Pakistan Muslim League, a key partner in Pakistan's ruling coalition on Tuesday withdrew 17 of its ministers from the federal cabinet, saying the Pakistan People's Party-led government had failed to honour its commitments and to resolve the problems of the people.
The PML-Q party decided to withdraw its ministers from the cabinet as they were dissatisfied with the government's performance, federal minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said.
Hayat, a senior leader of the PML-Q, told the media that he too had quit the cabinet led by Pakistan People's Party.
A total of 17 federal ministers and ministers of state submitted their resignations to PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, party officials said. The resignations will be sent to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, they said.
The decision to withdraw the ministers was taken at a meeting of the PML-Q's parliamentary party chaired by Hussain.
The ministers claimed they could not continue to work with a government that did not fulfil its commitments. They said they no longer had confidence in the ruling PPP. The PML-Q, formed during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in early 2000, has nearly 50 members in the national assembly or lower house of Parliament.
It was not immediately clear if the PML-Q would leave the ruling coalition and sit in the opposition benches or continue supporting the government. The government might lose its majority in Parliament if the PML-Q decides to join the opposition. The ministers who resigned said the ruling PPP led by President Asif Ali Zardari had not honoured promises made to the PML-Q.
They said the government is not paying attention to the people's problems like a crippling energy shortage.