ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali announced his resignation and the dissolution of his Cabinet on Saturday, ending months of speculation that his relationship with the country's military ruler was strained.
The leader of the ruling party, Chaudhry Shujjat Hussain, was nominated to replace Jamali.
``I resigned from my post as prime minister today,'' Jamali told reporters after a gathering of the party. He didn't immediately explain his decision.
Rumors had circulated for months that relations between Jamali and the country's power broker, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, had chilled. Jamali had sought to quash the rumors, even professing his ``love'' of the general, but Musharraf offered him no clear public support.
Observers say Musharraf, who met earlier Saturday with Jamali, had grown impatient at Jamali's inability to rein in opposition lawmakers and effectively defend the government's approach.
The move was unlikely to have a significant impact on foreign policy _ including its support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism and tentative peace talks with India. But it raised fresh concern about the country's return to democracy, five years after Musharraf seized power in a military coup.