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Rehman Malik sworn in as minister

Published Jul 27, 2012 08:30am

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A view of the Senate in Islamabad. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Rehman Malik was sworn in as federal minister on Friday shortly after his swearing in as a Senator, DawnNews reported.

Malik was administered oath of office by President Asif Ali Zardari and was handed over the portfolio of interior.

A notification in this respect was also issued by the Cabinet Division.

Earlier today, lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) staged a walk out from the Senate over the summoning of an emergency session which they alleged was expressly called for Rehman Malik's oath-taking as a Senator.

Friday's session of the Senate began under the chairmanship of Nayyar Hussain Bukhari and Malik was administered oath of office soon after.

PML-N lawmakers protested the calling of the session which they said had been summoned in order to administer Malik the oath of office.

Earlier this month, Malik had been elected unopposed at a by-election in the same seat for the Senate which he held prior to his June suspension, paving the way for him to be reconfirmed as a cabinet minister. The swearing-in ceremony was broadcast live on state television.

The Supreme Court had suspended Malik from parliament on June 4 for allegedly running for the Senate in 2009 while still holding British citizenship.

During today's Senate session, Senator Zafar Ali Shah of the PML-N inquired over the rationale behind summoning an emergency session, adding that, the cost of holding a session of the upper house of parliament was 16 million rupees.

Moreover, PML-N’s Senator Ishaq Dar said that Friday's session was not in accordance with the Senate's calendar, adding that, if this was how the government intended to conduct matters, there were little chances of improvement in the future.

During the session, Senator Saeed Ghani of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board was not fulfilling its responsibilities, adding proper chlorination of water supplied to the city was not being done leading to deaths due to waterborne infections.

Senator Ghani urged that the government should take action on the issue.

Subsequently, the upper house's session was adjourned to July 30 (4:00 pm).