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Pakistan faces political crisis as coalition partner quits

12-15-2010 13:50 BJT

by Yangtze Yan

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- A major partner in the ruling coalition of Pakistan government Tuesday announced that it is parting ways with the government after the prime minister sacked a federal minister of the party.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) said that two ministers of the party have resigned after Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani dismissed Minister for Science and Technology Azam Khan Swati.

Swati was sacked after he accused Minister of Religious Affairs of corruption in the Hajj affairs.

The JUI-F has nine members in the 340-member National Assembly, lower house of the parliament and 11 senators in the 100-member Senate, upper house of the parliament.

The decision has multiplied difficulties of the government as it is also facing stiff opposition from coalition partners in approval of a tax agreed with the International Monitory Funds (IMF).

Political commentators say that there is no immediate threat to the government as it still enjoys majority in the parliament.

But some believe that the ruling People's Party may loose majority in the parliament and the country may head to snap polls.

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