Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq (born 1953) is a prominent Pakistani politician and former Federal Minister for Religious affairs of the Pakistan. Entering Pakistani politics following the 1988 death of his father, President of Pakistan General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Ijaz held a senior federal ministry within the cabinet of General Zia''s civilian successor Nawaz Sharif as well as the Senior Presidency of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) during its second tenure in the 1990s. He stepped down from the post following differences with Sharif, who was overthrown shortly afterwards by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
Ijaz was elected to the Pakistan National assembly for a record fourth time in the 2002 general election, but he lost in the 2008 general election. as Minister for Religious affairs, with additional charges of Hajj and Minorities, Ijaz has sparked controversy following comments supporting nuclear engineer abdul Qadeer Khan as well as his public denunciation of the knighthood of Salman Rushdie. More recently, Ijaz was heavily involved in trying to prevent the Lal Masjid siege (calling for mosque head abdul Rashid Ghazi to surrender) in vain. Ijaz-ul-Haq currently resides in Rawalpindi. He is the son-in-law of famed former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and martial law administrator General Rahimuddin Khan.
Born in Nowshera, North-West Frontier Province, Ijaz received his master''s degreein business administration from the University of Punjab. He completed his degree in Business administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in Carbondale, Illinois. Thereafter he enjoyed a successful career as a Bahrain-based banker from 1978 until 1988. He entered Pakistani politics after the death of his father, the President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, in a sabotage-induced airplane crash in august 17, 1988. He allied himself with his late father''s endorsed political party, Pakistan Muslim League in 1989 to form the conservative opposition to the country''s succeeding ruler, Benazir Bhutto, who was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan shortly after General Zia''s death. Initially considered to be spearheading the Benazir-opposed right-wing, Ijaz would ally himself with the more politically experienced Nawaz Sharif, who had served as Chief Minister in the cabinet of General Zia.