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.