Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been advised by his top military commanders to quit in the wake of the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry, a daily reported on Friday.
During his six-day long discussions with his top military aides in Rawalpindi after the reinstatement of the Chief Justice by the Supreme Court, Musharraf was advised to seek an "honourable exit", The News quoted unnamed sources as saying.
Though the President did not react to the suggestions, the sources said he might make a decision after his return from an official tour of Saudi Arabia where he's likely to raise this issue with the Saudis in a bid to find "a way out of the political mess without any loss of face".
There was a consensus in the presidential camp during the discussions that Musharraf was in such a situation that even former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's political support could not bail him out, the sources said. "Musharraf is now at the dead end of the tunnel."
In fact, the Supreme Court judgement has come as a major shock for Musharraf, according to the sources. "The ball is now in the court of the Chief Justice who himself will not be able bail him out because of the high expectations people have developed after his restoration as the top judge."
However, while talking to the daily, President's spokesperson General Rashid Qureshi has denied having any knowledge of any such advice being given to Musharraf by his close military aides. He termed as "speculation" the reports that the President was advised to quit.