Pak Army to ask Musharraf to resign

Date: 09 Aug 2008


Title: Pak Army to ask Musharraf to resign in a week: reports 

Author: PTI 

Publication: The Times of India 

Date: August 9,  2008. 

Pak Army to ask Musharraf to resign in a week: reports
9 Aug 2008, 1243 hrs IST,PTI
LONDON: Pakistan Army is to ask the country's embattled President Pervez Musharraf to relinquish office in a week's time as its top brass will not want him to be impeached, a news report said on Saturday. ( Watch ) 

Quoting a senior official from the ruling government coalition partner the Pakistan's People's Party, The Daily Telegraph said that Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kiyani has already "whispered in Musharraf's ear that it is time to leave". 

"Over the next few days they will make it clear to him (Musharraf) that a protracted battle (against impeachment) is not in Pakistan's interests," the unnamed official claimed. 

One of the main arbiters of power in Pakistan, the Army has already publicly declared that the military would take a "neutral" stand on the country's domestic politics. 

"The Army is neutral but is expecting him to resign. It will then influence his honourable safe passage as the Army's senior leadership would not want him to be punished," a former military aide to the President told the British daily. 

Meanwhile, President Pervez Musharraf summoned Pakistan's National Assembly on August 11 during which the ruling coalition is likely to bring forward an impeachment motion against him. 

Musharraf signed a summary convening the Assembly on Monday, officials said without specifying the agenda. 

With the Senate, the upper house, already in session, the summoning of the Assembly may set the stage for the government to bring the impeachment motion which the coalition decided on Thursday. 

Half of the 442 members of both the houses are required to give a motion for impeachment to the Assembly Speaker and if allowed it would be taken up for discussion in a joint sitting of the two houses. 

Musharraf, 64, who has dug in his heels and indicated he would battle it out against the ruling coalition's moves and would not step down, will also have the right of reply in the discussion. 

The ruling coalition comprising PPP, PML-N and some others parties are short of the two-thirds majority needed to oust him but are confident of mustering the magic figure of 295 to impeach Musharraf. 

The National Assembly has 342 members while the Senate has 100. 

If the motion is passed by Parliament, Musharraf will have the ignominious distinction of being the first Pakistani President to be impeached.