Islamabad: Babar Awan, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, was on Thursday named vice-president of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

The notification on Awan's appointment was issued after approval by Zardari, who is the co-chairman of the PPP.

Awan was earlier the Law Minister and resigned from the post to represent the government and Zardari in several crucial cases in the Supreme Court.

His criticism of the apex court's handling of the Memogate scandal recently earned him the ire of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who questioned whether the Prime Minister would take action against Awan.

Awan has often been fielded by the PPP to counter criticism and attacks from opposition parties and institutions like the Apex Court.

However, his abrasive style of functioning has often annoyed even other PPP leaders.

He was made a member of PPP's central executive committee in 1997 by slain former premier Benazir Bhutto.

He was elected to the Senate or Upper House of Parliament in 2005.

As a lawyer, he defended Bhutto and her husband, Zardari,in several cases.