Former British Member Parliament (MP) Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Monday took oath as the 35th governor of the Punjab.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial administered the oath in a ceremony held at Governor House Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was present on the occasion.
Talking to the media, Sarwar said it was not his first oath as he was the first person in the 1,000 years history of British Parliament to take oath on the Holy Quran. He said he was thankful to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for including him in his team to bring out the country from the crisis.
He said when he visited Pakistan in 2005 to support victims of the earthquake, he missed Nawaz Sharif who was in exile at the time. He said Nawaz Sharif worked day and night to help the people affected by the disaster. “He was restless in those days and he wanted to come back to Pakistan to help his people but Musharraf did not allow him,” Sarwar said.
He said when flood hit the South Punjab in 2010, he visited that area and found only one person who was there to support people – Shahbaz Sharif.
He said the country faced many problems including unemployment, terrorism, load shedding, poverty, health issues and illiteracy and unavailability of justice. “All these issues demand a great deal from me and our party leadership.”
He announced that the Governor House was going to be a place for the people of Punjab. He said: “Allah has blessed me with a lot. I have come here [to Pakistan] not to take, but to give.”
He said there was a need to impose an education emergency. “The government of Punjab is already taking many revolutionary steps in this regard,” he added.
He said according to one research, there are seven million children who do not go to schools, “which is alarming”. He said he would contact the international community to support him in the effort to send one million children to school every year. He said, “My wish is to see children get their basic education”.
He said he would try to develop Pakistan’s soft image in the international community.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.