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'Musharraf will be replaced soon'

world Updated: Jun 17, 2008 17:38 IST

With rival-turned ally Nawaz Sharif stealing the limelight with his full-throttle demand for Pervez Musharraf's ouster, PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said his party will soon "appoint" the next president, hinting that the former general's days in office could be numbered.

"The day is not far off when someone like Salman Taseer will be in the Presidency. The PPP will soon appoint the next President," Zardari said addressing a gathering of PPP workers at the Governor's House in Lahore on Monday night.

He was referring to Tasser, a Pakistan People's Party stalwart who was recently made Governor of Punjab province.

Zardari said the Presidency will soon resound with slogans like "Jeay Bhutto" (Long live Bhutto).

Though Zardari had last month described Musharraf as a "relic of the past standing between the people and democracy, the PPP has been lukewarm to PML (N) leader Sharif's demand to remove him from presidency.

The PPP has accepted the challenge of ridding the country of dictators, Zaradari, husband of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto, said. "We are determined to make Pakistan a real democratic country and will make a decision as to when to take the initiative in this regard."

In a veiled reference to last week's "long march" by the lawyers' movement, where Sharif made a vociferous demand for Musharraf's sacking and trial, Zardari said it was a "mere carnival".

The PPP knew better how to organise a successful long march and when it arranges such a protest, the whole world would see huge public participation in it, he said.