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BABAR LIEUTENANT GENERAL (RETIRED)

BABAR, LIEUTENANT GENERAL (RETIRED) NASEERULLAH KHAN (1929- ) Babar was born in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and educated in the school of the province, after which he joined the Pakistan army in 1952 as a commissioned officer He distinguished himself during Pakistan’s war with India in 1965 Impressed with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s conduct during the war with India-Bhutto wanted the war to continue, while Ayub Khan negotiated a peace agreement with India-Babar decided to join the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on his retirement from the army He won a National Assembly seat from his native NWFP in the elections of 1993, and when Benazir Bhutto was invited to form a government in Islamabad, he joined her cabinet and was given the important portfolio of InteriorAn interior minister, Babar had a mandate to maintain law and order in the country It was in pursuit of this mandate that he carried out a highly controversial policy of repression in Karachi against the activists of the Muhajir Qaumi Mahaz (MQM) The battle for Karachi began once the army was pulled out of the city in November 1995 The carnage that ensued claimed more than 1,800 lives in 1995 alone; many of them died as the result of the active pursuit of MQM activists by the forces under the command of the Interior Ministry The harsh measures adopted by Babar in dealing with the MQM brought relative calm to Karachi in the spring of 1996 However, Babar lost his position, along with other members of the federal Cabinet, when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was dismissed by President Farooq Leghari in November 1996



Babar continued to defend Bhutto, her family, and her administration when charges of corruption and mismanagement began to be leveled by the successor governments of caretaker Prime Minister Meraj Khalid and the elected government of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif

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