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Finding a new governor – time for a fitting tribute to Salmaan Taseer

His blood hadn’t even dried that the focus of all the right wing media moved towards making the condemned, here and after, Mumtaz Qadri into a hero and then speculating who will be the new governor of Punjab. Such is the fear Shaheed Salmaan Taseer’s life  and martyrdom  as a governor of Punjab left amongst the rightists that they want to have a man of their own or at least their liking in the Governor House.

If you all remember in the early part of December 2010, there was a media circus about the case of a missing governor. Then the rightist media led by Jang Group and Geo gave headlines on 14th December that Salmaan Taseer has left for Dubai, even to the extent of showing his boarding passes. To the utter shock of Jang Group and Geo, Salmaan Taseer appeared the same day at Alhamra Lahore. He had his day. All he said was “they like having food at the Governor House. They haven’t gotten it for a long time.”

Anyways, part one of the plan has been achieved. Getting the lion killed. Now the victory would be to have a controversial governor in Punjab. Once you have a controversial governor, it is a field day for the right wing media and the power hungry PML-N. Salmaan Taseer’s flamboyance on one side, there was never ever a single rupee’s corruption allegation against him. I belonging to the corporate sector, used to be amazed at the man’s innovative businesses and most importantly having his companies as listed companies. Having listed companies means there is transparency. He had brought in foreign investment flows into his businesses as well. In all, Salmaan Taseer was one clean man.

First and foremost, we have to understand that it is the prerogative of the President to appoint a governor of any province. It is only Punjab where there was a genuine PPP representative as a governor. Do Zulfiqar Magsi, Eshrat ul Ebad and Owais Ghani belong to the PPP? Our president has been magnanimous in accommodating friends and (ex)enemies to highest constitutional offices.

Now what are the choices PPP has in Punjab? Jahangir Badar, Babar Awan, Latif Khosa? All three are senators from Punjab. If made governor, one seat will have to be vacated in the Senate and it will be impossible to have one person elected in their place as PML-N will be able to get one member elected because of their near majority in the Punajb Assembly. Jahangir Badar is a PPP loyalist, however, despite of having been in the top hierarchy of the PPP for nearly 2 and half decades, Jahangir Badar has not been to able to deliver the goods in Punjab.

Babar Awan is an aggressive person, however, his role in the last few months has been under a lot of question marks. Jang and Geo hate him. There are charges of corruption against him especially related to Harris Steel Mills. Another trait one has seen in him is that Babar Awan likes to do things on a solo basis, something which is quite evident with the distribution of funds for bar associations. Also, too many controversies will cause the PPP to be on defensive most of the time.

Latif Khosa is also being considered a strong candidate. Rumors are that he is being lobbied by a very rich Pakistani who has been creating civilian “naval” towns all across Pakistan. Latif Khosa has had a few blots on him. He has been removed from two posts for right or wrong reasons. There are always rumors of some involvement in scams. From getting his daughter to a post in law ministry while the AG to having his sons in various places, Latif Khosa likes to make it a “family affair”. We already have an executive family in the form of the Sharifs. No need to have the Khosas and turn the province into a reality show.

Another possible candidate is the erstwhile Aitzaz Ahsan. His role in the Lawyers Movement is for sure not a plus point and jeopardizes his chances. And off course, there are chants that he is complicit with the Sharifs for various matters, case in point being his winning the seat in Lahore in 2002 elections.

There will off course be other candidates, however, the best candidate for the position would be Shaheed Salmaan Taseer’s wife, Amna Taseer. She has already lost her most prized possession to extremists, she doesn’t need to fear anything anymore. She has a clean track record and most importantly, she can be aggressive with the Sharifs. The right wingers have already exposed her whole family, tried their best to destroy their reputation and taken Salmaan Taseer from her. What else can she lose? In my humble opinion, it will be an ideal tribute to Salmaan Taseer and a right message to the extremists that  you may have removed a rock, but there is a mountain to overcome.

Salmaan Taseer (Governor Punjab) along with Mrs Amna Taseer at the residence of Maj. Abid (Shaheed) for condolence and Fatiha Khwani with wife and sister of Shaeed Maj. Abid

About the author

Ahmed Iqbalabadi

19 Comments

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  • Very interesting proposal, Ahmed. Do you have any further details about shaheed Taseer’s wife in terms of qualification, political or work experience, contributions etc?

  • I do not know about her educational background, however, one thing is for sure that she is from a blue blooded background. Her sister is famous anchor, Ayesha Tammy Haq. One can find out more about her. In fact, we should make it a point to support her. Last thing we want is a person who can be easily manipulated. She has been board member of the various family companies. She is very active in the social circle of Lahore. Most importantly, she has stood by with her husband on all major issues and being a sensible politician’s spouse in itself is a major learning ground. I storngly feel she is the ideal candidate. She is not controversial and will for sure complete the cherished dream of Salmaan Taseer.

