Professor Ghafoor Ahmad is one of the most respected political leaders due to his mild and serene temperament. He is among those leaders who are highly recognized because of their political prudence as well as intellectual acumen. The political career of Prof. Ghafoor is full of commitments, diligence and patience, due to which he rose to the position of Naib Ameer (Vice President) of Jamaat-e-Islami, a well-known religio-political organization of Pakistan.
He was born on June 26, 1927 in Baraily U.P (India). He got his early education from his native town and achieved his Master in Commerce from the University of Lucknow in 1948. Later he completed course of Industrial Accounts, which enabled him to become fellow of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan.
Before emerging on the political scene he worked in different commercial organizations and served as an educationalist in various educational institutions including Pakistan Institute of Industrial Accounts, Jinnah Institute of Industrial Accounts, and Urdu College of Karachi. He remained for several years member of Syllabus Committees of Sind and Karachi Universities, and Sind University Board for Commerce as well. With this academic background he joined Jamaat-e-Islami in 1950 when he was only 23 and for many years remained as Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, Karachi. He has been serving as Naib Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan for so long. In 1958 he was elected as member of Karachi Metropolitan and then member of National Assembly from Karachi in 1970 and again in 1977. He was Parliamentary Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami in the National Assembly during 1972-77 and was recorded by the Speaker, National Assembly as the ‘best Parliamentarian’.
He was at the peak of his political career when he was nominated as Secretary General of Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) during 1977-78. He was also a member of the PNA team that undertook crucial negotiations with Mr. Bhutto before Martial Law was imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq and Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested.
He served as Federal Minister for Industries during Martial Law period of 1978-79. During first tenures of Benazir and Nawaz Sharif (1988-92), he remained in the Opposition as Secretary General of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad. During his long political career, he was sent behind bars at oft-times; the longest period was nine months when Jamaat-e-Islami was banned in 1964. He was released as soon as the ban of Jamaat-e-Islami was lifted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Professor Ghafoor is an author of five books that deal with the political development in Pakistan. The journey of this renowned intellectual-cum-politician continues and undoubtedly he earns respect in all quarters of the society mainly because of his humble and friendly attitude, and cool and straightforward democratic approach.
This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 05, 2009