BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 17:31 GMT
Pakistan coalition deal 'agreed'
Left to right: Rehman, former president Leghari and Islamic leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed
Maulana Rehman (left) could be next prime minister
Pro-democracy parties in Pakistan say they have struck a deal with a six-party Islamic alliance to form a new civilian coalition government.

The leader of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) said it and the Islamic MMA had secured a parliamentary majority, and had agreed on the name of a joint candidate for prime minister.


We agreed on Maulana Fazlur Rahman's name after an intensive two-hour discussion with our alliance partners on Tuesday

ARD leader Nasrullah Khan

Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan told the BBC the post would go to the MMA candidate, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a fundamentalist cleric.

Meanwhile, the parties supporting President Musharraf have called for further postponement of the opening session of parliament from Friday to allow further negotiations.

The ARD-MMA agreement comes nearly four weeks after elections in Pakistan, which were held with the aim of transferring power to a civilian government following the 1999 military coup.

No party won a large enough majority to form a government, and since then the groups which won the most seats have been trying to find coalition partners to put together a new government.

US bases

"We agreed on Maulana Fazlur Rahman's name after an intensive two-hour discussion with our alliance partners on Tuesday," Mr Khan, head of the 15-party ARD, told the BBC.

A spokesman for Mr Rehman confirmed that he had been agreed on by both sides as candidate for premier.

Analysts say the choice of a pro-Taleban cleric to head Pakistan's government will test relations with Washington.

The religious parties, who have said they want to close down US bases in Pakistan and introduce an Islamic system, caused widespread shock by coming third in the election.

Shock

The Pakistan People's Party of former Premier Benazir Bhutto, which dominates the ARD, said after the election that it had little in common with the Islamic alliance.

But BBC correspondent Suzy Price in Islamabad says they seem to have been brought together by their opposition to President Musharraf and the changes he has made to the constitution, giving the military a stronger role.

The pro-Musharraf parties have already announced their nominee for the post of prime minister and also say they are trying to put together a coalition government.

The final outcome of the various deals between the parties may not become clear until the first session of the national assembly on Friday, our correspondent says.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

02 Nov 02 | South Asia
04 Nov 02 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes