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Pakistan's ruling party scrambling to keep coalition government

AP, Wednesday 29 Dec 2010

The Pakistan People's Party-led government faces a crisis with the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement party quitting its two cabinet posts but remaining in the ruling coalition for now, while the Islamist Jamiat Ulema Islam party defected to the opposition benches in recent days.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a senior PPP lawmaker held crisis meetings with MQM and JUI leaders late Tuesday, urging them to support an increasingly unpopular government.

JUI leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman's spokesman Hafiz Hussain Ahmad said Wednesday their party would only return to the government if Zardari sacked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

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