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Kotan Pa'Dar was a Cardassian who lived in the 24th century. Pa'Dar was a scientist before becoming a politician, serving as the Exarch of Tozhat on Bajor before later becoming a member of the Detapa Council.
Kotan was born in Culat into the influential and moderately wealthy Pa'Dar clan, who had long been members of the Cardassian Union's political structures such as the Detapa Council. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Day of the Vipers)
By the late 2310s, Pa'Dar had become a scientist in the Cardassian Science Ministry, although his family disapproved. In 2318, he was assigned to the mission to make official first contact with the Bajorans. The mission to Bajor was secret and Pa'Dar informed his family he was working with the Central Command on a mission to map the Amleth Nebula. Pa'Dar was sure his family knew that was not true, and was concerned they thought he was being sent into Talarian space or to the Breen Arm.
On the Kornaire, Pa'Dar was befriended by Skrain Dukat, who found him interesting company, although somewhat naive. During the journey, Pa'Dar analysed the wreckage of the Eleda. Pa'Dar was irritated when the Oralian Bennek said a prayer for the dead Bajorans. Pa'Dar believed in reason and science rather than religion.
As the meetings with the Bajorans drew to a close, Pa'Dar overheard from Danig Kell and Rhan Ico that Dukat's home city of Lakat had been cut off after the Oralians began an uprising. Pa'Dar later learned that Athra Dukat had been released from a clinic after being ill and that Dukat's son had died due to a lack of medical supplies.
By 2323, Pa'Dar had become a member of the Kashai. By this time, Pa'Dar's family were becoming more and more insistent that he give up his scientific career and become a politician or administrator. During a mission escorting the Lhemor to Bajor, Pa'Dar believed he detected a Tzenkethi ship nearly outside their sensor range as they entered the Bajor sector. After the Lhemor was destroyed at the Cemba Station, Pa'Dar addressed a meeting of Cardassians and Bajorans and stated that he believed the bomb was placed on the ship soon after it docked.
By 2328, Pa'Dar had conceded to his family's urgings and become a member of the administrative detachment at the Tozhat enclave. In that year, 2328, Pa'Dar reunited with Dukat and realized that Bajor would soon be taken over. Dukat believed Pa'Dar was a fool for trying to befriend the Bajorans and ended their friendship, warning Pa'Dar to not come into conflict with him. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Day of the Vipers)
By 2346, Pa'Dar had become Exarch of Tozhat. In that year, he attended a meeting on Terok Nor, in which he agreed, unusually, with Dukat's suggestion for a "gentle hand" in dealing with the Bajorans. Dukat later told Corat Damar that he thought Pa'Dar had become weak and cowardly. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Night of the Wolves)
By 2360, Pa'Dar was advocating a withdrawal from Bajor and his family had made the Detapa Council more influential than it had ever been.
In 2362, the Bajoran Resistance detonated a device near Pa'Dar's home, which destroyed the building. Pa'Dar believed his wife and son were killed, although Yoriv Skyl relayed the other inhabitants opinion that Rugal was not present and could yet be found. Dukat contacted Skyl and Pa'Dar four days later, asking for drilling estimates. Pa'Dar decided to leave Bajor and return to Cardassia, as his father had said he would be able to have him nominated for a seat on the Detapa Council. Pa'Dar informed Skyl he intended to recommend him as his replacement. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Dawn of the Eagles)
Unknown to Pa'Dar, Dukat had had one of his staff take Rugal to an orphan's home, planning to reveal his location in the future and discredit Pa'Dar for not doing enough to find his son. Due to family being the most important aspect of Cardassian society, Pa'Dar would be discredited and his political career would end. (DS9 episode: "Cardassians")
The Cardassian dissident movement believed Pa'Dar supported them and attended their meetings in secret, although that rumor was never confirmed. Natima Lang believed he was, although Gaten Russol would never tell her who his friends in the Council were. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Dawn of the Eagles)
In 2370, Rugal came to Deep Space 9 with his adopted father Proka Migdal. Pa'Dar was informed that his son was alive and came to the station to see him. The government chose not to reveal this fact, and Pa'Dar was certain that his career would end once it became known, as not only would he be seen to have abandoned Rugal, he also "allowed" him to be raised as a Bajoran who hated his own people. At a hearing to determine who Rugal would be released to, Julian Bashir revealed that Dukat had arranged for Rugal to be taken to the orphanage and now planned to use the issue to deflect attention from an upcoming inquiry into Cardassian involvement with the Alliance for Global Unity, one in which Dukat was a key witness. Dukat may have used Rugal as a way of getting revenge on Pa'Dar for his role in the withdrawal from Bajor. The revelation allowed Pa'Dar to keep his career and Benjamin Sisko ruled that Rugal should return to Cardassia with his father. (DS9 episode: "Cardassians")
When the Detapa Council overthrew Central Command after the Obsidian Order had collapsed, Pa'Dar became one of Meya Rejal's closest advisors. He eventually stepped down from this position, though. When Skrain Dukat brought Cardassia under Dominion rule, he was the sole member of the Detapa Council not to be killed. He wasn't allowed to leave his house, though, and died when the Dominion decided to wipe out all Cardassians during the final hours of the Dominion War. (DS9 novel: The Never-Ending Sacrifice)
In an alternate timeline in which the Cardassians never left Bajor, Pa'Dar was the First Speaker of the Detapa Council. In 2373, Pa'Dar sent a message to the Federation Council, the Romulan Senate, the Klingon High Council, the Tholian Assembly, the Tzelnira and the Breen Confederacy to announce the Ferengi Alliance had been absorbed into the Union. (Star Trek: Myriad Universes novel: A Gutted World)