South Asia

Zardari appoints close aide as new Punjab governor

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed a close aide as the new governor of Punjab province.

Sardar Latif Khosa, a senior lawyer and veteran member of the Pakistan People's Party, succeeds Salman Taseer who was assassinated last week.

Mr Taseer was shot dead by one of his bodyguards for supporting proposed reforms to the blasphemy law.

Correspondents say it remains to be seen how the PML-N party, which governs Punjab, reacts to the appointment.

Mr Taseer was a staunch critic of the PML-N provincial government.

His successor is seen as a PPP loyalist and a tough bargainer. He was a senator from 2003-2008 and later served as attorney general.

As a lawyer, Mr Khosa represented both Mr Zardari and his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, in various corruption cases against them in Pakistani courts.

Mr Khosa himself had to resign as attorney general amid corruption allegations, says the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.