Another jolt for Zardari, I&B minister resigns

Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman formally handed over her resignation to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after deciding to quit over differences on the government's handling of the media.

world Updated: Mar 15, 2009 00:35 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times

The Pakistan government appointed Qamar Zaman Kaira, an MP from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), to replace Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman, who resigned on Friday as cracks started to appear in the government.

Rehman quit after President Asif Ali Zardari ordered a blackout of private TV channel Geo News, which was critical of the government’s handling of the opposition’s march to Islamabad. The march, launched by opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, continues to snake its way to Islamabad where political activists and lawyers will converge on Monday to demand the restoration of sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

On Saturday, Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani met for the third time as the PPP leadership looked for ways to tackle the crisis.

While Zardari put on a brave face, the PPP leadership has started to break up. Gilani has stated that he was not in favour of governor’s rule in Punjab and there has been a series of resignations of party officials from government and parliamentary positions in protest against Zardari’s decisions.

First Published: Mar 14, 2009 20:26 IST