Islamabad: PML-N's Sardar Ayaz Sadiq today emerged as the choice of Speaker for the Lower House once again. Sadiq bagged 268 votes, while Shafqat Mahmood received 31.

The first vote was cast by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on a request to the chair, as he had pressing official engagements. . PTI Chairman Imran Khan also arrived at the National Assembly after an absence of six months to cast his vote, but immediately left after fulfilling the duty.

Sadiq is the first person in the country's history to have been elected National Assembly (NA) Speaker for the second time, during the same Assembly’s tenure.

The NA Speaker had been deseated by an election tribunal in August, which accepted PTI Chairman Imran Khan's petition challenging Sadiq's 2013 election win. Later, acting Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi administered oath of office to newly elected Speaker.

After taking the chair, the newly-elected Speaker thanked the members of the House for their support in electing him as speaker with a two-thirds majority and assured to work for strengthening democracy and the parliament.

He individually thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for nominating him for the post, and went on to thank other parties including the PPP, MQM, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, PML-F, PKMAP,ANP, JI as well as independent members for deposing their trust in him.

"I am also thankful to all PTI members who voted their conscience and empowered democracy by being a part of this process. This win is not just mine but that of democracy, the Constitution and the parliament," he said.

"With counsel from parliamentary leaders, we will run the House such that everyone's opinions will be taken into account," the newly-elected Speaker said. "Kashmir is a cause close to us and we will keep it on our agenda and try to make progress in this area. In terms of parliamentary diplomacy, we will try to keep in touch with foreign parliaments and invite them to the country to show them the real Pakistan? Not the image the media shows, but our Pakistan."

"The right to information and freedom of expression will be protected and as much as possible. We will make our operations open to the media and public," he said, calling on the media reporting on parliament to play a responsible role in promoting a positive image of Pakistan.

'Green parliament' was a dream all of us shared and it is still under way. By next month, the National Assembly will be the world's second parliament running on solar power." After reminding the House of his achievements during his earlier tenure as Speaker, Sadiq expressed his resolve to continue performing in the same manner.

Shafqat Mahmood congratulated Sardar Ayaz Sadiq over his election as the speaker of the Lower House. He said all the national issues, including economic and privatization process should be discussed in the House. He said the real challenge is to make parliament vibrant and hoped that the speaker will give equal treatment to all the members of the assembly.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah also felicitated Ayaz Sadiq over his election as the speaker of National Assembly. Khurshid Shah said today's election is the triumph of parliamentary democracy. He said the Parliament has played an important role for the strengthening of democracy and institutions.

Khurshid Shah appreciated the impartiality of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in his last term and expressed the confidence that he will continue to serve in the same manner in the remaining period.