Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar

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Mohammad Sarwar
چودھری محمد سرور
31st and 33rd Governor of Punjab
Assumed office
5 September 2018
PresidentArif Alvi
Prime MinisterImran Khan
Preceded byRafique Rajwana
In office
15 August 2013 – 29 January 2015
PresidentMamnoon Hussain
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Preceded byMakhdoom Ahmed Mehmood
Succeeded byRafique Rajwana
Pakistani Senator from Punjab
In office
12 March 2018 – 4 September 2018
ConstituencyGeneral Seat
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Central
Glasgow Govan (1997–2005)
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byIan Davidson
Succeeded byAnas Sarwar
Majority13,518 (48.2%)
Personal details
Born (1952-08-18) 18 August 1952 (age 66)
Pirmahal, Punjab, Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (2015–present)
Other political
Pakistan Muslim League (N) (2012–2015)
Labour (UK) (until 2010)
Spouse(s)Perveen Sarwar
Children3 sons, 1 daughter
Alma materUniversity of Faisalabad

Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar (Urdu: چودھری محمد سرور‎; born 18 August 1952) is a former Pakistani senator and former British Member of Parliament who is 33rd and current [n 1] Governor of Punjab since 5 September 2018. Previously he also served as 31st Governor of Punjab, from 2 August 2013 until his resignation on 29 January 2015.[1] Sarwar is currently affiliated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [2] and is now PTI's Punjab Organiser. He previously served as a member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Born in Faisalabad, Sarwar moved to Scotland in the early-1970s where he emerged as a successful businessman operating a chain of cash and carry stores which helped him build an estimated personal worth of £16,000,000.[3] Sarwar served as Labour Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central from 1997-2010 and retired from UK politics in 2010. During his tenure at Westminster, Sarwar served on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, and his youngest son Anas Sarwar served as MP for the same constituency from 2010-2015. He holds the status as the first Muslim to sit in the British parliament.[4]

He renounced his UK citizenship in August 2013 following confirmation for a largely ceremonial position of governorship representing the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (N).[5] He resigned from the position on 29 January 2015 days after criticising the government's foreign policy. He announced his defection to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on 10 February 2015.[6] On 3 March 2018, he was elected as a Senator from Punjab.[7][8]

He is nominated as Governer of Punjab on 8 August 2018 after strong party position in centre and Punjab [9]

Early and family life[edit]

Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was born in an Arain family of the village Sian De Khuie, near Faisalabad, Pakistan.[10] He was educated at the University of Faisalabad. In 1976 he moved to Scotland.[11] That year he married Perveen Sarwar, with whom he had three sons and one daughter.[4]

Sarwar has estimated assets of £16 million,[12] mainly from the family wholesale cash and carry business, United Wholesale Grocers, which Sarwar and his brother founded in 1982. The brothers split the business in 2002, with Sarwar forming United Wholesale (Scotland) while his brother retained the previous name.[13]

His eldest son was accused of an £850,000 missing trader fraud in United Wholesale (Scotland) Limited while he was managing director in 2003. In 2011 the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned his earlier conviction in 2007 for the fraud.[12][14][15] Mohammad Sarwar was a remunerated director of the company,[16][17] but never accused of involvement in the alleged fraud.

British political career[edit]

Sarwar first stood as a Labour councillor for Pollokshields East at the 1987 Glasgow City Council election, almost overturning a large Conservative majority. In 1992, he won the ward for Labour.[11]

Mohammad Sarwar MP Constituency Office Located on Paisley Road West

Sarwar was elected as MP for Glasgow Govan at the 1997 general election, becoming the first Muslim MP in the United Kingdom and the first Asian MP elected to represent a Scottish constituency. He was the first MP to swear the Oath of Allegiance on the Qur'an, using the method laid out by the Oaths Act 1978.[18] Sarwar was suspended from holding office within the Labour Party in 1997 when he was charged with electoral offences,[19][20] but he was acquitted in 1999 and the suspension was lifted.[21]

He was re-elected in Glasgow Govan at the 2001 general election. The 2005 general election saw boundary changes in Scotland, so he stood at and won the new constituency of Glasgow Central. He faced an opponent from the far-right British National Party, with whom he refused to share a platform, and he persuaded other candidates to do the same. The returning officer announced the result from a platform with no candidates, and Sarwar later made a speech from the floor of the hall.

Sarwar became a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee from 2004, and was Chairman since 2005.[22]

In August 2006, he was a signatory to an open letter to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair criticising UK foreign policy.[23]

Sarwar played a crucial role in bringing to justice the killers of fifteen-year-old Glasgow schoolboy, Kriss Donald. The killers fled to Pakistan, which has no extradition treaty with the UK. Through his political connections, Sarwar was able to agree a one-off, no conditions attached, extradition treaty. They then faced trial and were convicted for the murder.[24]

On 21 June 2007, Sarwar announced he would not stand for re-election at the 2010 general election.[25] His son, Anas Sarwar, succeeded him as Labour MP for the Glasgow Central seat until the election of 2015 when it was taken by Alison Thewliss for the SNP.

