President Asif Ali Zardari appointed former British MP Mohammad Sarwar as the governor of Punjab.
According to an official statement, issued by presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar Wednesday night, President Zardari, on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, approved the appointment of Sarwar as the Punjab governor. The premier had sent a summary for Sarwar’s appointment a day earlier.
The decision comes after much speculation over who would take over the top slot. Sarwar, who recently renounced his British citizenship, had reportedly been offered both the Punjab governorship and the office of high commissioner to the UK by the prime minister.
However, reports indicated that his nomination for governor did not sit well with the PML-N ranks. Party members expected the slot would be offered to someone from the party, possibly from South Punjab to reinforce the party’s position in the region.
“Everything that I have learnt in my time in Britain – the knowledge and how to run institutions - I can use it for the benefit of Pakistanis,” said Sarwar, who previously served three terms as a member of the British parliament, while talking to Reuters. “I can be a bridge between overseas Pakistanis and Pakistanis here and work for the betterment of both.”
Talking about the challenges confronting Punjab, Sarwar said: “I believe life is in the hands of God. If you are in politics, you have to do the right thing and some people are not going to like it.”
He added that he hoped to use his experience in Britain to improve education in Punjab, working alongside UN special education envoy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.