Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar is current Governor of Punjab since 5 September 2018. He also served as Governor of Punjab, from 2 August 2013 until his resignation on 29 January 2015. Previously, Mohammad Sarwar also served as a member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and holds the status as the first Muslim to sit in the British parliament.
Born in Pirmahal, District Toba Tek Singh, Mohammad Sarwar moved to Scotland in the early-1970s where he emerged as a successful businessman. He 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.
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.
Mohammad Sarwar became a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee from 2004, and was Chairman since 2005. In August 2006, he was a signatory to an open letter to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair criticising UK foreign policy.
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.
On 21 June 2007, Sarwar announced he would not stand for re-election at the 2010 general election. His son, Anas Sarwar, succeeded him as Labour MP for the Glasgow Central seat until the election of 2015. He was nominated by outgoing Prime Minister, Gordon Brown for a life peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours.
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.
Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar played an important role in campaigning and fundraising in Britain for 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.
Sarwar renounced his UK citizenship in August 2013 following confirmation for the position of governorship. On 5th August 2013, he was sworn in as the 31st Governor of Punjab. 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. On 8th February 2015, Sarwar joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). On 3rd 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. On 5th September 2018 Sarwar took oath as 33rd Governor of Punjab.
Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was born on 18 August 1952 in Pirmahal, District Toba Tek Singh in an Arain family. He was educated at the University of Faisalabad. He moved to Scotland in the early 1970s. In 1976, he married Perveen Sarwar, with whom he had three sons and one daughter.
Sarwar has estimated assets of £16 million, 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 Mohammad Sarwar forming United Wholesale (Scotland) while his brother retained the previous name.