Saturday, 7 February 2009

Bashir Ahmad MSP

With deep sadness, the Scottish National Party announced that the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Mr Bashir Ahmad MSP passed away earlier this evening.

First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Mr Alex Salmond led the tributes. Mr Salmond said:

“Bashir Ahmad made history as the first Scots-Asian member of the Scottish Parliament, and therefore gave it something indefinable – he made it representative of the whole country for the first time. Bashir was also the kindest, most decent human being it has ever been my pleasure to meet. And lastly – although he would have considered it to be first – he was the most patriotic of Scots.

Bashir was a credit to both his faith and to his country, and my condolences are with his family at this desperately sad time.”

Deputy First Minister, Depute SNP Leader and fellow Glasgow MSP Ms Nicola Sturgeon said

“Bashir Ahmad was an exceptional person, and I will miss him deeply. He will be an enormous loss to Parliament, to Glasgow, and to Scotland, as well as to his party.

“Bashir had a loving family, and countless numbers of friends from all walks of life, because he was such a warm and generous man, and my thoughts are with his wife and children.

“He made all of us immensely proud when he took his Holyrood seat wearing traditional Pakistani clothing, swearing in using both English and Urdu. Bashir represented the best of Glasgow and the very best of Scotland.”

Bashir Ahmad (68) was born in India on 12 February 1940, and brought up in Pakistan. He came to Scotland aged 21, and worked as a bus conductor and bus driver before buying his own shop. He subsequently owned shops,restaurants and a hotel before retiring from business. He was President of the Pakistan Welfare Association five times.In 1995 Bashir founded Scots Asians for Independence. He was elected to represent the Pollokshields East ward on Glasgow City Council in the 2003elections, and became an MSP for Glasgow in May 2007.Bashir leaves a wife, five daughters and two sons

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