13 Aug 2008

Musharraf may resign - media reports

7:33 pm on 13 August 2008

Pressure mounted on Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday to resign or face impeachment, but aides have rejected media speculation that he is about to step down.

The ruling coalition government, led by the party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said last week that it aimed to impeach the former army chief for years of misrule.

Speculation has been rife that Mr Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup, would quit rather than face impeachment.

Politicians across the country have been calling on him to face a vote of confidence or be impeached, and more were due to add their voices to the chorus of opposition on Wednesday.

The Daily Times newspaper cited an unidentified politician from a pro-Musharraf party as saying he would announce a decision to quit on Independence Day on Thursday.

But Mr Musharraf's spokesperson, Rashid Qureshi, derided the report. "Newspapers in Pakistan, I'm afraid, dream up things then start writing about them. There's no such thing."

A crucial question is how the army, which has ruled for more than half of the 61 years since the country's creation, will react, but coalition leaders said on Tuesday that the army and its main security agency would not intervene to back up their old boss.