Jul 21 2013
HOORAY! First-ever Muslim MP surrenders his British nationality to take up a senior post with the Pakistani government
Former Glasgow MP, Mohammad Sarwar, last night flew to Pakistan for talks with the country’s prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Scottish Labour has confirmed. The Pakistan-born politician established himself as a cash and carry millionaire after arriving in Scotland from his country of origin.
Scotsman In the Labour landslide victory of 1997 he was elected to Westminster, where he served as a Glasgow MP for 13 years before being succeeded by his son Anas Sarwar – the deputy party leader in Scotland.
Now he is set to take up a senior post in the Pakistan government, though the exact role has yet to be confirmed. However, it is understood that, in line with Pakistani government rules, he will have to forfeit his British citizenship and accept full nationality in his country of origin. Mr Sarwar is thought to be keen to ensure there is no conflict with the Pakistani laws which currently bar dual nationals from taking up public posts in Pakistan.
A source close to him said that Mr Sarwar consulted lawyers in Pakistan who told him that his British nationality will create problems for him and his appointment will be challenged. Mr Sarwar, who was thought to have retired from frontline politics, will take up his post in the aftermath of widespread unrest.
Mr Sarwar’s move to Pakistan represents the latest chapter in a colourful career that saw him criticise the foreign policy of Tony Blair in an open letter to the then Prime Minister from opponents of US military interventions. He was also suspended by the Labour Party in 1997 after being charged with election offences, though this was lifted when he was cleared in 1999.