Khosa makes it to top Punjab post
By Syed Irfan Raza and Zulqarnain Haider
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The government appointed on Tuesday Sardar Latif Khosa, a trusted associate of President Asif Ali Zardari, as the new governor of Punjab.
President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said: “On the advice of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed Sardar Latif Khosa as governor of Punjab”. The president signed the summary of Mr Khosa’s appointment on Tuesday night.
The appointment puts an end to speculations doing the rounds since the assassination of Governor Salman Taseer last week.
The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) which had a difficult relationship with Governor Taseer over the two and a half years since his appointment on May 15, 2008, neither hailed the appointment of Mr Khosa nor criticised it.
Sources in the Pakistan People’s Party said the decision to appoint Mr Khosa was taken on Jan 8 after he had been called by the president in Karachi where the party leadership was considering various names for the post, but because of some political problems the announcement was delayed.
A PPP insider said that reservations expressed by Prime Minister Gilani were the main reasons behind the delay.
However, Mr Babar dispelled the impression and said the decision to appoint Mr Khosa to the post had been made in consultation with the prime minister.
“The summary of Mr Khosa’s appointment signed by the president was sent by the prime minister,” the spokesman said.
But political analysts here said it would be difficult to deny that relations between the prime minister and Mr Khosa had been sour for quite some time and the latter had been removed from important offices on the directives of Mr Gilani–first as the attorney general in October ’09 and later as adviser to the prime minister in July ‘10.
Senator Khosa, who is an experienced lawyer, belongs to D. G. Khan in south Punjab.
After doing his intermediate from the Government College in D. G. Khan, he joined the Punjab University for an LLB degree. He started practice in 1968 and joined the PPP in 1971.
Mr Khosa co-authored an electoral fraud report with former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. It was completed a few days before her assassination.