MUZAFFARABAD Raja Farooq Haider, a candidate of Muslim Conference, has been elected the Leader of the House in AJK Legislative Assembly by securing 29 votes in the House of 48 members. His rival Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, the sitting interim prime minister and a candidate of coalition parties including PP, PML, Friends Group and MQM, could secure only 19 votes. AJK President Raja Zulqarnain swore in new AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Thursday afternoon at a well-attended colourful ceremony held here at President House. Former cabinet ministers, MLAs and other senior officers attended the ceremony. Earlier, the AJK Legislative Assembly met under the chair of its Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir. The Secretary Assembly read out the schedule of election of the Leader of the House and announced the names of contesting candidates. He also read out the names of 48 members of the Assembly who were electoral college for the election. The polling was conducted through secret ballot papers. Sardar Farooq Tahir acted as Presiding Officer for Raja Farooq while Tahir Khokhar of MQM performed the same job for Sardar Yaqoob. After the polling, the Speaker announced the result. Raja Farooq Haider while addressing the House thanked the Speaker for conducting election according to schedule and in a peaceful and transparent manner. He vowed to take the House into confidence on all important issues and respect the advice and suggestions of colleagues from both sides of the divide. The commitment to liberation struggle and Kahsmirs accession to Pakistan was unflinching, he said. He said he held judiciary in high esteem but it should work within its own domain. He expressed thanks to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, for forming a committee to amend AJK Act 1974. Raja Farooq extended invitation to President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to visit Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. He said he was happy that Muslim Conference was united again and complimented Sardar Abdul Qayyum, Sardar Sikandar Hayat and Sardar Attique Ahmad in this respect. Addressing the House, Sardar Attique congratulated Raja Farooq and said he would be free to exercise his vision. He thanked PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and Ch. Nisar Ahmed for playing positive role in bringing unity in the ranks of Muslim Conference. Addressing the House, the outgoing prime minister regretted the change of loyalty by some members. MLAs Tahir Khokhar, Ch. Aziz, Ch. Anwar and Tahir Khokhar criticized Muslim Conference. Earlier, AJK President Raja Zulqarnain rejected the reference filed by Sardar Yaqoob against Raja Farooq for committing contempt of court.