LAHORE: Today is May 31. It is on the calendar since the men started counting the days and nothing special in it for many but every one has conotation to the years and days and for the Taseers it is a very special day as their elder- Salmaan Taseer — was born on this date in 1944. Happy Birthday Salmaan Taseer.
Salmaan Taseer, the son of soil, born in Simla, now in India, in a family hailing from Amritsar. Though his grandfather Mian Atta ud din was a peasant but he managed education for his son, Muhammad Din Taseer, commonly known as M.D. Taseer. M D Taseer was a a Professor at M.A.O. College, Amritsar and obtained his PhD in the United Kingdom.It is believed that he was the first Indian who got the first doctrate degree in English literature from UK. MD Taseer married to an English lady, Christobel George and , Nikah ceremony was officiated by Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a close friend of Taseer. The lady was later given name Bilqees was the sister of Alys Faiz, wife od famous poet and writer Faiz Ahmad Faiz. M.D. Taseer died, aged 47 years, in 1950, when hos only son Salmaan Taseer was merely six years ol. Salmaan and his two sisters were brought up by their mother, Bilqees, who struggled hard to meet the ends.
The Taseers have many reasons to remember their elder but for a common man there is a lot to .love the Shaheed, Salmaan Taseer—his true and passionate love for Pakistan, his passion for life, his loyalty to his friends, co-workers and for all those who were hired by him for different projects, his lively attitude in the company of friends, his brilliance as a businessman, his witty response to his political rivals and above all his attachment for his family, wife, sons and daughter.
The Shaheed spent his life very actively and had a great sense of humour as many who followed him on twitter always enjoyed his posts. His response to the events was always very clever. He has ability to enjoy the every moment of his life and was the man who could laugh on himself.
He was a very hard working man and set up several chartered accountancy and managementconsultancy firms early in his career. He set up the First Capital Securities Corporation (FCSC), a full service brokerage house with equity participation by Smith Barney, Inc., USA, and HG Asia Hong Kong. He also founded the Worldcall group with a payphone network in 1996. He launched first business TV Chanel in Pakistan and was the publisher of the English language Daily Times and daily Aaj kal. Undoubtedly he was a matchless successful businessman.
He was a committed politician and started his political from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the late 1960s. He was a part of the movement for Bhutto’s freedom and opposed his arrest and death sentence.]He also wrote a political biography on Bhutto titled Bhutto: A political biography (1980). He contested several elections to the national and political assemblies and was rturned to Punjab Assembly in 1988 from Lahore. In the 1990, 1993 and 1997 general elections, he stood for election to be an MNA but lost. He used to contest elections from a city which is considered a fort of Sharifs of Punjab and always challenged their political thoughts. He was not only jailed and tortured in General Ziaul Haq’s days but was kidnapped, tortured in democratic governmernt of Nawaz Sharif also In 2007, he was appointed the interim Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives.
Despite tortures, arrests and unfavourable circumstances her stood of his stance and never betrayed his party and on 15 May 2008, was designated for the office of Governor of Punjab by the PPP-led coalition government.
He was an educated Muslim and followed Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for a modern Muslim country where each and every citizen has equal rights irrespective of religion, race or cast . He fought for those who could not stand for their rights. His services rendered for have- nots could never be forgotten.
Being Governor of the province of the Punjab he made a record – the assembly paases bill and send to Governor for approval. The governor either signs the bill or return it with his comments. The first ever bill passed by the Punjab legislature was returned to the House by General (r) Tikka Khan, the governor of Punjab in 1990, a time when Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister (1988-90) and Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister. This bill could not be presented in the assembly for ‘reconsideration’ as the governor and the caretaker setup dissolved it.
The second bill was returned by late governor Salmaan Taseer in 2010. The bill was ‘The Ali Institute of Education Lahore Act 2010’ pertaining to the establishment of the institution. The Punjab Assembly passed the bill and sent it to the then governor. He did not assent the bill and returned it with a suggestion - he asked the House to replace the words ‘vice chancellor’ with the word ‘patron’ written in clause 2e of the bill. Salmaan Taseer raised a very valid point, saying that the vice chancellor could be used in a university, since it was merely an institute, so the word should be patron. It was a valid point and the Punjab government accepted the change and made an amendment as per directed by the governor and got the House approval after reconsideration.
The history shows that only Salmaan Taseer had a valid reason in returning a bill so far, which was accepted by the legislature admitting its mistake as there were dozens of bills returned by the governor but the asasembly reconsidered and passed again without changing even a single coma. Salmaan Taseer lived his life like a lion and died like a brave man voicing for those who could not speak.
He was true believer of God and follower of the holy prophet but his words were misinterpreted by a section. “His views were widely misrepresented to give the false impression that he had spoken against Prophet Mohammad,”writes his daughter, Shehrbano Taseer.
Thinking of Salmaan Taseer on the eve of his 70th bday. A great man, an even greater life. May he rest in peace.
Am blessed to have the love and devotion of the greatest gift Salmaan Taseer gave me, my incredible kids , Shehryar Taseer, Shahbaz Taseer and Shehrbano Taseer.
I miss you Abba. you are alive in our hearts today.
What I miss about my father is his sense of humour. I will never stop being proud of his courage and love for life.