A week ago when Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf mended fences with Jamaat-e-Islami followed by a press conference, one saw the Amir of JI and Imran Khan going gaga over each other. It was quite a sight for sore eyes to see tightly shaved Khan sitting with staunchly bearded Sirajul Haq issuing infatuated statements like, ‘JI and PTI share similar ideologies’ and ‘JI fully supports PTI in the war against the status quo.’ What else could be more pleasing than seeing a humanly – albeit ci-devant – adulterated and angelic – albeit baleful – pureness in a single frame? What could be more soothing than to see Khan’s brusqueness subdued and awed by Haq’s irenic courtesy?

Lest the picturesqueness of the entire event drift us away from the substance, let me go back a tad in annals and indicate a bit what the Jamaat has historically stood for. May be our change mongers are able to see through the horrors their current honeymoon with the hoyden could bring.

Haq’s benign politics aside, he has never pronounced digress from the path paved by Jamaat’s founder. While today’s Jamaat might be more willing for political compromise, it has never expressed willingness to do away with the principles and goals laid down by Syed Abul A’la Maududi, the founder. Having coined the terms ‘Islamic Revolution’ and ‘Islamic democracy’ in 1941 (in his books Islamic State and its Introduction; The Islamic Law and the Constitution), he was not a big fan of western liberal democratic form of government currently in practice in Pakistan.

When a PTI MNA in a recent TV talk show called every non-Muslim a Kaafir, he was simply professing the teachings of Maududi who had been given approval ratings by the former’s party leader in the presser with Sirajul Haq. Big deal? Didn’t Maududi write umpteen times that every human being who does not believe in Allah or worships multiple deities is a kaafir? Why get embarrassed about spelling out what your ‘closest ally’ stands for?

While answering questions in the court of inquiry under Justices Munir and Kayani in 1954, Maududi had expressed his thoughts on who is Muslim, what is an Islamic state, what should be the status of non-Muslims etc. The report that documented these responses told a disturbing story about Maulana’s definitions. In 1953, Jamaat was a leading member of Majlis-e-Amal formed by Muslim Parties Convention that sanctioned direct action against Ahmadis in January that year. The bloodshed that followed is, as they say, history.

When the Commission asked Maududi about the status of minorities, he said the religious minorities were to be secondary citizens in an Islamic state like Pakistan and had no right to be part of government, government machinery or even of preaching their religious beliefs. When reminded of Quaid-e-Azam’s address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, Maududi said that kind of confused state had ceased to exist when the Objectives Resolution was passed from the same Constituent Assembly. In short, Jinnah’s Pakistan had died in March 1949 giving birth to Maududi’s Pakistan. Let Imran Khan decide if he wants to resurrect that good old Pakistan that Jinnah founded or wanted, apparently, to found.

About women, Jamaat-e-Islami is still following its founder’s views, i.e., mandatory veiling totally covering hands and feet with complete segregation between sexes. Wonder what would Maududi be thinking while listening to the Haq-Khan presser wherein they declared PTI and JI to have the ‘same ideology’. Khan should be proud to have defeated the segregation principle, at least in the Islamabad sit-ins. Same ideology? Well, may be. Because looking at girls’ educational institutions within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Khan’s territory of reign – the segregation principle appears to have overruled all the youthful modernization PTI manifests in the rest of Pakistan. Same ideology, yes.

Go a little backwards and you would find Maududi arguing on the concept of state, completely rejecting the idea of Pakistan, disparaging Jinnah as kafir-e-azam etc. That changed after Jinnah was able to get the ‘moth-eaten’ territory and tore people. Maududi quickly turned towards the new-born country, hurried to migrate from his native Pathankot (India) and embraced Pakistan as his principle ambition of transforming into Islamic state. Prior to this point, Maududi had always argued that Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan was a ‘state for Muslims’ or a ‘Muslim state’ rather than ‘Islamic state’, hence his fierce opposition to it. As soon as he came to Pakistan after partition, his and his party’s stance also changed. They started saying, and still say, that Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam. May be Khan is able to resolve this now when he has found his soul mate in the Jamaat.

Maududi’s stance on nationalism was equally disturbing. He rejected the idea of a state based on nationalistic identities. Anyone supporting such statehood was, in Maududi’s view a Kaafir. Indian Muslims, as per Maududi, were obliged to support Pakistan in case of war between the two countries. If they failed to do so, they would automatically become kaafirs. For him Pakistani nationalism was secondary to Islamic nationalism. Something that Pakistan’s textbooks continued stuffing in young minds since Zia’s time. Decades after Maududi, we were reminded of this ideology by Jamaat under Munawwar Hassan who rendered martyr-hood to Islamic militants fighting the Pakistan army. Wonder if it bothers our marionette.

It is interesting to look at Jamaat’s allies when Maududi and his comrades were sanctioning direct action against Ahmadis in 1953. Tehrik-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, which was an offshoot of Majlis-e-Ihrar was Jamaat’s main ally in anti-Ahmadiya movement of those years. Majlis-e-Ihrar, for starters, was a collaborator of Indian National Congress and was anti-Pakistan to the hilt. Even after embracing the idea of Pakistan. Maududi could not isolate himself from these elements.

Wondering why the ‘patriotic’ establishment of Pakistan did not notice such anti-state elements? This is the same establishment that never delays accusations of treason over slight ideological disagreements. You might get the answer if you look at how Jamaat-e-Islami was used in the Afghan ‘Jihad’ during the 1980s, in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and in 1965 (1948 too) when Maududi gave a fatwa that fighting to get Kashmir was jihad.

Even in recent years, Mansoora does not stand cleared of the reports of terrorists arrested from its premises or the compounds of its ardent followers / members. Jamaat has yet to answer why its Amir discouraged women to raise their voices against rape and to report rape if they didn’t have witnesses. The Jamaat has yet to answer why Dr. Usman, who attacked GHQ, lived in Mansoora. It has yet to answer what its workers like Arshad Waheed were doing in Wanna when attacked by US drones. It has yet to answer why Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was present in one of its leaders’ house. But to get answers to all these questions, someone from the state institutions will have to quit supporting Jamaat. Guess who?

Imran Khan is the best person to get these answers, as he has openly consented to have the ‘same ideology’ with the Jamaat.

 The writer is an Islamabad based freelance columnist.

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@marvisirmed