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Army chief for deal between Prez and Govt

world Updated: Aug 16, 2008 13:35 IST

The Pakistan People's Party-led coalition is likely to approach Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to negotiate a deal between embattled President Pervez Musharraf and the four-party ruling alliance to end the political impasse in the country.

The PPP believes that the political crisis in Pakistan will deepen if Musharraf does not resign within the next 72 hours or before the process of his impeachment begins in parliament next week, a senior party leader told the Daily Times newspaper.

The PPP leader, however, said Musharraf was expected to quit within the next 72 hours.

"If he continues to stick to his position and does not resign, it will create a situation leaving the government with no option but to ask the army chief to intervene and help resolve the political crisis," he said.

Another source said the ruling coalition is likely to approach the army chief to negotiate a deal between the alliance and Musharraf. "Gen Kayani will be asked to intervene if the President does not show flexibility," the source said.

Musharraf is reportedly not ready to accept anything short of an "honourable" stay in Pakistan with full presidential protocol and benefits and legal cover for his actions in the event of his resignation.

The coalition partners, despite their "internal differences", want Musharraf to quit before they submit an impeachment motion in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.

"The coalition partners are also ready to let Musharraf go to a country of his choice, at least for the time being," another source said.