In a drastic break from tradition, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has opened up the ranks of its Shura or central consultative body to women members of the party.
“[The] Jamaat-e-Islami has decided to give women effective representation in its Shura,” JI amir Sirajul Haq announced on Saturday. He was talking to reporters at a news conference in Mansoora, Lahore on the second day of the meeting of the JI Shura.
According to the JI leader, the women members of the Shura will be elected by the female members of the party. The JI leadership’s decision to include women in its Shura appears to be part of a shift in the party towards a more open and liberal outlook. It was earlier reported that the party is also considering a strategy to recruit members from the country’s minority religious groups; the JI shura has already formed a committee to devise a programme of action for this purpose.
Non-Muslims were also invited to attend the JI ijtema held last November for the first time in the party’s 74-year history. The minority participants were allowed to display their own literature at the gathering, it was reported.
Bid to sabotage Karachi peace should be countered: Siraj
Speaking at the news conference, JI amir Sirajul Haq called for countering any attempt to sabotage efforts to restore peace in Karachi. He said it was the government’s duty to see the operation against criminals in the city to its logical end.
Siraj said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s outburst against Pakistan and its institutions had damaged the country’s image greatly. He called on the MQM to adopt a positive attitude if it wanted to participate in national politics.
The JI chief also lashed at the ruling elite of the country, saying they were least interested in solving the country’s problems, particularly those of its farmers. He announced the launch of a ‘Save the Kissan’ (farmer) campaign from today (Sunday) onwards in Rahimyar Khan.
Siraj also criticised the privatisation of state institutions, saying they had hurt the country’s economy. Selling major state institutions for throwaway prices rendered hundreds of thousands jobless, he said. On the other hand, he appreciated the statements of the prime minister and army chief on the Kashmir issue, and said they had emboldened the nation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2015.