  • دوستو ، عام طور پر گورنر کی نشست پر صرف ‘ایسٹبلشمنٹ ‘ حصّہ دار ہوتی ہے ، پچھلی بار پنجاب میں زرداری اور ایسٹبلشمنٹ حصّہ دار تھے ، اس بار تین مستقل حصّہ دار ہیں زرداری ، ایسبلشمنٹ اور امریکہ ، چوتھا حصّہ دار ن لیگ ہوگی یا ق لیگ ، نام کا فیصلہ اس چوتھے حصّہ دار کے تعیین کے بعد ہو گا ، مجھے نہیں معلوم خواجہ طارق رحیم ابھی زندہ ہیں یا نہیں ، ایسی صورتحال میں وہ بھی ایک امیدوار ہو سکتے ہیں

  • interesting post but i think that ms.amna taseer is in a trauma right now and ppp is definitely in a hurry 2 fill the vacant post.so she might not be appointed as the next governor.but i do want 2 see mr.taseer’s family as a part of active politics in future.they can prove 2 be an asset 4 ppp in lahore and punjab.i hope that ppp leadership will honour the sacrifices of a true jiyala(mr.taseer).

  • Khosa didn’t resisted LHC decision of banning Facebook , Wikipedia and Google as IT Minister . This is the best tribute party can give to Taseer. MashAllah !!!

  • ppp ki majburiya hain k khatam honay ka naam nahi lay rahi.i wish amna taseer cld become da next governor but ———–?she can be a valuable asset 2 ppp in punjab as the party workers can relate 2 her.other candidates(be it babar awn or khosa) have no charm or charisma.its really hard 4 mr.zardari 2 find a suiltable replacement 4 mr taseer.

  • I am still hoping (against hope) that Aamna Taseer will be made the governor. We already have a Multan based prime minister. Dont want another representative from Multan.

  • agree with the writer. khosa lacks the chrisma.will he be able to consolidate ppp in punjab is a million dollar quetion on every one’s mind right now.moreover,workers in punjab were vey close 2 salman taseer.he was very kind 2 them.now,its still 2 be seen if ppp worker accepts khosa as ”their man” in the governor house. as far as amna taseer is concerned,yes the jiyalas wld be more than happy 2 see her as governor.i dont know whts on mr zardari’s mind right now.but i do wish that he considers this proposal. PLZ ,mr.chairman,we dont want khosa as our governor………

  • PML-N’s reservations put on hold Khosa’s appointment
    Dawn, Jan 11, 2011

    LAHORE, Jan 10: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is reported to have withheld an advice he had decided to forward to the president for the appointment of Sardar Latif Khosa as Punjab governor following strong opposition from PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.
    An official of the Prime Minister’s House told Dawn on Monday that Mr Khosa’s name had been cleared by President Asif Ali Zardari late last week, but the prime minister conveyed to him the matter needed to be reconsidered because the PML-N chief had serious reservations over the appointment.

    “The PML-N has attached another string to its 10-point reforms agenda — appointment of the new Punjab governor should be made in consultation with it,” the official said, adding that after his telephonic conversation with the PML-N chief, the prime minister had deferred his advice to the president.

    Mr Gilani has agreed to implement Mr Sharif’s 10-point agenda within the 45-day deadline given by the PML-N chief. “Nawaz Sharif spoke about allegations of corruption against Mr Khosa and said it would not be in the interest of the most-populated province to have a ‘tainted’ governor,” the official said. “I must say that Mr Khosa is unlucky because he had all preparations to assume the charge,” a senior PPP leader said.

    He was of the opinion that it would be unfortunate to single out Mr Khosa because corruption charges had been levelled against all important people in the PPP.

    “Now President Zardari will start the consultation process again after returning from a US visit starting on Jan 12,” he said, adding that Mr Khosa was heavily backed by business tycoon Malik Riaz and it would be difficult for the PPP not to ‘oblige’ him.

    Besides the PML-N factor, Law Minister Babar Awan, who has a lot of support in the lawyers’ community, has also lobbied against Mr Khosa.

    “Both are rivals,” the PPP leader said. “While the PMLN wants to have its say in the process there is no consensus on a name in the PPP.” Other candidates for the post who are still lobbying include Chairman of the SNGPL board of governors Mian Misbahur Rehman, PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badr, Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Chairman Zaka Ashraf, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and Evacuee Property Board Trust Chairman Asif Hashmi.

    Some supporters and admirers of the slain governor have suggested the name of his wife Amna Taseer for the post.

  • 2day,rauf kalasara in daily express wrote that earlier mr.zardari wanted ms.taseer 2 be the next governor but the PM is double-minded on this issue.he even doent want khisa 2 be the new governor.even there is a lack of consensus within ppp on the new name 4 the vacant slot.i request mr.president 2 leave these khosa’s and awan’s aside and appoint begum taseer the new governor.

  • Why do you people want to put Mrs Taseers life in danger? Wasn’t the sacrifice of one family member enoug?
    Pakistan is not ready for women to take the helm, BBs murder proved that. Despite what the Quran says about the role of women, or rather even what the Prophet Muhammed pbuh said, these idiots are not ready to have women in positions of power.

    look at the Gulf countries there are women in all sorts of improtant positions. The only other idiot country is Saudi Arabia which treats women like cattle.

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