LAHORE: Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar will be bestowed Honourary Doctorate by the University of West of Scotland (UWS) on Thursday (July 10).
According to Governor House’s spokesperson, the degree would be bestowed on Governor Sarwar for his services in politics as MP during the graduation ceremony at the Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, Paisley.
Muhammad Sarwar was born in Faisalabad and received his education at Government College, Faisalabad. In 1976, he moved to Scotland and married his cousin Parveen Sarwar and they have three sons and a daughter together.
Sarwar stood as a Labour candidate for Glasgow City Council elections in 1992 and was elected as a councillor on a seat that was held by the Conservatives for 28 years.
In 1997, he was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament, first from Glasgow Govan and then from Glasgow Central.
Sarwar was the first Muslim MP of UK Parliament and Scotland’s first ethnic minority MP. He remained a member of the British Parliament till 2010.
Sarwar held the posts of chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Scotland  and chairman of the Scottish Affairs Parliamentary Select Committee .
His considerable work for race relations and integration of ethnic minorities, especially the youth, included the role of the Deputy Convenor Race Relations Board, Glasgow City
Council; founding member/office-bearer, Ethnic Minority Law Centre, Glasgow; founding member/office bearer, Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre, Glasgow; adviser to the Youth Counselling Service Agency, Glasgow.
He was always outspoken about human rights issues and his contribution to solving these issues has been immense throughout his career as an MP. Sarwar was appointed as chairman of the Council for Human Rights, Scotland . He successfully negotiated extradition of three individuals to the United Kingdom to stand trial for the murder of Scottish teenager Kriss Donald.
His successful campaigns included the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Africa; Women’s rights [domestic violence & forced marriages] in the UK and saving Scotland’s shipyards, a key contributor to Scotland’s economy.
Sarwar has also been involved in extensive charitable work throughout his career. In the aftermath of the earthquake and floods in Pakistan, Sarwar sent many containers of food and clothes and with the help of charity organisations built hundreds of thousand homes for the people who were rendered homeless. During his career as an MP, Sarwar started a charity called Ucare Foundation and under its banner built two modern hospitals in Pakistan that benefit thousands. To promote education, he has also built a modern school for under privileged children in Pakistan.
In August 2013, he was appointed as governor of Punjab and soon after his appointment, Sarwar launched an iinitiative to provide clean drinking water to hundreds of thousands of school children and communities who today are suffering due to waterborne diseases that include hepatitis, typhoid and cholera etc.
Providing education to the masses has always been Sarwar’s passion. He has been working with UN envoy Gordon Brown to provide free education to the millions of children who do not go to school today. Sarwar has also led the campaign to increase
Pakistan’s export revenue in billions by helping Pakistan achieve the GSP [Generalised System of Preference] Plus status with the help of the MEPs.
Governor Sarwar is a director of two highly successful businesses, United Wholesale Scotland, the premier Cash and Carry operator in Scotland, and the Perth-based family entertainment centre, Kidz Kingdom.
Prof Craig Mahoney, vice chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to award Muhammad Sarwar with an Honourary Doctorate. He has made a hugely important contribution to Scottish society and is a fitting recipient of this award.”
Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled in receiving the Honourary Doctorate from the University of the West of Scotland in recognition of my services for the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom. I would like to thank and pay tribute to all those who have helped me with where I am today starting with the electorate in Glasgow Govan and Glasgow City, all volunteers, all activists and my family and friends for their unwavering support. God Bless you all.”
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