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Raza Rabbani
Raza Rabbani.jpg
7th Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan
In office
12 March 2015 – 11 March 2018
Preceded by Nayyar Hussain Bukhari
Succeeded by Sadiq Sanjrani
Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination
In office
3 November 2008 – 13 March 2009
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan
Succeeded by Aftab Hussain Shah Jillani
Minister of State for Law and Justice
In office
19 October 1993 – 5 November 1996
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Preceded by Saima Akhtar Bharwana
Succeeded by Tehmina Daultana
Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh on Cooperative
In office
1988 – 25 February 1990
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Personal details
Born (1953-07-23) 23 July 1953 (age 69)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
Alma mater University of Karachi
Awards Nishan-e-Imtiaz

Mian Raza Rabbani (Punjabi, Urdu: رضا ربانى; born 23 July 1953) is a Pakistani politician who served as the 7th Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan from March 2015 to March 2018.

He has been elected a senator six times since 1993 from the Sindh Province. He was a close aide to Benazir Bhutto who had appointed him the party's deputy secretary general in 1997 and leader of the opposition in the Senate in 2005. Rabbani has served as Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Minister of State for Law and Justice, and Leader of the House and Opposition in the Senate. Raza Rabbani was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan in March 2015.

Early life and education

Rabbani was born on 23 July 1953 in Lahore, Punjab in a well educated Arain family. He spent his childhood in Karachi.

Rabbani received his early education from Habib Public School in Karachi. He received his BA and LLB. (Bachelor of Law) degrees from the University of Karachi in 1976 and 1981, respectively.

Rabbani was politically active during his university years at the University of Karachi and was head of the Liberal Students Federation in 1974. He is said to have affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) since 1968. He was in jail during the rule of Zia u Haque. when he received his LLB. degree in 1981.

He started practising law after the completion of his studies.

Acting President of Pakistan

Raza Rabbani was the acting President of Pakistan from 12 March 2015 – 26 March 2015, when President Mamnoon Hussain went abroad for medical treatment.

Inter Parliamentary Union

Rabbani was elected as an executive member in the Inter Parliamentary Union in October 2019 as a candidature of Indian National Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. The candidacy was withdrawn by the BJP-led Indian Government.

Views on national security

Despite his disagreements with PPP's leadership, Senator Rabbani was named by the President to be the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform in 2008.

His services and credentials led to his simultaneous appointment to the chairmanship of the Beginning of the Rights of Balochistan where he worked on presenting a package to redress the problems of the Balochistan Province to the joint sessions of the Parliament. Despite his recommendations, none of the provisions in the packages would be carried out by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who would later entangle with the Supreme Court over the missing persons scandal. In 2003, Rabbani demonstrated his opposition to the Iraq war in 2003, over the issue of its nuclear program.

About the atomic proliferation issues, Rabbani criticised President Pervez Musharraf in the news channels and publicly supported the case of Dr. AQ Khan against President Musharraf. While calling for moral responsibility of nuclear weapons and security, he reportedly marked his words over this issue as the "propaganda against Pakistan in the Western Media about terrorism and nuclear weapons, raising legitimate apprehensions in the minds of Pakistanis."

During the height of the United States-Pakistan border confrontations, Rabbani declared to the media about the shift-changing policy of Pakistan as the United States' ally and quoted: "We need to prioritize our own national-security interests. As far as the U.S. is concerned, the message that has gone with this resolution will definitely ring alarm bells, vis-à-vis their policy of bulldozing Pakistan."

In April 2011, Rabbani also heavily criticized the US over their drone operations in North-Western Pakistan in the Parliament, commenting that the United States is following a major violation of international law and human rights.

Writings

He is the author of the following books:

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