The UK’s first Muslim MP has described his appointment as the governor of one of the largest provinces of Pakistan as a “high honour”.
Mohammad Sarwar stepped down as MP for Glasgow Central in 2010 after 13 years and is said to have played a role in the election of prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan last month.
Mr Sarwar, who was born in Pakistan, is to be appointed governor of Punjab, one of the largest provinces which includes the country’s second largest city, Lahore.
He said: “I would like to thank the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, for asking me to take on the role of governor of Punjab. It is a high honour for me to be invited to serve the country of my birth and the people of Pakistan.
“I left Scotland with a heavy heart, leaving behind family, friends and colleagues who have given me such tremendous support over the years. In particular, I would wish to thank the people of Glasgow for the warmth and respect they have shown me in the past and for the many, many good wishes they have sent me for the future.
“I am not naive about the challenges which lie ahead. This is a big job but it is one I will approach with the same values and principles I have stood up for all my life; to help lift people out of poverty and support them to fulfil their life chances.”