Sensing the volatile mood following the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti, Pakistan's rightwing alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has decided to quit the government in Balochistan where it is a coalition partner.
The decision was taken at a MMA meeting in Karachi on Monday, reports here said.
What appeared to clinch the decision was the line adopted by Islamabad that the provincial government, of which the MMA is a part, was consulted throughout the military operations in Kohlu where Bugti was killed in a military operation on August 26.
The strength of the MMA in the Balochistan coalition government, which comprises 65 legislators, is 28. Fifteen of them are ministers.
The decision was taken with mutual consent of the six parties comprising the MMA.
The supreme council would take the final decision at a meeting in Quetta after studying the latest situation, said Shahid Ahmed Shamsi of the major component, Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), who is the alliance's central information secretary.
MMA leaders cited the fact that they were not able to discuss the Balochistan issue in the legislatures and thus saw no point in staying on there.
Debated two days after Bugti's killing, the opposition's no-confidence motion was lost in the National Assembly for want of numbers. The issue only created pandemonium in the highest legislature.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz did not even mention Balochistan in his speech in defence of the government.
Shamsi said the leadership of all the six parties of the religious alliance, including Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed and Qazi Hussain Ahmed, deliberated before agreeing to resign in protest over the killing of Bugti.