LAHORE: PML-N senator and former inspector general of Sindh police Rana Maqbool Ahmad passed away here on Tuesday.

According to the PML-N, Maqbool was ill for quite some time. He was admitted to a private hospital a couple of days ago where he breathed his last on Tuesday.

His funeral prayers will be held on arrival of his son from abroad within a couple of days.

Rana Maqbool was elected to the Upper House of Parliament on a general seat in 2018 and his term was to be completed in March 2024. He was the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat.

Rana Maqbool was known as a staunch loyalist of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and chief organiser Maryam Nawaz expressed their grief at Maqbool’s death. Maryam termed him a “family member of the Sharif”. She said he always remained loyal to Nawaz during the testing times.

“Maqbool’s death is a great loss to our family and the party,” she said.

Shehbaz said it was a sad day for the PML-N family.

“Maqbool was a close and trusted associate of

Nawaz Sharif. This decades-old friendship continued till the end with the same mutual trust and love. He was a brave, serious, and intelligent personality.”

During his stint as the Sindh IGP, he was allegedly involved in torture of PPP leader Asif Zardari in prison during the second tenure of Nawaz. When the Nawaz government was ousted by Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999, Maqbool was also implicated in the plane hijacking case along with him (Nawaz) and his companions.

In 2008, when the PPP came to power in the Centre, Zardari’s torture case was still open.

In an application to police, Mr Zardari had alleged that Maqbool, abetted by another officer, tortured him and tried to kill him at the behest of the Nawaz government.

Rana Maqbool remained a bone of contention between the Sharifs and the Zardaris when the PML-N Punjab government refused to hand him over to the Sindh police for his alleged crime. As Shehbaz was the chief executive of Punjab in 2008, Maqbool took refuge under his wings here and refused to appear for any court hearing in Sindh, claiming threats to his life. He was subsequently declared a proclaimed offender by the Sindh High Court but he was never arrested and the PPP blamed Shehbaz for protecting a PO. Later, the Shehbaz government made him the prosecutor general of Punjab.

Maqbool couldn’t travel abroad during the PPP’s government’s tenure as his name was placed on the no-fly list. When the PML-N returned to power in the Centre in 2013, Nawaz got his name removed from the list.

Maqbool was also among the police officers whose names had been associated with ‘fake encounters’ during his posting in Punjab, particularly Lahore.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2023

Opinion

In defamation’s name

In defamation’s name

It provides yet more proof that the undergirding logic of public authority in Pakistan is legal and extra-legal coercion rather than legitimised consent.

Editorial

Mercury rising
Updated 27 May, 2024

Mercury rising

Each of the country's leaders is equally responsible for the deep pit Pakistan seems to have fallen into.
Antibiotic overuse
27 May, 2024

Antibiotic overuse

ANTIMICROBIAL resistance is an escalating crisis claiming some 700,000 lives annually in Pakistan. It is the third...
World Cup team
27 May, 2024

World Cup team

PAKISTAN waited until the very end to name their T20 World Cup squad. Even then, there was last-minute drama. Four...
ICJ rebuke
Updated 26 May, 2024

ICJ rebuke

The reason for Israel’s criminal behaviour is that it is protected by its powerful Western friends.
Hot spells
26 May, 2024

Hot spells

WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate...
Defiant stance
26 May, 2024

Defiant stance

AT a time when the country is in talks with the IMF for a medium-term loan crucial to bolstering the fragile ...