Former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, passed away in Islamabad early on Sunday morning of cardiac arrest, his son and party said.
Qazi Hussain, 74, died in a hospital where he was admitted three days ago after he suffered heart problem, his son, Luqman Asif Qazi said.
His funeral prayers will be offered at Peshawar’s Jinnah Park at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
His body was sent to Peshawar in an ambulance and after funeral he will be buried in his ancestral village Kakak Sahib.
He passed away around 2 a.m. in hospital. Jamaat leaders and sympathizers rushed to the hospital after receiving news of his death. A large number of people also visited his residence in Peshawar and Nowshehra.
President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, political leaders and people from every walk of life sent condolences to his family and party leaders.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed was a prominent religious scholar, Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate and had been the chief of Jamaat for 22 years.
He was a strong critic of counter-terrorism policy of the United States, and was widely known for his opposition against United States participation in civil war in the neighbouring Afghanistan.
Ahmed was suffering from cardiac disease for quite some time and turned critical three days ago.
Qazi joined Jamaat in 1978 and was elected as the party’s chief in 1987, a position he would be re-elected to on two more occasions before finally stepping down in 2009.
In November 2012, Ahmed had escaped unhurt from an assassination attempt when a female suicide bomber tried to kill him by blowing herself up. Three of his guards were injured in the attack in Mohmand tribal region.
Qazi Ahmed, who was head of the Jamaat for almost 22 years, had decided to step down from his post in 2009.
He revived the apolitical alliance of religious parties “Milli Yekjehti Council’ for sectarian harmony. He has also served as chief of Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal.
Qazi Hussain is the second top Jamaat leader died in two weeks. Former Jamaat deputy chief, Prof. Abdul Ghafoor died last week in Karachi.