Raja Zafar ul Haq
|Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq|
|Pakistan Senator from Punjab|
12 March 2009
|Leader of the House of Federation|
12 March 2015
|Preceded by||Aitzaz Ahsan|
|Minister of Religious Affairs|
21 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Jehangir Bader|
|Succeeded by||Dr. Mahmood Ahmed Ghazi|
|Preceded by||Kausar Niazi|
|Succeeded by||Iqbal Ahmad Khan|
|Pakistan Ambassador to Egypt|
|Minister of State for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting|
|Chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League (N)|
20 February 2000
|Born||Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq
18 November 1935
Matore, Punjab, India
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League (N)|
|Children||R. Muhammad Ali
|Alma mater||Govt. College University
(B.A. in Phil.)
(LLB, MSc in Poly Sci.)
Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq (Urdu: راجہ ظفرالحق; b. 18 November 1935), is a Pakistan Senator from the Punjab, serving since being elected on 12 March 2009. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), a centre-right but conservative party, since 20 February 2000.
A retired diplomat and lawyer by profession, Zafar-ul-Haq has served as the Minister of Religious Affairs in second administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from 1997 until being removed in 1999. Haq is known for his views for support of the religious conservatism but strongly advocated for the religious temperance and Humility.
In addition, he is also known for leading the constitutional initiatives to form the inquiry commission on kargil debacle to be investigated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan against Pervez Musharraf whom he saw the latter as "traitor", and voiced support for the civilian control of the military.:35
Early life and career in law
Zafar-ul-Haq was born in a small village, Matore, located in Kahuta Tehsil, Punjab in India into a Punjabi family on 18 November 1935. His father, Raja Fazal Dad Khan, was an inspector in the Punjab Police Department and attended various high schools in Punjab, and matriculated from Sialkot in 1952.
He went to attend the Government College University in Lahore where he secured his graduate with B.A. in Philosophy in 1956. He went to attend the law school of the Punjab University to read law and the political science, graduating with the LLB degree in civil law, and the MSc in political science in 1958.
He started practicing law with the law firm, the S.M. Zafar associates, in Lahore, but later moved to Rawalpindi where he took cases and practiced law until 1981. Zafar-ul-Haq moved to Islamabad where he became member of the Supreme Court Bar Association and became the supreme court advocate from 1985 until 1987. In 1977, he was elected as the president of the Rawalpindi Bar Association and was serving as vice president of the Punjab Bar Council in 1981.
Public service in Pakistan
Ambassadorship to Egypt and Religious minister in Sharif administrations
Since 1963, Zafar-ul-Haq had been participating in the national politics on a Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and is known for reflected views on religious conservatism while stressing to adopt the Humility to prevent violence and insanity. From 1980-81, Zafar-ul-Haq served as a member on the Panel of Experts for Pakistan Law Commission under the Ministry of Law and Justice. In 1981, he joined the Zia administration as the Information Minister and the Minister of Religious Affairs which served until 1985.
In 1985, President Zia-ul-Haq appointed him as the Pakistan Ambassador to Egypt which he tenured until 1986 when he was appointed as an adviser to Zia administration. He advised Prime Minister Mohammad Junejo on political and legal matters until 1987, and sided to join the Pakistan Muslim League (N) led by its President Fida Mohammad.:335 In 1990–91, Zafar-ul-Haq presented Pakistan in the International Law Commission of the United Nations and was elected as Pakistan Senator for the first time in 1991 for a six-year term. In 1992, he was appointed in the Board of Trustees (BoT) of International Islamic University in Islamabad until 1997. During this time, he was appointed as the Secretary-General of the World Muslim Congress until 1997.
In 1997, he participated in the nationwide general elections on a Rawalpindi constituency which he successfully defended, and joined the second administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the Minister of Religious Affairs.:1–2 He played a crucial and vital role in drafting the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan to declare the "Islam as the Supreme Law"— the amendment was passed with the two-thirds majority in the National Assembly (lower house) but failed to be passed in the Senate (Upper house) in 1999.
