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Zardari, PPP rally behind Gilani

Pakistan's beleaguered Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (left), facing calls to resign from former allies, received a boost as President Asif Ali Zardari and the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) threw their weight behind him.

world Updated: Jan 04, 2011 02:09 IST

Pakistan's beleaguered Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (left), facing calls to resign from former allies, received a boost as President Asif Ali Zardari and the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) threw their weight behind him.

Zardari, who is camping in the southern city of Karachi, said he and the PPP have "full confidence" in Gilani and would "solidly stand behind him in foiling any attempt to destabilise the coalition government".

The President made the assertion hours after the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a former ally of the PPP, demanded that Gilani and his cabinet should resign as the coalition had lost its majority in parliament after the withdrawal of support by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Sunday.

Gilani gained valuable breathing space after back-to-back meetings in Lahore with leaders of the PML-N and PML-Q, the two main opposition parties.

Both parties assured the premier they would take any step that derails democracy.

The PPP-led government is facing its worst crisis since it came to power in the 2008 general election following the withdrawal of support by both the JUI and MQM.