Munawar Hasan—A leader par excellence

Since 1959, former Emir of the Jamaat Islami (JI), Munawar Hasan steered the ship of the party through stormy and rough seas.
He had encouraged unite his party and remove the wave of pessimism that was overwhelming activist minds when frustration and despondency envelop a period of history like blinding fog.
Politically 1960s was a turbulent time. All the democratic parties of the country had united against Ayub Khan. Politics was restricted in the country and many political leaders were imprisoned.
During this period, Munawar Hassan emerged on the national political scene as the leader of the JI and started campaigns around the country against the dictatorial practices.
Early life and Education
Syed Munawar Hasan was born in Dehli on 5th August 1941 and migrated to Pakistan Karachi at the time of the partition. He obtained a Master’s degree in sociology in 1963 and in Islamic Studies in 1966 from the University of Karachi.
Political life
Munawar Hasan joined the National Students Federation and was elected its president in 1959. He came in contact with Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba activists and studied the writings of founder Maulana Maududi and Maulana Naeem Siddiqui.
He joined Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba in 1960 and was elected president of its University of Karachi unit and a member of the Central Executive Council organizing many public campaigns.
Munawar Hasan joined the Jamaat Islami Pakistan in 1967 and served as Deputy Emir and Emir of the city. He was then elected to the Central Shura and Executive Council of the party.
He was elected the fourth Emir or head of the Jamaat Islami in 2009 but the party suffered a huge defeat in the 2013 general elections after which he offered his resignation.
In March 2014, he became the first sitting emir or head in the history of Jamaat Islami to be voted out of the office and was succeeded by Siraj-ul-Haq.
Political views
Munawar Hasan stood for justice, for freedom, for equal rights, for the rule of people, for an open society and for a noble Pakistan.
With his unusual powers of persuasion, luminous exposition, searching arguments, and sound judgment, he was able to win the hearts of people. He had a clear position for peace in the region.
As JI Amir, Syed Munawar Hussain had repeatedly said that if the United States leaves Afghanistan and other areas, peace will be restored in the region.
He was the leader of a large religious party in the country, and even became its central Amir, but spent most of his life in a renting house with two small rooms.
As long as he remained the leader of the party, he spent his life in a room in the guest house of Mansura. The room was divided into two parts by a rope hanging curtain.
If his wife came from Karachi, she would stay behind the curtain while the visitors were sitting on the other side of the curtain.
Hasan was elected the party’s Karachi chief in the early 1980s until 1991 when he was appointed as the party’s deputy secretary-general. He led the JI in Karachi during testing times.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) a political party in Karachi, reportedly targeted the JI workers in particular, who refused to budge into the MQM’s political domination.
Several  JI workers were abducted and killed, while hundreds were tortured during 1985 to 2016 in Karachi. The JI blames MQM for abductions and killings.
Munawar led the JI during such hard times when others had surrendered. He was such a courageous and brave leader who did not bow to the terrorism unleashed by the MQM against its political opponents.
Criticizing the MQM’s politics based on hatred for other communities, Hasan once proudly identified himself as a “real Muhajir”, who himself “migrated to Pakistan on his feet holding the finger of his father.
Died at the age of 78
Munawar Hasan passed away on Friday at a private hospital in Karachi after a long illness. He was aged 78.
The former Jamaat Islami chief was under treatment and was placed on a ventilator for the past few days after his health deteriorated. The news of his passing has been met with sadness and grief by his followers and party.
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