Embattled President Pervez Musharraf has been asked to leave "quietly and quickly" or face impeachment and criminal charges including one accusing him of allowing the US to breach Pakistan's sovereignty by bombing terror suspects on its soil.
The former military ruler was still in a fighting mood and determined to answer all charges, sources close to the president told The Sunday Times. But they hinted that he may quit if he is convinced that charges will be dropped and he will be allowed to remain in Pakistan.
Musharraf was given an ultimatum to quit by Wednesday, the report said quoting senior government sources. However, senior Pakistan People's Party leader and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in Multan on Saturday that Musharraf would have to resign by Sunday.
The Times reported that Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has assured the president that no charges would be brought if he went "quietly and quickly".
At the same time, Kayani has indicated that the army will not step in to save Musharraf if he refuses to resign.
The newspaper said last week Britain, the United States and Saudi Arabia were making vigorous efforts to reach a deal under which Musharraf would be allowed to go "humanely".
The US, the UK and Kayani all fear the possibility of a court case in which the president's often controversial role in the war on terror would be exposed.
The government has prepared a chargesheet, which includes accusations that Musharraf let the US breach Pakistan's sovereignty by bombing terror suspects on its soil, the paper said.