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Pakistan Tourism Minister resigns

Bakhtiar is protesting against not receiving support from the ruling PML-Q after she was served with a 'fatwa' over hugging controversy.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Islamabad
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2007 05:25 PM IST

Pakistan's Tourism Minister Nilofar Bakhtiar has resigned, apparently in protest for not receiving the backing from the ruling PML-Q after she was served with a 'fatwa' by radical clerics for hugging her French paratroop trainer in Paris.

Bhaktiar, who had not been attending the office for some time, sent her resignation to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz before he embarked on a foreign tour three days ago. He is shortly expected to take a decision on it as he has returned.

Her resignation from the ministership came after she quit as the president of the ruling PML-Q women's wing, which was accepted by the party chief Shujaat Hussain, who incidentally was the government's negotiator to resolve the stand-off with clerics of Lal Masjid who issued the fatwa against Bakhtiar demanding imposition of 'Sharia' law in the capital.

The clerics in their fatwa had asked the government to sack Bakhtiar after she hugged her 71-year-old French paratroop trainer.

Hussain was currently negotiating with the clerics, whose followers now have abducted four policemen in retaliation over the arrest of their cadre, to back off from their call to impose Shariah law in Islamabad.

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