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All cousins happy but in rival camps
- Thursday, January 13, 2011 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: Latif Khosa is the fourth leading member of the Khosa tribe from Dera Ghazi Khan-Rajanpur, who has got a top position in Punjab at the same time.


Now a total of four Khosas have senior most slots in Punjab. They are cousins but don’t keep any ideal relationship though they may not be bitterly opposed to each other. They are in different camps.


Sardar Zulfikar Khosa is the senior adviser to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his trusted lieutenant. He once remained governor of Punjab during heady days when his area rival Farooq Leghari was president of Pakistan. Zulfikar’s son Dost Mohammad is serving as minister for commerce and investment in the Shahbaz Sharif team. He was the stopgap chief minister of Punjab, a position that he vacated after Shahbaz Sharif’s election as member of the Punjab Assembly.


Nasir Mehmood Khosa is the chief secretary of Punjab, who obviously controls the bureaucracy of the majority province.His brother, Asif Saeed Khosa, is judge of the Supreme Court and was elevated to it from the Lahore High Court a few months back. Their brother, Tariq Masood Khosa, retired as secretary of the Narcotics Division on Monday after attaining the age of superannuation.


The three Khosa brothers — Nasir, Tariq and Justice Asif Saeed — are known for their uprightness and brilliance.Tariq Khosa earned kudos from the Supreme Court more than once. The government refused to reinstate him as director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the court’s direction after it had removed him for his independent investigation in the Pakistan Steel Mills corruption case.


The government also declined to spare him to lead a probe into the Bank of Punjab loan scandal after the apex court desired so. None of these Khosa brothers have ever been embroiled in any unseemly controversy, having a slight suspicion of corruption, malpractice or irregularity.


However Latif Khosa hardly passed a day without a deafening storm. Wherever he served he locked horns with his opponents very seriously whether it was Federal Law Minister Babar Awan, a section of the lawyers’ community or some members of the superior judiciary.


He was one of the rare PPP members, who was hit at his head by police during the lawyers’ historic movement in Lahore. He heads a powerful group among the lawyers and had held top positions in their forums over the past few decades. When Latif Khosa was appointed governor of Punjab on Tuesday, he was still the president of the PPP’s People’s Lawyers Forum. He has not announced whether or not he would leave this slot. But before he was even sworn in as governor, a petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court challenging his eligibility for the office under the constitution because he was removed as Attorney General on charges of corruption.