ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was elected chairman of the Kashmir committee of the National Assembly at a meeting of the committee held at the Parliament House on Tuesday.

He is the first parliamentarian to be elected chairman of a house committee of the new National Assembly.

Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan is likely to become chairman of the foreign affairs committee.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani congratulated Maulana Fazl and said his appointment would promote the Kashmir cause.

The prime minister said in a statement that Maulana Fazl’s election was part of a power-sharing formula under which the JUI-F, which had one minister in the federal cabinet, would get two more ministries and a post of parliamentary secretary.

Maulana Fazl, who was leader of opposition in the previous National Assembly, was chairman of the NA committee on foreign affairs during the second Benazir Bhutto government.

Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani of the PPP proposed the name of Maulana Fazl for the chairmanship of the committee, seconded by Sheikh Aftab Ahmed of the PML-N.

PAC CHIEF: PML-N’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who will take over as the 15th Leader of the Opposition following the resignation of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q, is likely to become chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.