Qazi Hussain Ahmed was the youngest among his 10 children.
After having completed early education at home from his elder brother Qazi Abdul Quddus and father, Qazi Hussain Ahmed was admitted to Islamia College, Peshawar and got his Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Geography from the University of Peshawar.
He served as lecturer for three years, teaching at the graduate level in Swat, NWFP. Inclined more towards business, he did not continue teaching and instead started his own business at 34-Suekarno Chowk, Peshawar. He marked his presence in this field and was elected as vice president of the NWFP (Provincial) Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The business is now administrated by his son Dr Anas Farhan Qazi.
His affiliation with the Islamic Movement started in his school days when he joined Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba of Pakistan. Earlier he was already deeply inspired by Maulana Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi whom he met in 1951 for the first time. He became member of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1970 and was elected to the office of president of its Peshawar chapter. He served Jamaat-e-Islami as secretary and then amir of NWFP province. He was raised to the office of secretary general in 1978 and was elected as amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1987. He still continues to serve in that capacity, getting re-elected thrice (1992, 1994 and 1999).
Qazi Hussain Ahmed has two daughters and two sons. A son and a daughter are active members of Jamaat; Mrs Samia Raheel Qazi, who is an active member of the Jamaat’s women wing, elected as member of the National Assembly in 2002. Another daughter of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Khowla Ahmed Qazi, is a well educated woman who earned LLB degree in Shariah from the International Islamic University, Islamabad and an MA in English from Wise College, Lahore.
His son Asif Luqman Qazi holds a Master’s degree from Boston University, USA. He came back to Pakistan in 1994 after completing his studies. He is now Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Nowshera district and deputy director foreign relations of Jamaat-e-Islami.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed was first elected as member of the Senate of Pakistan in 1986 for a term of six years. He was re-elected as such in March 1992 but he resigned in 1996 in protest against the corrupt political system.
He has widely travelled abroad to represent his party at the international forums, leading goodwill missions as well as in his personal capacity to mediate on issues concerning the Muslim Ummah.
Even before the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed was in close contact with Afghan mujahideen and had personal terms with top Afghan leaders. He played pivotal role in introducing Afghan jihad to foreign world and gaining countrywide favour for the movement.
Also patron of organisations like Pasban and Shabab-e-Milli, youth wings of the Jamaat-e-Islami, he is well versed in English, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Pashto. He is an eloquent orator, seasoned parliamentarian and respected politician. He was secretary general of the Muttahida Shariat Mahaz in 1986. Although he finds practically no time for any literary or scholarly works, he is the author of several books.
The six-party MMA was formed before 2002 general elections and Qazi Hussain Ahmed was elected its president. Following the 2002 elections, the MMA garnered enough support to form a government in NWFP. However, cracks appeared in the alliance when the opposition parties in the National Assembly decided to resign from assemblies because Jamaat-e-Islami wanted to tender resignations from the NWFP Assembly as well towards the end of its tenure but the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam led by MMA Secretary General Maulana Fazlur Rahman opposed the decision.
While in public having made repeated statements against Gen Pervez Musharraf after he seized power on October 12, 1999, the MMA under the leadership of Qazi Hussain Ahmed played a pivotal role in getting the 17th constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament which legitimised Musharraf’s rule and paved the way for army to stay in power.
He has undergone several rounds of captivity with the recent being during crackdown on religious elements in the aftermath of 9/11 because whereas categorically condemned the 9-11 attacks, he was opposed to invasion of Afghanistan. He voiced his concerns publicly and therefore was detained by the Musharraf regime.