Will President Musharraf step down or no or face impeachment. This question remained the main subject of discussion Thursday in Pakistan. What exactly happened Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq held a long meeting with President Musharraf at army House Wednesday night-early Thursday and informed about various changes he was making in Army. While a press release of ISPR says that The Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had held a routine meeting with President Pervez Musharraf and nothing unusual was discussed during the meeting.
Spokesman also contradicted the news that commandos deputed on security duties with the President are being replaced. Not a single commando has been removed from its present assignment, he said. Similarly, the relief and rotation of Army unit detailed for the guard duties with the President is a routine matter which is planned at least six months in advance.
General Kayani replaced commander of III Brigade Brigadier Asim Bajwa by Brigadier Fahim Rao. Though the Inter-Services Public Relations denied the story then later it said Brigadier Asim Bajwa, a favourite of President Musharraf, had completed his tenure. The III Brigade is always used when the Army so decides to change President or rime Minister. With replacing III Brigade Commander, General Kayani also replaced the guard battalion of the Army House which is still being occupied by President Musharraf. Press Release of ISPR said as regards posting of 111 Brigade Commander, the spokesman said that the subject posting was part of a bulk posting order that included 478 officers due for regular posting.
A well placed source told Pakistan Times, “the President will move to Presidential Palace Thursday evening. In another major development Chairman of Senate, who normally acts as President, is on an official tour to Germany. He has been asked to return to Pakistan maximum by today or tomorrow. Pakistan’s leading news paper The News published a story about Musharraf’s decision to step down. Reporter received threats and abuses from Musharraf’s Media advisor retired Major General (retired) Rashid Qureshi who still keeps on saying that President has no intentions to quit. The President’s spokesman Major General retired Rashid Qureshi has termed the meeting between Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and President Pervez Musharraf as a routine matter and said news about President’s resignation was unfounded.
President Pervez Musharraf has denied any differences with Army Chief. Addressing a dinner reception hosted by him in the honour of former Governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool on Thursday, the President said rumors being spread in the country were baseless. “Purpose of these rumors is to spread confusion in the country,” he added. He said his meeting with Army Chief was a routine matter. “We have met six times earlier too,” President Musharraf said, adding “those elements who are doing this job, do not want to see the country progress.” The President pointed out that some people were also spreading rumors about his stepping down which were again not true and were meant to create uncertainty, adding that this was having negative impact on the country’s economy.
In another development the Central Executive Committee of Pakistan People’s Party gave mandate to Co-Chairman Asif Ali zardari to negotiate with Musharraf the constitutional package which the PPP has prepared and meant curtails presidential powers. More than many other events main thing remained a reality and that th growing street agitation by Lawyers and Civil society and hard line adopted by the leader of PML (N) Mian Nawaz Sharif for last two days. Yesterday he demanded impeachment of president and asked the government to try him for sedition. Which the PPP considers ‘a pre-mature move’ with fears of another Martial Law.
President of All Pakistan Bar Associations Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan announced in Lahore Thursday, “this time the lawyers would besiege the Army House. In such an eventuality its Punjab Police which has to protect Army House but it is now under Nawaz Sharif’s Punjab government. Till the filing of this story Pakistan was buzzying with rumors of all kind and situation remained fluid.
On being contacted with Attorney General Malik Qayyum and asked whose side he would stand in case of any direct confrontation between the government and presidency. He said, “I only deal matters which relate to court. If a matter is referred to me by President or Prime Minister I will only handle court martial I will have no role in giving comments or advise on constitutional package prepared by the Pakistan People’s Party.
A section of press is trying to unnecessary sensationalize routine functional matters. President Musharraf is hosting a dinner in the honour of outgoing Governor of Punjab Lt.Gen.(r) Khalid Maqbul. According to a statement from Presidency invitation cards have been sent to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gailani, cabinet ministers and politicians from various political parties.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman has said no individual can impeach the President. Talking to media she said the supremacy of Parliament would be strengthened. She said that PML-N, JUI-F and ANP were government allies and consultation process with the parties would continue. Sherry said PPP believes in the restoration of democracy. She said the authority to impeach the President does not lie with any single individual. Responding to a question she said anti-democratic forces had always been active.
President of Pakistan Muslim League Mian Shehbaz Sharif said we will make Musharraf to quit and we offer him no safe passage. He was talking to reporters in Lahore. It is pertinent to note that yesterday Mian Nawaz Sharif said that Asif Ali Zardari has assured us about the Musharff stepping Down.
The Prime Minister has said about impeachment of the President there is an opinion but it is for the coalition partners to consider the issue. He said it is for the parliament to decide such things as it is a sovereign body. About vacation of army house he said it is up to the President.
Former Spymaster Lt.Gen.(r)Hamid Gull told Pakistan Times , “Musharraf’s departure is matter of hours and not days”. For the first time he disclosed, “senior commanders had already conveyed to President Musharraf that due growing agitation against him it would be difficult for the Army to side with him against the will of people of Pakistan.
Now A days American Senators are visiting Pakistan and in meeting with high ups in pakistan including President, Prime Minsiter, federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chief Justice and Media persons they have expressed their regrets of depending on a single person Musharraf. Thus Musharraf seems disappointed by the America and Asif Ali Zardari and only choice left to him is Army, situation is unfolding the things in a way that shows that Army will also not support Musharraf anymore. A very well placed source told, “Army will side President Musharraf to an extent that he gets safe passage but if anti-Musharraf forces take the matter to Parliament and courts then Army will not interfere. Retired Army Generals and members of Civil society are asking for the Court Marshal of Musharraf. Sources tell that they have back from the serving Generals.
Amnesty International has criticized the support of US President George W. Bush’s administration for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf when he imposed a state of emergency, clamped down on media and sacked judges.
Musharraf has no option left; all the intelligentsia saying, other then stepping down from presidency. he also seems ready as In first step he has conceded to vacate Army House.