Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s death has shocked many a people. He succumbed to cardiac arrest on Saturday. It surely is a grievous blow to his family and the party, yet the ordinary Pakistanis also feel deeply sad at his demise.

He was charismatic, personable and a thorough gentleman who after the party’s founder Maulana Maududi went on to hold the mantle of party’s chairmanship for four times. In his capacity as the Ameer of the party he did strive to water down the puritanical image of the Jamaat with moderate and progressive views for which he even had to face considerable flak. Though, most of the times the Jamaat would rather talk of revolution and hence stay away from contesting elections, at times when it did like for instance in 1993, under the banner of the Pakistan Islamic Front, it was Qazi who was in its vanguard. The dismal electoral performance, however, did not deter him from leaving the political arena. Later, he was seen at the forefront of the mass contact campaign to guard the national interests, with Kashmir as the major one. He was the moving spirit behind formation of the Mutihida Majlis-e-Amal that later formed the government in KPK, then NWFP. His advocacy of Muslim causes around the world also earned him a respectable place within the world of Islam. The Kashmiris remember him for making their issue conditional with talks with India. His death will be widely mourned.