Profile: Salman Taseer

04 Jan 2011


Governor Punjab Salman Taseer
Governor Punjab Salman Taseer. — Photo by APP


Governor of Punjab, politician and a Pakistani business tycoon

Political Career:

He was a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and had served as a minister in the caretaker cabinet of Prime Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro.

Taseer has also served as the Chairman and CEO of the First Capital and Worldcall Group. On 15 May 2008, he was appointed as the Governor of Punjab by the government of PPP to replace Lt. Gen. (retd) Khalid Maqbool.

Political Background:

In the late 1960s, Salmaan Taseer started his political career while he was still a student; he became a close and active member of Zulifqar ali Bhutto's PPP, where he quickly surfaced as a prominent young Pakistani politician. He ran freedom movements for Zulifqar Bhutto's imprisonment and death sentence.

Other political positions held by Taseer:

He was an elected member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Lahore in the1988 elections. But after the dismissal of the PPP government in 1990, Taseer lost the election for the seat of National Assembly from NA-94 (Lahore-III) in 1990 and 1993. In 1997 elections, he tried again, but remained unsuccessful. After successive failures, Taseer left electoral politics, and started focusing on his business.

Return to politics:

Salmaan Taseer returned to the political scene when he was selected as the Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives by PM Muhammad Mian Soomro in 2007-2008.

Controversy on Taseer becoming the Governor of Punjab:

After Taseer was announced the Governor of Punjab by the PPP government; Pakistan Muslim League (N), the second largest party of the coalition, remained doubtful and wary of his appointment. PML-N leader Nisar Ali Khan said that his party was never consulted about his appointment, and termed it as a conspiracy against PML-N. PPP denied any such intent and maintained that Salmaan Taseer was ably handling the affairs of the Punjab province without any political bias, and that Taseer did not have any intentions to threaten the Punjab Government of PML-N.