Having apparently run out of options, Pakistan's beleaguered President Pervez Musharraf "is considering stepping down in days" to avoid a showdown with the newly elected Parliament in that country.
"He (Musharraf) has already started discussing the exit strategy for himself. I think it is now just a matter of days and not months because he would like to make a graceful exit on a high,"
The Sunday Telegraph
quoted one of the President's close confidantes as saying.
According to senior aides, Musharraf would prefer to resign rather than waiting to be impeached and forced out of office by the victorious opposition parties who triumphed in last week's general election in that country and announced they would form a coalition government.
"He may have made many mistakes, but he genuinely tried to build the country and he doesn't want to destroy it just for the sake of his personal office," an unnamed official close to the President told the British newspaper.
Musharraf had last week said that he would not resign despite his allies suffering a crushing defeat in the election and had also asserted that he intends to stay in office to guide the democratic transition in Pakistan.
But the official said that he had considered resigning immediately after the election results were known, but was persuaded by party loyalists that his sudden departure could precipitate a crisis.
One of the victorious opposition parties, assassinated former Premier Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party, had on Saturday indicated that the new government would not seek the President's immediate impeachment.
"I think there's no need at the moment but the Parliament is sovereign. Once we go to the Parliament, the Parliament will look at every issue. We should not rock the boat at this time. We must have civil transition of power from the military to the civilians," PPP leader and front-runner for prime ministership Makhdoom Amin Fahim had said.