Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pakistan deep in political turmoil

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

Source: Press TV

The Pakistani president faces political turmoil as he steps up efforts to prevent his ruling coalition from collapse after two major allies left the government.

President Asif Ali Zardari's ruling party is attempting to keep his coalition government intact as senior leaders are pressuring two opposing partners to rejoin the cabinet in meeting.

Zardari met with Faisal Sabzwari, a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader, only days after the party withdrew from the government.

The MQM has decided in favor of the resignation of two of its ministers from the cabinet.

The Jamiat Ulema Islam party (JUI) also left the cabinet earlier this month.

The JUI's spokesman Hafiz Hussein Ahmad stressed that the party would only return to the government if the president dismisses Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a senior Pakistan People's Party (PPP) lawmaker, held crisis meetings with MQM and JUI leaders late Tuesday, urging them to support an increasingly unpopular government, AP reported.

Political analysts say the government will lose the majority in parliament if the two parties join the opposition.

The MQM, with 25 seats in the 342-member national assembly, represents the Urdu-speaking majority in Karachi and shares power in Sindh province and the central government

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