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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan, who also heads the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, on Saturday appointed party Senator Syed Shibli Faraz as the leader of the house in the Senate.

Elected to the Senate in March 2015 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr Faraz is the son of acclaimed poet Ahmad Faraz and the ann­o­u­ncement of his appointment coincided with the 10th death anniversary of his father.

The office of leader of the house was previously occupied by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senator Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq who represented Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif in the upper house of parliament. He ceased to hold office after the formation of the PTI-led coalition government.

Rule 2(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, reads: “The leader of the House shall be the prime minister or a member appointed by him to represent [the] government and to regulate government business in the Senate when the prime minister is not sitting in the House.”

Mr Faraz, a former banker, is chairman of the Senate’s standing committee on commerce and special committee on circular debt. He is also a member of the committee on planning and development and reforms, water resources, statistics, and climate change and a member of the parliamentary committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He did a Master’s in International Relations from the University de Los Andes (Colombia) in 1994.

Earlier, the PML-N had sent a request to the Senate chairman for replacing Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq as leader of the opposition in the Senate. The request signed by senators from PML-N, National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl had been sent after PPP’s refusal to vote for PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif as its candidate for the office of the prime minister.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2018