Humza Yousaf becomes Scotland’s First Muslim Minister, family feels pride

Politicians of South Asian descent to lead Scotland, Britain and with Yousaf victory

KHANEWAL      -    Humza Haroon Yousaf, a member of the Scottish Na­tional Party, has made history as Scotland’s First Minister, becoming the first Muslim to hold the position. Yousaf’s achievement was celebrated by his family in Pakistan, who expressed joy and pride.

Scotland’s parliament on Tuesday confirmed Humza Yousaf will replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister, the devolved nation’s youngest and the first Muslim leader of a government in western Europe. Yousaf’s grandfather Muhammad Yousaf previ­ously resided in Mian Chan­nu, a town in the Khanewal district of Punjab province, had moved to Kuwait for em­ployment in 1955 and later settled in Scotland. His father Muzaffar Yousaf received his education in Glasgow and be­came an accountant. Humza Yousaf was born in 1985 af­ter his father’s marriage to Shaista Bhatta, a resident of Kenya. His mother was born in Nairobi, Kenya, also to a family from Punjabi descent.

Master Manzoor, Hamza Yousaf’s uncle, shared that his nephew had stayed with the family in Mian Channu for 10 days about 10 years ago to attend a wedding. Upon his selection as First Minis­ter, Mr Manzoor said, “Humza Yousaf’s selection as the First Minister of Scotland is a mat­ter of pride for Pakistan and the entire Muslim world. I hope that my nephew will work for the protection of the rights of Muslims.” Yousaf pre­viously served as Scotland’s Minister for External Affairs and International Develop­ment, where he was known for advocating immigrant rights and increasing rep­resentation of minorities in Scottish politics. In 2016, he was appointed as Scotland’s first minister for Europe and International Development. Yousaf himself has expressed his gratitude and commitment to serving all Scots regardless of their background. His selec­tion has been widely celebrat­ed in Scotland as a milestone for diversity and inclusion in politics. When Humza Yousaf took his oath of allegiance in Scottish Parliament in 2016, he wore a gold embroidered sherwani – a traditional South Asian jacket – and a kilt. “I, Humza Yousaf, swear with honesty and a true heart,” he proudly said in Urdu, “that I will always be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, so help me God.” He has now made history by becoming the first non-White head of the Scottish government, fol­lowing his election as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Yousaf, 37, joins British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, who secured the role last October and whose In­dian parents came to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s. And across the Irish Sea is the Republic of Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose father is an Indian-born doc­tor. Pakistan and India were once jewel of a British empire that stretched so far across the globe it was often said the sun would never set on it. But 75 years since the end of the Brit­ish Raj, many commentators have remarked at how his­tory has come full circle. Sun­der Katwala, director of think tank British Future, called Yousaf “the history maker” in a post on Twitter. “The Em­pire strikes back,” quipped Je­lina Berlow-Rahman, a human rights lawyer in Scotland, on social media platform. “His­toric moment for British poli­tical.

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