Islamabad: All seven PPP ministers in the
coalition government in Pakistan`s politically-crucial Punjab
province have been removed after the ruling PML-N ended its
alliance with the party.
Governor Latif Khosa yesterday signed an advice sent to
him by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the removal of
the PPP ministers from the provincial Cabinet.
After the Governor`s signature, the seven PPP ministers
-- Raja Riaz, Tanveer Kaira, Neelam Jabbar, Ashraf Sohna,
Tanveer Rana, Haji Ishaq and Farooq Yousuf Ghotki -- were no
longer part of the Punjab Cabinet.
Former premier Nawaz Sharif, the chief of PML-N, decided
last week to end his alliance with the PPP, saying its
government at the centre had failed to act on a 10-point
President Asif Ali Zardari, also the chief of PPP, had
hinted on Sunday that his party did not want to dither on the
PML-N`s move to eject the PPP ministers.
Zardari felt that any delay by the Governor in signing
the PML-N advice would be counter-productive, the Dawn
newspaper quoted its sources in the PPP as saying.
He discussed with Khosa the "new role" the Governor would
have to play in the changed situation and asked him to take on
the PML-N leadership head on instead of issuing "friendly"
Before sending the advice to the Governor, Chief Minister
Sharif removed 13 parliamentary secretaries from the PPP.
During a meeting with Governor Khosa and Interior
Minister Rahman Malik in Karachi yesterday, Zardari said the
PPP will uphold the rule of law and the Constitution.
He advised the Governor to proceed in accordance with the
The leaders discussed the political situation in Punjab
after the PML-N`s decision to relieve PPP ministers from the
The PPP has criticised the PML-N for joining hands with
dissidents from the PML-Q, a party established by the military
regime of former President Pervez Musharraf, to prop up the
government in Punjab.
The strained relations between the PPP and the PML-N,
Pakistan`s two main political parties, have plunged to a new
low following Nawaz Sharif`s decision to end their alliance in
Punjab and triggered speculation about the PML-N being behind
efforts to push for mid-term elections.