Currently a senior Senator from the Pakistan Peoples Party, Mian Raza Rabbani has served in many other capacities – as a federal minister, a minister of state as well as an adviser to the prime minister and to a chief minister. Born in 1953, Rabbani received his early education from Karachi’s Habib Public School. He became actively involved in student politics during his time at the University of Karachi where he studied for his BA degree. Later, Rabbani obtained his LLB degree from the same university while in jail during Ziaul Haq's rule.
Starting his career in national politics through PPP in the 1980s, Rabbani served as an advisor to Sindh’s chief minister from 1988 to 1990. He was elected to the Senate several times, most recently in March 2012, and also served as federal minister of state for law and justice during Benazir Bhutto’s second government.
During 2008-2013, he was first inducted as federal minister for inter-provincial coordination in November 2008 but resigned after PPP’s top brass nominated Farooq H. Naek for the post of Senate chairman, replacing Rabbani. He was again inducted as minister with the same portfolio in February 2011 but resigned in May 2011 over the PPP leadership’s decision to make Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) a partner in the coalition government.
Rabbani is highly regarded among political circles as ideologically driven and as a party stalwart. Among Rabbani’s major achievements is the 18th Amendment of which he was the chief architect. As chairman of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan, Rabbani was closely involved in the drafting of the Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan package which was put together as a step forward in addressing the province’s woes. He also helped the 2008-2013 PPP-led coalition government in developing foreign and domestic policies and chaired the Parliamentary Committee on National Security which redrafted the terms of engagement with the United States. The committee, under Rabbani’s leadership, also addressed other issues involving national security.
— Research and text by Saher Baloch