The many reactions to Humza Yousaf’s appointment – The News Pakistan

Humza Yousaf made history after his appointment as the First Minister of Scotland — being the first person of colour and the first Muslim to hold the coveted post. Of Pakistani descent, the new Scottish First Minister paid homage to his roots as he donned a black shalwar kameez during his oath ceremony at Scotland’s highest court, the Court of Session in Edinburgh. In an emotional speech, the Scottish leader said that he is “forever thankful that his grandparents emigrated from Pakistan to Scotland over 60 years ago… and could not imagine that two generations later their grandson would be on the cusp of becoming Scotland’s First Minister.” He stressed that ‘migrants should be celebrated.’

Yousaf also took to Twitter to express his gratitude to his supporters. ” From Punjab to Pollok, people from across the world & here at home have been offering me their good wishes, grateful for all the kind msgs I have received. ”

The 37-year-ol first caught the internet’s attention when he took his oath in Urdu while being sworn into Parliament in 2016.

” I remember watching Humza Yousaf swearing his oath in English and then in Urdu and being in awe of him – to honour both aspects of himself so publicly to me felt brave. Today means a lot ”

He also shared a photo of his family breaking their fast during iftar and praying in the First Minister’s official residence, Bute House; portraying and promoting his religious identity, a move that garnered both appreciation and scathing criticism.

He replaces Nicola Sturgeon as the First Minister. Tweeting in support, Sturgeon stated that she ‘proudly’ voted for Yousaf to take her place.

For the first time in history, the United Kingdom has leaders of South Asian descent governing them;; an interesting twist of history that has marvelled the internet and brought upon various points of discourse.

Tantalised by what his appontment may mean for the future of Scotland, Twitter users could not help but speculate a move toward independence muchlike Pakistan did when it declared its independence from India and British rule in 1947. ” Wait, I just realised that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is British Punjabi Indian. Meanwhile, Scotland First Minister Humza Yousaf is Scottish Punjabi Pakistani. Pakistan broke away from India. Scotland wants to be independent from the UK. What a coincidence!!!!” exclaimed Twitter userJecon Dreisbach.

Providing historical context mixed with amusement, Twitter user Temba B. Hove penned, ” Oh! The Irony: Humza Yousaf (Scotland), of Pakistan heritage, may be negotiating with Rishi Sunak (Britain), of Indian heritage, for the partition of the United Kingdom! Overseeing this may be King Charles III, the great nephew of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India! ”

South Asian Twitter users, seeing speculations of independence as ‘karma or revenge’ from their former colonisers as history comes back in full swing.

Tweeting a picture of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi, Journalist Naila Inayat captioned it as ‘ Rishi Sunak, Humza Yousaf – 2023.’

What really makes his accession to the position fascinating is not just his Pakistani heritage, but the fact that his gradfather Abdul Ghani was a prominent freedom fighter during the Pakistan Movement which subsequently led to the creation of Pakistan in 1947; his grandfather’s role in championing Pakistan’s creation has further heightened hopes and in some cases fears of an independent Scotland.

Not everyone was thrilled at the outcome, the other side of the Twitter diaspora brandished racism, with various accounts tweeting how Yousaf’s new position is an affront to the values held by the Scottish people.

Whatever side of the discourse one may be, one thing is clear and that it is interesting how the tables have turned.

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