Senator Farhatullah Babar is a thorough democrat and maintained his independent position on legislation and policies considering the merit of each proposal. He strived hard for the empowerment of the parliament and his farewell speech should be carefully considered. The nation will miss his presence on the floor of Senate and it will be hard to fill the void created by his absence. I hope all of you will join me in thanking him for his services to democracy, rule of law and respect of constitution. Many call him an anti-establishment person but in reality, he believed in the constitutional balance between state institutions. I would like to request President of Pakistan to consider him for the highest civilian award for the year 2018.
The retirement of Senator Babar is a personal loss for me because he was one of the few Senators with whom I collaborated on legislation and policy. I do not hold any public office or a party position but even then he considered every suggestion made to him on its merit and supported those that met his own principled position. He supported our position on policies even when our own party Senators were hesitant to do so for fear of angering Imran Khan. His departure is a loss for me of a friend, mentor, and partner on the floor of the upper house.
On most policies, we agreed but one area where we had wide disagreement was his public position on PPP politics. I wanted him to take a more aggressive posture publicly against wrong politics of civilian dictator Mr. Zardari. As a soft-spoken, non-confrontational, and Wiseman, he was hesitant to take a public posture but in last one year, he was more vocal about his party wrong position on accountability for all, encroachment of judiciary on the domain of parliament/executive, and weakening of democratic institutions. Maybe I should learn from him how to deal with a civilian dictator as I am more aggressive in my dissent and opposition which has cost me personally.
I am glad that he promised to continue raising his voice outside the parliament and I hope that he will make more concerted effort to save PPP. Mr. Zardari focuses on short-term gains and loses long-term support for the party. The horse trading in Senate will also cost PPP in the long term. Experienced politicians of PPP including Raza Rabbani, Farhatullah Babar, Sherry Rehman, Yousaf Raza Gillani and many others have to take a more active role in rebuilding PPP and its bond with the nation.
Following is link to Senator Farhatullah Babar farewell speech on Senate Floor:
By Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi