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Pakistan's President Names Aide To Succeed Assassinated Governor

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed a close aide, Sardar Latif Khosa, to succeed the murdered governor of the country's biggest province, Punjab.

Khosa previously had been attorney general.

The outspoken governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was gunned down by his bodyguard for his opposition to the country's controversial blasphemy law last week.

Taseer's murder came as Zardari's coalition was struggling to avoid collapse following the defection of one of its main allies to the opposition.

Zardari's beleaguered government received a major reprieve on Friday when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the second biggest coalition partner, which had bolted to the opposition on January 2, rejoined the government.

compiled from agency reports