Transition: Jahangir Badar — the fallen jiyala

Published: November 15, 2016

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party’s fallen jiyala, Jahangir Badar, who stood against all the four dictatorships, was laid to rest on Monday.

Thousands, including PPP leaders, supporters, workers and relatives of the former federal minister attended the funeral at University Law College, Punjab University.

Badar was admitted in a private hospital on Sunday where he died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 72. He is survived by a widow, two sons and a daughter.

Funeral prayers of PPP leader Jahangir Badar offered

Expressing grief, former president Asif Ali Zardari said that being a genuine political worker, a committed democrat and a great Bhutto loyalist, Badar was a huge asset of the party and “the void created by his passing away will take a long time to fill”.

Former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, ex-premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Opposition leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Speaker National Assembly Ayyaz Sadiq, J Saalik, Manzoor Watoo, Rana Mashood, Aitzaz Ahsan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Javed Hashmi, PML (N) Lahore President Pervaiz Malik, Sohial Zia Butt, former governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar attended the funeral.

Political career

Badar was a true democrat who fought for the restoration and prevalence of democracy for four decades.

The PPP leader stood against dictatorship and was jailed under different regimes. Badar was born on October 25, 1944 in old Lahore near the Wazir Khan mosque. He received his early education from High School Rang Mahal then completed his B.Com in 1967, M.Com in 1969.

Pickpockets strike at PPP leader Jahangir Badar’s funeral 

The former minister then did LLB from the University of Punjab in 1972 and MA Political Science in 1979. He also taught law between 1972 and 1979.

He stepped into politics in 1960 and was elected the president of student union of Hailay College Punjab University in 1968.

Badar was sent to prison under many regimes. He was first imprisoned in 1970 and was sent to the Shahpur jail for a year by the military court.

Badar was sent to jail again in 1977 for a year and was ordered to be flogged. In 1978 he was again imprisoned at Lahore Shahi Qila, Central Jail Mianwali and Gujranwala jail. In 1984, he agitated against Ziaul Haq’s referendum and was imprisoned for another year. Musharraf regime also put him behind bars in 2001.

Affiliation with PPP

Badar was associated with PPP throughout his political career.

The diehard jiyala was a close aide of both Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then later Benazir Bhutto.

From being the youngest member of the PPP Central Executive Committee in 1978 to becoming the party’s general secretary Badar came a long way.

The PPP leader was in-charge of youth and students affairs. He was then elevated to the position of party’s Punjab president from 1985-88 and 1991-1995. From 1995-2003, he was president of PPP overseas. And since 1999 he was working as the party’s general secretary.

He was elected as member of the National Assembly in 1988 from Lahore. He was also elected as Senator in 1994 and 2009. Badar also held the portfolio of minister for petroleum, housing, science and technology.

The former minister came from a humble background and while most of the PPP leaders had faced allegations of corruption and embezzlement against them, Badar was clean in this matter. He was investigated by National Accountability Bureau in 2000s but was given a clean chit in 2010.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2016.

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