Sacked judges issue threatens coalition

Pakistani leaders have failed to reach a deal on restoring judges sacked by president Pervez Musharraf, increasing the likelihood the ruling coalition could shatter after just six weeks in power and plunge the country back into political turmoil.

Negotiators from the two main ruling parties held talks in London at the weekend, ahead of a self-imposed deadline today to resolve the issue.

But last night officials said they were heading back to Pakistan without a deal.

Representatives of the junior party, that of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said members would meet today to consider whether to stay in the coalition. The party has already threatened to quit the Cabinet.

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