Islamabad, Jan 11 (Agencies): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardrai on Tuesday appointed his close aide Muhammad Latif Khosa as the new Governor of Punjab province to succeed the slain PPP leader Salman Taseer.

"On the advice of Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani), President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed Sardar Latif Khosa as Governor of Punjab. The President singed the summary of
Khosa's appointment on Tuesday night," Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Gilani earlier held back his advice forwarding the appointment of Khosa to President Zardari after the latter had cleared his name late last week.

An official of the Prime Minister's House said Khosa's name had been cleared by Zardari but Gilani conveyed to him that the matter needed to be reconsidered because PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had serious reservations over the appointment.

Khosa, a close friend of President Zardrai and central leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, is the 27th Governor of Punjab.

Khosa, a legal expert, has also served as Attorney General of Pakistan and Advisor to the Prime Minister.

He was removed form the office of Attorney General of Pakistan on October 10th 2009 and on 10 February 2010 as Advisor of Information Technology of Prime Minister Gilani.

On 20 July 2010, advisor to the Prime Minister on Information Technology, Khosa sent his resignation to the President after developing disagreements with the Prime Minister.

"The PML-N has attached another string to its 10-point reforms agenda — appointment of the new Punjab Governor should be made in consultation with it," the official in the Prime
Minister's House said.

After Taseer's assassination by a police guard for criticising the blasphemy law, Khosa had appeared as a front- runner for the slot. The PML-N, which rules Punjab, had an uneasy relationship with Taseer, who was a confidant of Zardari.

The President often used the late Governor to target the PML-N chief and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.