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'A woman may be next Pakistan Prez'

world Updated: Aug 17, 2008 12:59 IST

PTI
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Pakistan's next president might be a woman though a decision in this regard will be made after evolving consensus in the ruling coalition, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said and ruled himself out as a contender for the top post.

In an interview with the ARY news channel, Zardari also hinted at changes in the system, national politics and foreign policy after Musharraf's exit and said he was planning to convene a conference in which India, Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries would be invited to resolve regional issues.

Zardari said the decision to impeach President Pervez Musharraf was made after reports suggested that he was "conspiring" against the Pakistan People's Party-led government. This gave the public the impression that Musharraf was more powerful than parliament and the bureaucracy was following a "go-slow" policy, he said.

He said a woman could also replace Musharraf. However, he added that the candidate would be selected by the coalition.

Denying that he was a possible presidential candidate, the PPP chief said "I would have become the Prime Minister if I wished to become President."

Zardari said he wanted to replace Attorney General Malik Qayyum, but Musharraf refused.

Democracy would be victorious whether Musharraf faced impeachment or ignored it, he said adding, a new chapter would be written in the history of Pakistan after Musharraf and all problems would be resolved through dialogue. Every future President would be answerable to parliament, he said.

Zardari said he was in constant contact with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement but regretted not having taken it on board on the move to impeach Musharraf. It would take time to convince the MQM on this issue, he added.