Over the Kargil conflict in 1999, he reportedly warned the BJP ministry in India of "Pakistan resorting to the nuclear weapons issue if the country's territorial integrity, security and sovereignty is harmed.:157 Though, his statement was not taken as serious as he was not involved in the national security matters at that time, and was seen as a political statement which he stated during the meeting with his constituents.:157
On 4 December 2001, Zafar-ul-Haq appealed to the religious and conservative mass to call for the massive public demonstration against the Pervez Musharraf, leading the pro-democracy movement with Amin Fahim to restore the civilian control.:68 In 2009 he was elected to the Pakistani Senate for a six-year term. He was elected as the leader of the Independent Opposition Group (consisting of more than 6 parliamentary parties) in the Senate of Pakistan in 2009.
On 15 February 2018, PML(N) announced to appoint Zafar-ul-Haq for the Chairman Senate for the senate elections that were scheduled in 12 March 2018. Despite the PML(N) successfully retained the majority in the Senate, Zafar-ul-Haq's bid for the chairmanship was fell short through the number countings and, was defeated by independent Sadiq Sanjrani, who had support from the Asif Zardari and Imran Khan in spite of their disagreement.
Upon hearing the news of the number manipulation in the Senate elections, PML(N)'s leadership and the Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi reacted very negatively, and reportedly quoted in the news media that "Sanjrani holds no respect", and calls were made for the reelection of the Senate elections.
Political positions and views
His views reflected the religious conservatism but has strongly voice for the religious sanity and the interfaith dialogue among the three Abrahamic religions– Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In his public speaking at the conservative conventions in the country, Zafar-ul-Haq has strongly stressed and argued for the religious temperance.
After his removal from the Minister of Religious Affairs in 1999 due to the military takeover in 1999, Zafar-ul-Haq viewed very negatively of the performance of the Musharraf administration, which he believed was working towards weakening the state on a deliberate international agenda. In an interview in 2012, Zafar-ul-Haq held President Musharraf responsible of promoting religious intolerance in the country by introducing legislative reforms reflecting against the teachings of Islam without the consent of the public. He also accused Musharraf of starting the starting the armed conflict to harm the Kashmir cause, and raised his voice for civilian control of the military. Though, he has repeatedly spoke very high of Nawaz Sharif's services done to the country and Islam, he remained unsympathetic to suicide attacks being taken placed on Pervez Musharraf.
In 2011, he was quoted as saying that Islam is the prime source behind the uprising movements in the Middle East and North Africa. His statement came in response to the European intervention in Libya in favor of the Libyan Opposition.
- Democratic movements in Pakistan
- Post Cold War era
- Conservatism in Pakistan
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- Hassan, Ahmad (17 August 2002). "0 Political parties have to take quick decisions". DAWN.COM. Dawn Newspaper, 2002. Dawn Newspaper. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- Sikandar, Sardar (15 February 2018). "Zafarul Haq in the run for Senate chairmanship - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- "Raja Zafarul Haq - PML-N's choice for Senate chairman". GEO News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- Chaudhry, Arshad Waheed (12 March 2018). "PML-N loses Senate race as Sanjrani, Mandviwalla take top posts". Geo News. Geo News. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- PTI, Press Trust of India (12 March 2018). "PML-N Candidate Raja Zafarul Haq Suffers Major Defeat in Pakistan's Senate Polls". News18. Agencies. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- Rasool, Ayesha (24 March 2018). "PM calls for new Senate chairman, says Sanjrani holds no respect". Geo News. Geo News. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- Our Staff reporters, et.al. (18 September 2011). "Islam prime source behind uprising in Muslim world: Raja Zafarul Haq". The Nation. The Nation. The Nation. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- Official Pakistan Muslim League (N) website at the Library of Congress Web Archives (archived 2011-07-08)
- UK website
|Leader of the House of Federation
12 March 2018–present