Islamabad : Pakistani Minister for Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar Tuesday held consultations with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on her resignation over a controversial hug she exchanged with a French paragliding instructor.
Religious leaders have demanded her expulsion from the cabinet after newspapers in March published photographs of the embrace after a successful flight in Paris to raise funds for victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
Bakhtiar said she would step down voluntarily, citing personal hurt at how her charitable act had been portrayed at home.
"French media praised my daring attempt but unfortunately some irresponsible elements in Pakistan presented this noble cause in a malicious manner," she told the Dawn newspaper.
The minister is one of three woman ministers in the Pakistani government. In her earlier capacity as the prime minister's adviser on women's development, she was at the forefront of moves to grant more equality to women in Pakistan.