In November 2008, Sarwar was one of 18 MPs who signed a Commons motion backing a Team GB football team at the 2012 Olympic Games, saying football "should not be any different from other competing sports and our young talent should be allowed to show their skills on the world stage". The football governing bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all opposed to a Great Britain team, fearing it would stop them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.

His nomination by outgoing Prime Minister, Gordon Brown for a life peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours was blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission on the advice of HM Revenue and Customs.[26]

Sarwar supports Rangers F.C.[27]

Pakistani political career[edit]

He played an important role in campaigning and fundraising in Britain for the centre-right conservative party Pakistan Muslim League (N) during the 2013 General election in Pakistan. Soon after Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister, he showed his intentions for becoming governor of Pakistan's most populous province Punjab.

On 5 August 2013, he was sworn in as the 31st Governor of Punjab.[28] As governor he criticised the government on a number of occasions. He fought the case of overseas Pakistanis whose houses and flats were confiscated by the land mafia in Pakistan but unable to redress their grievances successfully. On the occasion of Barack Obama's visit to India, he termed it as a failure of the government of Nawaz Sharif. These anti-government remarks led to his resignation.

He resigned as governor of Punjab on 29 January 2015.[1] On 8 February 2015, Sarwar joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).[29]

On 3 March 2018, Sarwar was elected to the Senate of Pakistan on a general seat from Punjab after receiving 44 first priority and 2 second priority votes in the senate elections of that year.[30]

On 5 September 2018 Sarwar took oath as 33rd Governor of Punjab.[31][32][33]


  1. ^ Ignoring the five Caretaker Governors of Punjab


  1. ^ a b Abdul, Manan. "Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar resigns after making anti-govt remarks". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. ^ 11, Mukhtar Chaudhry-February; Said, 2015. "Sarwar eyes top slot after joining Khan's team".
  3. ^ "UK's first Muslim MP Mohammad Sarwar becomes governor of Pakistan's". 5 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "SARWAR, Mohammad". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  5. ^ "چوہدری محمد سرور پنجاب کے نئے گورنر" [mh sarwar new punjab governor]. BBC Urdu (in Urdu). BBC.
  6. ^ "Former governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar joins PTI – The Express Tribune". 10 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Chaudhry Sarwar's victory catches PML-N off guard - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2018-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  8. ^ (2018-03-03). "Senate elections: PML-N bags lion's share; PPP outperforms, PTI meets expectations". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  9. ^ Pakistan (2018-08-10). "Asad Qaiser NA Speaker, Ch Sarwar nominated as Governor Punjab | Pakistan". Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  10. ^ "Profile – Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar". Pakistan Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Biography – Mohammad Sarwar". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  12. ^ a b "MP's son guilty of huge cash scam". BBC News Online. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  13. ^ "Bank Raises A Glass After Signing-Up United Wholesale Grocers". Clydesdale Bank. 21 February 2005. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  14. ^ "Former MP Sarwar's son cleared of £850,000 fraud". BBC News. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  15. ^ Kelly Fiveash (24 May 2007). "MP's son guilty of VAT carousel fraud". The Register. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  16. ^ "Register of Members' Interests". House of Commons. 4 December 2003.
  17. ^ "Changes to the Register of Members' Interests – Mohammad Sarwar". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  18. ^ "The Parliamentary Oath" (PDF). House of Commons Library. 14 February 2000: 10. Research paper 00/17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2000. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  19. ^ "Mohammad Sarwar MP indicted". Scottish Office. 30 September 1998. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  20. ^ ""Internal Exile" for Sarwar". BBC – politics 97. 1997. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  21. ^ "MP cleared of bribery". BBC News Online. 25 March 1999.
  22. ^ "Voting Record — Mohammad Sarwar". The Public Whip. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  23. ^ "Minister criticises Muslim letter". BBC News Online. 12 August 2006.
  24. ^ Wylie, Bob (8 November 2006). "Gangsters, murder and extradition". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  25. ^ "Sarwar plans to stand down as MP". BBC News Online. 21 June 2007.
  26. ^ Johnson, Simon (26 September 2010). "Muslim MP's peerage blocked by the taxman". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  27. ^ Ferguson, John (3 May 2008). "Rangers' celebrity supporters out in force for UEFA Cup final". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  28. ^ "Sarwar takes oath as 35th Punjab governor". Dawn.Com. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  29. ^ "Sarwar agrees to join PTI: sources".
  30. ^ "Chaudhry Sarwar wins senate seat". Samaa TV.
  31. ^ "Chaudhry Sarwar, Shah Farman sworn in as Punjab, KP governors".
  32. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (6 September 2018). "Sarwar sworn in as 37th governor of Punjab". Dawn.
  33. ^ "Sarwar takes oath as Punjab governor". The Express Tribune. 6 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Davidson
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central
Succeeded by
Anas Sarwar
Political offices
Preceded by
Syed Ahmed Mahmud
Governor of Punjab
2 August 2013 – 29 January 2015
Succeeded by
Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana