Islamabad: Prominent Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Senator Rehman Malik was laid to rest this week as scores of politicians, social workers, journalists and citizens paid last respects at the funeral.
Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and federal minister Sarwar Khan attended the funeral among others. Dozens of PPP workers were also present. Senator Malik had passed away on February 23 after developing corona complications. The PPP leader’s son Omar Malik said that his family will continue Malik’s mission. “My father remained committed to the PPP for life and we will continue his mission. I am back from London. I am going to stay in Islamabad,” he said.
The younger Malik said he will keep serving the people like his father. “My father is an example for others. I will keep his flag flying,” he added.
Senator Malik’s brother Khalid Malik said the participation of the common citizens in the funeral showed that the late PPP leader was very popular and helpful. “Serving the people was his passion. He never disappointed anybody. We will make sure his mission of a poverty-free Pakistan is achieved,” he maintained.
Rehman Malik was born on December 12, 1951 in Sialkot. He remained a Federal Investigation Agency officer and later served as the Interior Minister when the PPP formed the government in 2008. Prior to politics, Malik had pursued a successful career in the FIA, eventually becoming the Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency in 1993 until 1996.
Late Gen Naseerullah Babar, the interior minister in the second Benazir government, had discovered and selected him for several difficult tasks. Gen Babar introduced him to Benazir Bhutto and Zardari and he soon became the most trusted person to them. The couple thanked Babar for discovering Malik. He took care of Benazir Bhutto and Zardari’s security, including Zardari’s security while he was jailed and Malik was abroad.
As the FIA additional director general, he was reckoned amongst the three most powerful bureaucrats during 1993-96. He would not listen to the federal ministers complaining against officials serving under him. He earned a similar reputation in politics once he took centre stage in the PPP and came to be known as the person closest to Asif Zardari.
He had initiated several inquiries against Sharifs during 1993-1996. It was later said that he laid the foundation of the Avenfield Apartments Case against Nawaz Sharif. However, in 2006, Sharifs saw him in a pivotal role in London during the process of signing the Charter of Democracy (CoD). When Nawaz Sharif became prime minister in 1997, the FIA had registered four cases against Malik. He was arrested and sent to Adiala Jail. He got out of jail and went to the UK in 2001. The circumstances surrounding his departure to the UK remain a mystery as his name was on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Recognised as a hardworking, disciplined and powerful official, Malik was loved by those who worked for him. When Dr Tahirul Qadri staged a sit-in at D Chowk in 2012, Malik, despite being the top gun on interior affairs, would spend sleepless nights in the monitoring room.
As interior minister, he had the reputation of being the most powerful person in PM Gillani and Ashraf’s cabinets where he rubbed shoulder with the likes of Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sherry Rehman.
As the FIA additional director general, he had been reckoned amongst the three most powerful bureaucrats during 1993-96. He would not listen to the federal ministers complaining against officials serving under him.
He earned a similar reputation in politics when he took centre stage in the PPP and was known as the person closest to Asif Zardari. Bilawal Bhutto also respected him since he had seen him taking care of his parents and the rest of the family since his childhood.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Karachi University. In recognition of his services as ADG FIA and interior minister, Sitara-i-Shujaat and Sitara-i-Imitiaz were conferred on him. He was the longest serving interior minister of Pakistan.