Cracks emerged on Tuesday in Pakistan's former ruling PML-Q as four of its Senators announced plans to work with other parties to strengthen democracy and hinted at backing moves to clip powers of President Pervez Musharraf.
Among the four PML-Q members of the upper house of Pakistan's Parliament is Nilofar Bakhtiar, who had to quit last year as Tourism Minister and President of the PML-Q's women's wing when clerics issued a 'fatwa' against her for hugging a male instructor who had trained her for a charity parachute jump in France.
The four PML-Q Senators along with two lawmakers from the National People's Party and Balochistan National Party told reporters in Islamabad that they would stay in their respective parties while supporting other parties that are working to strengthen democracy.
"We will back any bills that are aimed at strengthening democracy. We will also work for the restoration of the (pre-emergency) judges and the freedom of media," Bakhtiar said. "We will support all bills meant for the betterment of the people of Pakistan."
Bakhtiar also indicated that the six Senators will back any move by other political parties to clip President Pervez Musharraf's powers to dismiss elected prime ministers and dissolve Parliament.