Islamabad: For the first time, religious minorities in Pakistan will have four special seats reserved for them in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament.

President Asif Ali Zardari signed an amendment to the Senate Election Rules on Thursday to reserve four seats for non-Muslims in the upper house from the next elections Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Four seats for non-Muslims, one from each province, have been reserved for the first time in the 100-member Senate. These members will be elected by the lawmakers in each of the provincial assemblies.

Previously, 10 reserved seats were provided for non-Muslims in the National Assembly, lower house of Parliament, only.

Zardari signed the amendment at a ceremony at the Presidency, which was witnessed by Chairman of Senate Farooq H Naek and Senators belonging to the ruling PPP and other political parties, besides senior government officials.