Pro-Government Militias

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Documentation for Jamaat-i-Islami

Dec. 6, 1982
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

In Pakistan religious power has traditionally been held by the Islamic political parties and secular lay groups. The strongest is the Jamaat-i-Islami, which, with over 1 million members, is not only the country's best organized and strongest religious force, but in the view of many, its most dangerous political group.

Dec. 6, 1982
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

But Western officials see General Zia presiding over a structure whose foundation could weaken and perhaps collapse. .. Political violence is on the rise. Only one of the country's religious parties - the militant Jamaat-i-Islami - still supports the military regime.

March 3, 1983
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

The Jamaat has been urging the Government to ban all women from public service and government jobs, and to totally segregate education. The Government has already complied with some Jamaat demands, such as a ban on all public singing and dancing by women which has led to an almost dead television service and a drop in advertising revenue. ..The Government's position is now extremely tenuous. ...If it backtracks it will incur the wrath of the well-armed and organized Jamaat-e Islamic group.

Aug. 30, 1983
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

Close links are said to exist between the President and the Jamaat-i-Islami Party, a powerful fundamentalist party.

March 18, 1985
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

The moderates, not surprisingly, accused the fundamentalists of selling vast amounts of weaponry on the open market, of selling to Pakistanis opposed to the military regime of Gen. Zia ul-Haq, or of simply bartering arms with their Pakistani counterparts in the militant Islamic movement, the Jamaat-i-Islami, which has built up a veritable arsenal in Pakistani universities.
''Many of the arms are staying right here in Pakistan,'' said Sibghatullah Mohadidi, president of the three-party moderate alliance. ''The fundamentalists' warehouses are full. They're stockpiling for the future - both here and inside.

March 29, 1986
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Since the lifting of martial law in Pakistan, fundamentalist Islamic
parties have launched a deadly campaign against religious minorities.
Hindu temples and Christian churches have been desecrated and
worshippers attacked. The worst discrimination has been directed against
the Ahmedis, an Islamic minority sect, who have been forbidden to call
themselves Moslems by Government decree.
The Ahmedis have been forbidden to practice Moslem religious rites by a
martial law ordinance passed in April, 1984. Since then, more than a dozen
have been killed by fundamentalists who have never been caught, and
hundreds have been arrested by the authorities...This month, more than 100 Hindu temples in Sind Province were defiled.
Most of the discriminatory moves have been instigated by the Jamaat- e-
Islami, a fundamentalist Islamic right-wing party. The Jamaat received
official patronage under the military regime of President Zia from 1977 to
January, 1986.

March 29, 1986
The Economist

Miss Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's only opposition leader of note, goes home in April…. She intends to test the semi-free, semi-democratic civilian rule which has succeeded eight and a half years of martial law. Benazir's father, created the Pakistan People's party… It does not have the organisation or the momentum to function without a leader. .. It does have a hard core of enthusiastic thugs. But they are matched by a well-armed bunch of toughs in the religious fundamentalists' party, the Jamaat-i-Islami, which helped to bring President Zia to power. The Jamaat does not like the country's present semi-democracy, and its leaders have been threatening the PPP with violence. Those members of Pakistan's officer corps who enjoyed the benefits of political power under martial law (and would welcome a return to it) may be encouraging the Jamaat to have a showdown with Miss Bhutto's party. Street fighting between two private armies would give the real army the excuse it needed to take over again

Jan. 17, 1987

Jamaat-i-Islami, supporters and beneficiaries of the president's policy.. are rich on Saudi money, well organised and well armed. As Islamisation makes inroads into the judiciary, the universities and the media, their power increases... President Zia has continued it. ..Zia apparently likes the Shariat bill. In November a rally, which according to a member of the government was arranged by the president, brought 10,000 Jamaat-i-Islami members on to the streets outside parliament demonstrating in the bill's favour. The Jamaat-i-Islami now has a stronghold in the universities... The Jamaat-i-Islami is well armed -- with Kalashnikov guns, not knives -- and has heightened the level of violence in the already chaotic universities. Gun battles between its supporters and Bhutto's followers, the Baluch Students' Organisation, the Pathan Students' Federation, Sind's National Students' Federation or the Black Eagles -- anti-Jamaat-i-Islami vigilantes in Punjab -- are commonplace, and killings frequent. At Karachi university, Jamaat-i-Islami members have taken to throwing acid at immodestly-dressed women. ..Since the lifting of martial law, the newspapers have more freedom to criticise the government than they had under Bhutto; but the Jamaat-i-Islami cannot be touched. "I wouldn't dare," said a newspaper editor, "they would beat us up."

June 16, 1988
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

The Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan not only participates in distributing the so-called ''aids'' amongthe Afghan extremists but has also involved in organising the explosions and terroristic activities in the Pakistani cities with the assistance of Golbuddin's followers, the daily notes. They are fanning the differences between various religious sects in Pakistan, as example of which is the recent events happened in Chitral and Karachi cities of Pakistan.

June 21, 1988
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

The right-wing Jamaat-i-Islami has accused Pakistan President Ziaul Haq of hypocrisy and joined major political parties and religious groups in rejecting the Islamisation ordinance. Criticising President Zia, Jamaat chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed said, ''a man who dissolves a government on charges of corruption and forms a new government with the same faces cannot be regarded as a true Muslim. (That) is the fundamental condition for a head of government who intends to enforce Shari'ah (injunctions of Islam)''. . .
The Jamaat, which under the leadership of xxxhad extended an unconditional support to Gen Zia's martial law rule, now seems to be trying to refurbish its image by distancing itself from the Zia regime.

Jan. 1, 1991
Hobart Mercury

No wine, no women PAKISTAN'S Islamic fundamentalists don't object to New Year's Eve parties - as long as the celebrants didn't dance, drink or mingle with the opposite sex. A group calling itself "The Tigers of Allah" yesterday strung banners throughout the city of Karachi denouncing New Year's Eve celebrations as a product of the decadent West "We have warned people that we would not allow these types of celebrations in a country where Muslims are in government," said Khalid Rehman, a leader of the the small but powerful Jamaat-i-Islami [Party of God], a key member of Pakistan's right-wing coalition government

June 3, 1992
The Guardian (London)

The IDA, a ramshackle coalition of Islamic hardliners, economic conservatives, and a few more liberal elements, ceased to exist in any practical sense at the start of May, when the main fundamentalist organisation, Jamaat Islami, walked out. It was enraged by the prime minister's casual dumping of its hero, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, in the frantic negotiations to produce a new government in Afghanistan

Oct. 21, 1992
Washington Post

Such movements -- notably the largest and oldest fundamentalist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami -- have received large infusions of money from radical groups in nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. In recent years, according to numerous Pakistani press reports, funds from Iran have helped finance construction and operation of huge Islamic centers in major cities and hundreds of small facilities in villages.
Jamaat-e-Islami, in particular, also benefitted from its cooperative relationship with Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan for 11 years and began a fitful, official campaign of Islamization in 1981.