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Pak-origin Humza Yousaf becomes Scotland’s youngest, first Muslim leader

Scotland's Parliament on Tuesday confirmed Humza Yousaf will replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister, making him the youngest and the first Muslim leader of a government in western Europe.

Yousaf (37), narrowly won a Scottish National Party (SNP) leadership battle to clinch the party's top job, vowing to rejuvenate the stalled pursuit of independence for Scotland, reported AFP.

The Pakistan-origin leader, who will be formally sworn in at a ceremony, secured the nominations of a majority of lawmakers in the early afternoon vote Tuesday to become the country’s new first minister.

Here are the top five points to know about Humza Yousaf:

1. Yousaf is the son of immigrants who arrived in Scotland’s Glasgow in the 1960s, reported the Independent. His father is from Pakistan, while his mother was born into a South Asian family in Kenya.

2. He studied at the Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow and earned a degree in politics from the University of Glasgow.

3. Talking about his late grandfather in February, who, he revealed came to Scotland from a small town in Pakistan in 1962 with barely a word of English, Yousaf said “I don’t imagine in his wildest dreams that his grandson would one day be running to be first minister of Scotland.”

4. Stating that his election to the top job reflects that “anyone, regardless of race, can aim for the highest office in our country and not be judged by the colour of their skin”, he proclaimed that Scotland should be proud that a grandson of an immigrant can seek to become the next first minister.

5. In 2012, Yousaf became the first Muslim to be appointed to the Scottish government. He became a transport minister in 2016 and was fined £300 (more than ₹30 thousand as per current market value) for driving a friend’s car without insurance.


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