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Fehmida first woman acting

Published Sep 14, 2008 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, Sept 13: National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza became the first woman acting president of the country on Saturday as both President Asif Ali Zardari and Senate Chairman Mohammadmian Soomro are out of the country, according to an official notification.

President Zardari left for Dubai on Friday night. From there he will fly to London on Sunday. Mr Soomro is in Saudi Arabia to perform Umra.

Both are expected to return in the next three to four days.

Dr Fehmida, who already had the distinction of becoming the first woman speaker of a Muslim country, was briefed by the president’s principal secretary, Mehmood Saleem Mehmood, about various sections of the President’s Secretariat on her arrival at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, said a press release.

This is perhaps for the first time that the the Press Information Department has issued a press release about the visit of an acting president to the Aiwan-i-Sadr, which is otherwise a routine constitutional requirement.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik also briefed the acting president on the process of rehabilitation of 300,000 people displaced by the military operation in Bajaur Agency.

Dr Fehmida said that national security and internal stability were paramount and no one would be allowed to challenge the writ of the state. She stressed that all possible measures should be taken to address the grievances of the affected people.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi will act as National Assembly Speaker with effect from Sept 12.