MUZAFFARGARH: Former PPP MNA and father of two sitting PPP MNAs Malik Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar died from kidney complications at a Lahore hospital on Monday. He was 74.
He is survived by two sons and six daughters, among them MNAs Raza Rabbani Khar and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar are prominent.
His funeral prayers were offered at his farmhouse in Khar Gharbi in Kot Addu on Monday evening.
His family sources said Khar remained on a ventilator for a few days in a Lahore hospital for coronavirus complications. The funeral prayers were attended by thousands of people at Khar Gharbi. Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Mustafa Khar and provincial PPP leadership attended the funeral.
Qul will be held on Friday (Jan 28) at Khar Gharbi, Sanawan.
Rabbani Khar started electoral politics in 1985 when he became an MPA in the non-party elections and then chief minister Nawaz Sharif made him a minister in the cabinet. In 1988, he became an IJI MPA and was made a provincial minister again. In the 1990 elections, he first became an MPA and later an MNA in a by-election on a seat vacated by his elder brother, Mustafa Khar. The 1993 election is the only election when he could not reach the assembly. In 1997, he won again as a PML-N MNA. In 2002, he pitched his daughter Hina Rabbani Khar as a PML-Q candidate as because of the degree bar, he himself could not become a candidate and retained the seat. Later, Hina Khar became a state minister for commerce in the Shaukat Aziz cabinet.
In 2008, Rabbani Khar joined the PPP and his daughter Hina Rabbani Khar won the election as a PPP candidate. She later became the first Pakistani female foreign minister.
Rabbani Khar contested the 2013 elections as a PPP candidate despite the PML-N offer for tickets for him and his daughter. He returned to the NA in a by-election. In 2018, he fielded his son, Raza Rabbani Khar, as a PPP candidate. This time, he refused PTI tickets for his son and daughter and remained in the PPP.
The constituency people respected him for his straightforwardness and strong connections with his constituents. Much before the inception of the PTI government’s ‘dastarkhwans’, Rabbani Khar had started meal feasts to those visiting his dera back in the 80s.
MNA Raza Khar said he would continue the mission of his father.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022