President George W. Bush’s administration refrained from directly commenting on the fate of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf amid reports he may resign to skirt impeachment or criminal charges. A key US senator meanwhile cautioned the Bush administration against taking any steps that could be interpreted as propping up Musharraf, a key US “war on terror” ally.”We’ve seen the press reports you’re referring to, but these are all matters for the Pakistani political system and for the Pakistanis to deal with,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
“We certainly hope that any actions that they take are consistent with the rule of law and constitutional principles, but I want to be clear these are matters for the Pakistanis to determine,” he said. Aides to Musharraf are in talks with the Pakistan government to secure a deal under which he could quit avoiding facing impeachment or criminal charges, officials in Islamabad said.
While Musharraf’s spokesman Rashid Qureshi condemned “malicious” Western media reports that he would stand down, allies and officials from Pakistan’s ruling coalition both indicated that he was considering his resignation. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said while he was aware of the reports, “It’s not just something we can comment on. That’s really an internal matter.”
Pakistan’s ruling coalition has drafted impeachment charges against Musharraf for final approval by coalition leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif within the next three days, information minister Sherry Rehman said.-SANA