‘BAP architect’ in the driving seat

Published August 13, 2023
Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar. — Photo courtesy X
Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar. — Photo courtesy X

Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar was one of the original architects of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), which came together in 2018 and saw its ranks swell quickly after a host of electables from the province joined its ranks ahead of the elections.

Mr Kakar, who hails from Qilla Saifullah, is expected to take oath on Aug 14 as the eighth interim PM of Pakistan. He is the second person from Balochistan to spearhead the interim set-up after Mir Hazar Khoso, who became the caretaker premier in 2013.

His appointment comes with less than a year left in the completion of his six-year term in the Senate, that will conclude in March 2024.

“The primary idea of forming the BAP [in 2018] was floated by Mr Kakar” who had grabbed a seat in Senate as an independent candidate the same year, senior journalist Jalal Nourzai told Dawn.

While he does not hail from a traditional political family, earlier some of his relatives had been actively involved in politics.

Mr Kakar made his electoral debut in 2008 on a PML-Q ticket, contesting polls in the NA-272 constituency, but lost to PPP candidate Nasir Ali Shah.

Later, he joined the PML-N and served as then-CM Sanaullah Zehri’s spokesperson for almost three years.

In 2018, he “led” a no-trust vote against Mr Zehri, which saw the PML-N chief minister step down from the post, paving the way for Abdul Qudus Bizenjo.

In the same year, he became a senator as an independent candidate. Soon after, he announced the formation of BAP with the help of Syed Saeed Ahmed Hashmi. At the time, the PML-N and Baloch and Pashtun nationalist parties had labelled the hastily-cobbled alliance of the province’s electables “a move of the establishment”.

He has remained the chief spokesperson of the party, which also formed the government in Balochistan after the 2018 elections, and represented BAP in the Senate as its parliamentary leader for more than four years. He lost the role following a party reshuffle earlier this year.

In the Senate, he remained part of key standing committees on finance and revenue, foreign affairs and science and technology, and also served as the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources.

According to journalist Ziaur Rehman, Mr Kakar also headed a parliamentary panel on forced conversions in 2020.

“Recent times have seen Kakar’s association with PML-N rekindled. Reports of this link have gained momentum, particularly in connection with his collaboration with Balochistan’s ex-CM Jam Kamal,” journalist Ziaur Rehman said in a thread on X (formerly Twitter).

Born to a middle-class Pashtun family on May 15, 1971 in Qila Saifullah, a district bordering Afghanistan, Mr Kakar is fluent in English, Persian, Balochi, Brahvi, and Urdu, as well as his native Pashto.

Though he doesn’t come from a traditional political family, his elders remained affiliated with the Kalat State, which was merged into Pakistan in 1948.

His grandfather, Dr Noor Muhammad Kakar served as a physician in Kalat, while his father Ihtishamul Haq Kakar performed duties as a naib tehsildar, tehsildar and remained on other important administrative posts in Kalat, as well as other parts of the province. However, his maternal uncle Arbab Yousaf Kasi and some other relatives were involved in politics.

Kakar attended a private school in Quetta for his initial education and was later admitted to Cadet College Kohat for intermediate studies. He returned to Quetta and graduated from the University of Balochistan, subsequently obtaining a Masters degree in Sociology and Political Science.

After completing his education in Pakistan, he went to the UK for a law degree, but returned without completing his studies.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Bad measures
Updated 25 Jul, 2024

Bad measures

They do not seem to have realised that they have put the country’s best interests at risk.
Hamas-Fatah deal
25 Jul, 2024

Hamas-Fatah deal

THE Beijing Declaration signed in the Chinese capital on Tuesday reiterates the need for internal Palestinian unity...
Rating risks
25 Jul, 2024

Rating risks

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s recent discussions with the executives of the two top global credit rating...
Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...