RE - Son of a renowned educationist of Sub-continent, Prof Dr M.D Taseer, Punjab Governor late Salmaan Taseer was a politician and a business tycoon, who started his political career as student activist.
He played a leading role in the movement for release of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was put in jail by late General Ziaul Haq after the latter toppled his government in 1977. Taseer rose to prominence in early 1990s when he published a white paper against the then government of Mian Nawaz Sharif, titled 'Plunderers of Wealth. He was picked up by police and severely tortured in a police station, as he was hanged upside down.
He was then serving as partys Punjab Secretary Information. Taseer had also written a political biography on Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Taseer was elected member Punjab Assembly from Lahore in 1988 general elections which brought Benazir-led PPP govt into power.
A class fellow of Nawaz Sharif at Saint Anthony School, Lahore, Taseer lost three elections consecutively for National Assembly seats in 1990, 1993 and 1997. Following successive failures, he decided to say good bye to electoral politics, and focused on strengthening his business.
Also a Chartered Accountant by profession, he successfully set up two chartered accountancy and management consultancy firms, KPMG,UAE and Taseer Hadi Khalid & Company Chartered Accountants, Pakistan. In 1994, he established First Capital Securities Corporation Limited (FCSC), a full service brokerage house and has been actively involved in establishing other companies in the financial services sector as well as the telecommunications, media, insurance and real estate / property development sectors in Pakistan.
Known as one of the trusted aides of late Benazir Bhutto, Taseer made his entry into politics again after 11 years in 2008 when he was appointed Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives in the caretaker set up under the then Prime Minister, Muhammad Mian Soomro for four months. Later, he replaced Lt.Gen (Retd) Khalid Maqbool as Punjab Governor on May 15, 2008. General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf reportedly made him Governor in consultation with PPP Co-Chairman,President Asif Ali Zardari.
Since becoming Governor, he remained a controversial figure for his statements against PML-N leadership and religious leaders whom he would call orthodox Mullahs, having nothing to do with religion.
His presence in the Governor House had been a constant irritant for the PML-N. The bad memories of Governors rule imposed in February 2009 still haunt the PML-N leadership.
He earned the ire of Punjab government in first week of December,2010 when he reportedly proceeded abroad without intimation to the Presidency and the Constitutional office of Governor remained vacant for some days. It was, however, only two days before his sudden assassination that Taseer praised Mian Nawaz Sharif for his partys stance vis--vis the current political situation.
He is also said to have taken the initiative to bring the PML-Q and PPP closer together, especially in the context of Punjab politics.
He was also one of the most vocal PPP leaders who spoke against Taliban and terrorists. Of late, he emerged as a strong opponent of Blasphemy Law and pleaded the case of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, who has been awarded death sentence by a court allegedly for committing blasphemy.
Taseer was married to Amna Taseer and left behind a widow and six children; Maryam, Shehryar, Shahbaz, Sara, Sanam and Shehr Bano. His mother, Bilqees Taseer, a Britisher, was sister of Begum Alice Faiz.