Dec 25 - Pakistan information minister to quit amid political crisis. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Pakistan's information minister has offered to resign. This comes amid tensions between the civilian government and the country's military over a memo alleging an army plot to seize power in May. It was not immediately clear if she was forced to resign or quit voluntarily. (SOUNDBITE) PAKISTAN'S INFORMATION MINISTER, FIRDOS ASHIQ AWAN, SAYING(Urdu): "I endorse your leadership (but) I think I am not competent enough to continue as cabinet member and hence submit my resignation." Some analysts say she may have been forced to resign due to her failure to convincingly defend the government in the "memogate" scandal. In recent weeks, rumours swirled that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari would be forced out by the military. But army chief General Ashfaq Kayani has ruled out the possibility of a coup. However, there are other scenarios under which Zardari could be forced out. Kayani has called for an investigation into who may have been behind the memo, which could undermine the unpopular Zardari. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters