- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Pakistan’s ruling party in crisis negotiations
Question of the Day
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s U.S.-allied ruling party scrambled on Wednesday to keep its fragile coalition government in power as its senior leaders met with two dissident political partners, urging them to rejoin the Cabinet.
A leader of one of the disgruntled parties, however, reiterated demands that the prime minister quit or be fired.
The political turmoil threatens to distract Pakistani lawmakers from tackling the nation’s serious challenges, including a struggling economy and an Islamist insurgency that is also affecting a U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.
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 said it would defect to the opposition benches.
If the MQM decides to follow the JUI into the opposition, it could cost Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani the parliamentary majority he needs to continue his almost three-year-old government.
In an effort to forestall a possible collapse, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a senior PPP lawmaker and envoy of President Asif Ali Zardari, held crisis meetings with MQM and JUI leaders overnight Wednesday, urging them to support an increasingly unpopular government and to remain part of the policymaking cabinet.
“We will give you good news soon,” Mr. Kaira told the Associated Press.
He also extended an olive branch to MQM, saying: “we promise that we will address their genuine concerns.”
Mr. Kaira did not elaborate on those concerns, although MQM chief Altaf Hussain has publicly complained that the PPP has failed to consult on major policy decisions and has failed to curb corruption, which is endemic in Pakistan’s public and private sectors.
JUI leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s aide, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, however, said their party would only return to the government if Mr. Zardari fired Mr. Gilani, explaining that the prime minister must be punished for stirring up tensions when he dumped a JUI lawmaker from his Cabinet.
The JUI has refused an offer to nominate a replacement minister from its ranks.
Mr. Kaira also suggested that JUI did not want to force an early election by bringing down the government, saying the party would not take a decision that harmed democracy. Pakistan’s parliaments have rarely last a full five-year term.
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow