ISLAMABAD - Special Secretary Senate Iftikharullah Babar, a retired officer and working on extension, has been appointed as Secretary Senate (BPS-22) replacing Raja Muhammad Amin who has assumed the charge of the new post here on Monday.

Independent observers are terming the appointment made by Chairman Senate Farooq H. Naek another violation of the Supreme Court ruling as previous Secretary Senate Raja Amin was also working on extension.

An official handout issued says that the Chairman Senate has appointed Special Secretary Senate Iftikharullah Babar as Secretary Senate and a notification in this regard has been issued.

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The apex court in its ruling last year had directed the federal government to immediately remove all those officers immediately from their posts who are working on extension or contract after their retirement. However, both the houses of the Parliament - the Senate and the National Assembly - have refused to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court on the plea that the Parliament House being a legislative body did not come under the ambit of the apex court. Secretaries of both the houses were working on extension at that time and the same position persists uptil now.

Iftikharullah Babar, the new Secretary Senate, had succeeded in getting one-year extension in his service in September, last year, and his extension will expire in September 2012. The outgoing Secretary Senate, Raja Amin, who is also working on extension after his retirement has been given the new assignment of consultant/advisor (Law) of the Senate Secretariat. According the Senate Secretariat sources, he will serve as the secretary of two very important parliamentary committees: Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment in the Superior Courts.

The official press release issued by the Senate Secretariat says that Iftikharullah has a vast experience in dealing with the administrative as well as legislative business of the Parliament and also has in-depth understanding particularly of conduct and working of Senate Committees. He has also supervised the Research Directorate of the Senate. He is the chief editor Senate News, a quarterly newsletter that covers Senate activities during this period.

He is also the author of number of studies and publications including a research paper on 18th Constitutional Amendment (A paper presented at NIPA Peshawar), the Parliamentary Committee System in Pakistan (March 1993), Parliament & Financial Control, a case of Pakistan (Research Paper presented at Pakistan Administrative Staff College, Lahore). He has also presented a number of Senate Committee reports.