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Musharraf cancels Olympics visit

world Updated: Aug 06, 2008 11:11 IST

AFP
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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday abruptly cancelled his plans to visit China to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, officials said.

"The foreign office has got information about cancellation of the president's visit," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told AFP.

"The visit is cancelled. I cannot tell (you) immediately the reason for it," he said.

But media reports said that ruling coalition leaders meeting late Tuesday discussed the possible impeachment of the US-backed president, and the reinstatement of judges he sacked last year, setting off a political crisis.

The ruling coalition parties are due to meet again Wednesday.

"The cancellation of the China visit by President Musharraf is an important development," a senior government official who declined to be named told AFP.

"Given our special relationship and friendly ties with China, it is unimaginable that a Pakistani leader would cancel his visit -- and that, too, for a very important occasion for our ally China," the official said.