Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Key Pakistani party quits ruling coalition

Supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) gather during a rally in Karachi

Source: Press TV

The Pakistani government's main coalition partner has quit the administration, raising the prospects of more political instability in the country.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) accuses the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of having an undemocratic and dictatorial approach.

"It is not possible for us to partner with the PPP any further because of its brutal, ruthless and disloyal character to its partners," senior party official Farooq Sattar said.

"The PPP was unwilling to mend its ways leaving us with no option but to quit the coalition government,” he added.

Sattar noted that his party decided to split with the PPP because of differences over regional elections held last week in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

"When we refused to change our stance, the PPP got the elections for Kashmiri migrants residing in Karachi cancelled on the pretext of security issues," Sattar said.

He also reiterated that the government had failed to crack down on violence against its supporters in the southern port city of Karachi. MQM, the dominant political party in Karachi, had earlier expressed its displeasure and anger over ethnic and militant violence in recent months in the city.

MQM has now announced plans to remove its ministers from the federal cabinet and sit in opposition to the PPP in Parliament and provincial assemblies.

Reports say the governor of the southern Sindh Province, who is an MQM loyalist, has also tendered his resignation to the president.

The decision of the MQM to quit the government has raised fresh questions over political stability in Pakistan.

The developments come at a time when the government in Islamabad is trying to tackle growing militancy and the economic crisis in the country.

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