Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Sarwar sworn in as Punjab governor

The UK's first Muslim MP has been sworn in as the governor of one of the largest provinces of Pakistan with a pledge to tackle its education "emergency".

Mohammad Sarwar, who stepped down as MP for Glasgow Central in 2010 after 13 years, is the new governor of the Punjab region.

Mr Sarwar, who was born in Pakistan, was sworn in during a ceremony at Governor House in the provincial capital, Lahore.

He promised to get one million more children into education every year in Pakistan's most populous province. Five million children of primary school age are said not to attend school in the Punjab and illiteracy remains one of the country's greatest problems.

In his first state address, Mr Sarwar said: "Pakistan is surrounded by many problems - poverty, unemployment, health inequalities, an ongoing energy crisis, terrorism, and human rights violations. I have always believed that the best route out of these problems is through education."

Mr Sarwar said politics was about "making things change for the better" and he paid tribute to his own "humble" beginnings.

"My father was originally a small farmer," he said. "I got my primary education by walking miles every day to school and then sitting on the ground under a tree.

"Through my parents' sacrifice, my own determination, and some luck along the way, I was fortunate enough to achieve success in business and in politics. I want every child, no matter their background, to have the same opportunities as I had, to maximise their potential, and to go on their journey to fulfil their dreams."

Mr Sarwar has given up his British citizenship to take on the role.

He is said to have played a part in the election of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan in June.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph