The Pakistan government's main coalition partner says it has quit the government, citing the "dictatorial" and "brutal" approach of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
The departure of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaves the PPP with 207 seats in parliament and a slender majority.
It is the second time this year that the MQM has quit the government. It left and rejoined the coalition in the space of one week in January triggering a compromise by the PPP to save its government. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani promised that his government would not introduce a general sales tax, which the United States and other donors had welcomed.
compiled from agency reports