Pakistan parliament makes history by completing tenure

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan's parliament made history on Thursday by becoming the first national assembly in the country's history to complete a full term in office, dissolving in a low-key session that paves the way for elections.

"The session that started on February 18, 2013 has prorogued on completion of its business," said Ms Yasmeen Rehman, lawmaker for the main ruling Pakistan People's Party, reading out a letter from President Asif Ali Zardari.

She wished those present the best of luck before adding: "I pray that Allah gives us success and that democracy should continue and the next parliament should also complete its term."

Ms Rehman stood in for the national assembly speaker, who was not present.

Very few lawmakers attended what was the last session of Pakistan's 13th national assembly, consisting mostly of farewell speeches.

Pakistan is due to go to the polls to elect a new parliament by the middle of May, but a date has yet to be set.

Ruling and opposition politicians are still negotiating the make-up of a caretaker administration which is set to replace the government within days.