Islamabad: A pro-Taliban politician was on Thursday elected as deputy chairman of Pakistan's upper house of parliament.
Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) was elected as vice-chair of the Senate with a majority vote.
He got 76 votes in the House of 104 senators while his challenger Shibli Faraz of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf got 16 votes.
Six vote were declared invalid while some senators were absent.
JUI-F led by veteran cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman had links with Taliban and had opposed military operation against the militant group.
Haidri was nominated after intense back-door consultations among various parties which earlier agreed that the deputy chairman would be from Balochistan.
There were reports that some liberal parties had reservation at a conservative candidate.
JUI-F had close relations with several Taliban leaders in the past. It also opposed US drone attacks which killed several senior Taliban leaders.
The party also opposed any action against madrassas and was also against the creation of military court to award speedy punishment to militants.
The deputy chairman chairs the House in absence of the chairman, who also works as acting president in absence of the president.
Earlier, Senate chairman Raza Rabbani was elected unopposed.