Leader of Jamaat-i Islami of Pakistan since 1987. Born into a Pathan family of Deobandi ulama. Joined the Jamaat in 1970. In the 1980s played an important role in Pakistan's Afghan policy, especially by creating ties between the Jamaat and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-i Islami. After 1987 pushed to popularize the Jamaat's message by adopting populist causes, downplaying ideological posturing in favor of pragmatic politics, and introducing new electoral strategies. Responsible for forging Jamaat's links with Muslim resistance movements in Kashmir, Bosnia, Palestine, and Chechnya.