He participated in the first elections as an independent candidate for the Provincial Assembly in 1988 and became the Labor Minister. In 1990, he again successfully contested Elections for the provincial assembly and became the Minister for Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries as well as youth affairs. Within PML he was appointed as President, Muslim League Youth Wing Punjab. He turned the youth wing into a very dynamic wing of the party by appointing Khawaja Saad Rafique as his general secretary.
In 1993, he again got elected on a PML (N) ticket and sat on the opposition benches with his party. After being elected again as an MPA in 1997 he became Minister for Health and Population Welfare till General Pervez Musharraf came into power in 1998.
He is the Secretary General of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), and also Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab. He is shouldering one of the most important and critical responsibilities of Muslim League and takes pride in being an active member of the party which has always tried to make a positive difference in every matter that has come up.
Democracy, Democracy and Democracy:
He firmly believes that Martial Law has always done damage to Pakistan, and that democracy must be allowed to flourish or else Pakistan may not be able to get out of the turmoil. Moreover, he feels that literacy levels must be increased so that we have literate masses around. Education is the solution to Pakistan’s problems, he opines.
Raja Ashfaq Sarwar says that it is the first time that he is hopeful about Pakistan’s future, for he finds the young youth who are dynamic and ambitious to an extent that they realize the gravity of the situation. They are concerned and treat themselves as stakeholders in all this.
He feels that although it takes grit, commitment and perseverance but it is possible for one man to make a difference. He praises leaders of Singapore, Malaysia, China and Taiwan who managed to contribute their bit to their nation’s progress. He then endorses Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s contributions towards Pakistan and vividly remembers that during his 1990’s Government Tenure Pakistan was tagged as the Asian Tiger as investments were flowing in heavily and nations were ready to work with Pakistan. He feels that the entire Pakistani Society today is looking up to Nawaz Sharif as their Savior.
The personal front:
He likes listening to Mehdi Hasan and finds him to be a great artist. He reads a lot, going through all the leading Newspapers and appreciating all good columnists on a daily basis. He also goes through international publications on the web apart from reading Times, Herald, Economist and Newsweek. There was a time when he used to love visiting USA, but now he feels that the world has changed. He has a taste for poetry and likes to listen to it and appreciates it. He loves watching American football and has himself been into sports at Lawrence College. “I love Edhi”, that is how he complimented Abdul Sattar Edhi as a selfless worker, and feels that all others must work like him.
Raja Ashfaq Sarwar is a family man and loves spending the early part of his morning, or as he puts it, the best part of his day, in Fajr Prayers and recitation of Quran with his mother after which he goes to the gym. He loves spending time with his family. He is a father of three daughters and two sons. His daughters are married and hence he enjoys the privilege of being a grandfather as well.
As he looks back upon his journey of life, he finds his teacher Mr. Maujud Khan as the person who really was an inspirational man. May Allah bless Maujud Khan’s soul with comfort and solace in higher categories of heaven; Raja Ashfaq Sarwar wished this for his teacher whom he rates as a great man.
Elections 2013 : Raja Ashfaq Sarwar bagged 50982 votes to become the member of Punjab assembly from PP-I (Rawalpindi-I) on May 11, 2013.
(Profile by: Talha Abbasi)
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