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Kausar Niazi (Urdu: کوثر نیازی), born as Muhammad Hayyat Khan and commonly known as Maulana Kausar Niazi (1934–1994), was a Pakistani politician and a religious leader in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Niazi, in Bhutto's premiership cabinet, was a most powerful federal minister in Pakistan during 1974 till 1977. Niazi was among one of the close aid and trusted confident of Bhutto who remained loyal to Bhutto until his death. He was born in Musakhel village Musakhel, Punjab. His father Fateh Khan Niazi Luqi-khel and uncle Muzaffar Khan Niazi Luqi-khel were among the leading persons of area. He was a religious scholar and orator, who made a name for himself in politics, and was a member in Bhutto's the Federal Cabinet. He served as a minister and assisted Bhutto for 6 years. He was also a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party. In the 1950s and the 1960s Kausar Niazi was a prominent member of one of Pakistan's leading religious parties, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). In 1953 he was arrested and jailed by the government for taking part in the violent anti-Ahamdiyya riots in Lahore. Niazi was also highly vocal in his support for JI's criticism of the Ayub Khan dictatorship (1958–69). The JI had accused Ayub of undermining the role of Islamic scholars in Pakistan.However, after Ayub Khan eased out his young foreign minister, Z.A. Bhutto in 1966, Niazi supported Bhutto's stand against his former boss (over the 1965 ceasefire against India When Bhutto formed his own party in 1967 (the PPP), the JI denounced Bhutto and the PPP of being a party of communists who were being backed by the Soviet Union to 'destroy faith in Pakistan'.
|Ministry of Religious Affairs|
14 August 1973 – 5 July 1977
|President||Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry|
|Prime Minister||Zulfikar Ali Bhutto|
Muhammad Hayyat Khan
Musa Khel, district Mianwali, British Indian Empire
|Political party||Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)|
After disagreeing with JI's line of attack against Bhutto, Niazi broke away from the party. He was consequently invited by Bhutto to join the PPP. Bhutto was searching for a religious scholar to join his party, someone who could (theologically) retaliate against JI's diatribes against the PPP. Niazi's entry into the PPP was not welcomed by the party's leftist ideologues. But Bhutto overruled their concerns, suggesting that Niazi fully backed the party's socialist programme.
Niazi was given the party ticket to contest the 1970 election from a constituency in Sialkot (even though he was originally from Mianwali).
The constituency in Sialkot where Niazi was contesting had a large Ahamdiyya population. But Niazi, positioning himself as a 'progressive Muslim scholar' and a firm advocate of the PPP's socialist manifesto, decided to hold a series of meetings with the leaders of the Ahamdiyya community. He convinced them that the PPP would never allow the religious parties to outlaw the Ahmadiyya from the fold of Islam and that the PPP was the community's only hope against excommunication.
According to the recently published memoirs of late Barrister Azizullah Shiekh — a famous lawyer and former member of the leftwing National Awami Party (NAP) — the Ahmadiyya community, before getting Niazi's assurances, had already struck a deal with the leaders of NAP. The NAP had also promised the community that it would keep the right-wing / religious parties from reviving the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign.
However, Kausar succeeded in making the Ahmadiyya community choose the PPP over NAP and vote for the PPP across Pakistan. This also helped Naizi to win the election from his Sialkot constituency where he received over 90,000 votes. In December 1971, after the departure of East Pakistan (that became Bangladesh), Bhutto was invited to form the new government because the PPP had won the most seats from West Pakistan.
He served as the minister of Religious and Minorities Affairs until 1976 and was later appointed the Federal Information Minister. Maulana Kausar Niazi said that Zia-ul-Haq had deposed and ultimately destroyed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He later visited India as the goodwill emissary of the acting Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi.
In his later years, Maulana Kausar Niazi was rewarded for his loyalty to the Bhutto clan by being nominated to serve as the Chairman of the Islamic Ideology Council during Ms Benazir Bhutto's second government.
Some of his publications include:
- Jamāʻat-i Islāmī ʻavāmī ʻadālat men̲, on Jamaat-e-Islami.
- Mut̤ālaʻah-yi tārīk̲h̲, essays on history.
- Lamḥe, poems.
- Matāʻ-i suk̲h̲an : kulliyāt, collected poetry.
- Irān, Shahanshāh se K̲h̲umainī tak, short political history of Iran, with particular reference to the Islamic revolution in 1979.
- Naqsh-i rahguzar, travel impressions of India, 1984, with particular reference to the author's meetings with various Indian politicians, journalists, etc.
- Maulá ʻAlī, on the life of ʻAlī ibn Abī Tālib , 600 (ca.)-661,4th Caliphs of Islam.
- Maulā Ḥūsain, collection of speeches from 1970-1974.
- Mushāhadāt o taʼās̲s̲urāt, articles, chiefly political, by a noted Pakistani religio-political writer, previously published in daily Jang, Lahore, Pakistan.
- Jinhen̲ main̲ ne dekhā, author's memoirs about his contemporaries.
- Kohqāf ke des men̲ : safarnamah-yi Rūs, travel impressions of the Soviet Union, 1987.
- Z̲ikr-i Rasūl, thoughts on the teachings of prophet Muhammad.
- Aur lāʼin kaṭ gaʼī, on the political turmoil in Pakistan after the 1977 general elections, followed by martial law.
This includes works he originally wrote in English directly, as well translations of his works by others:
- Fundamental truths
- Towards understanding the Qurʼan
- To the Prophet
- Creation of man
- Modern challenges to Muslim families
- Role of the mosque
- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, last days
- Islam, our guide
- Islam and the West
- Mirror of Trinity
- Iqbal and the third world
- Economic concepts in Islam
- Study of history
- The Prophet of revolution