PML-N set to withdraw ministers, continue support for PPP

May 12th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
By Muhammad Najeeb

Islamabad, May 12 (IANS) The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was Monday set to decide on withdrawing its ministers from the cabinet after its talks with the ruling coalition partner Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) failed to resolve their difference over the reinstatement of judges. “But the party will continue supporting the coalition government led by the PPP,” PML-N spokesman Sidiqul Farooq told IANS.

He said party head Nawaz Sharif would make the formal announcement on quitting the cabinet in the evening.

At the same time, Farooq said the party would wait until the last moment and expected “a change of heart” on the PPP part.

“The ball is in the PPP’s court and if no positive signal is given by them by this evening our ministers will quit the cabinet,” he said.

Sharif, who returned from London Monday morning, immediately entered into discussions with his party leaders and would address a press conference in the evening.

He held talks with PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari in London over the weekend but could not resolve the judges issue under which more than 60 judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf Nov 3 last year were to be reinstated.

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher also made an unscheduled stopover in London and met the two leaders separately to help resolve their differences.

“We will act according to our conscience and according to the wishes of the people of this country,” Farooq said replying to a question on the party’s future strategy.

A statement released by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s office Monday said: “Nawaz Sharif has pledged to maintain support for the coalition government, whatever the party decides to do over an impasse over the restoration of judges.

“Senior Federal Minister for Food Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani this morning and assured him that PML-N members would continue to support the coalition government, regardless of the decision taken by the party leadership today,” it said.

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