The Pakistani army and President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman moved to dampen speculation on Thursday that the beleaguered president was about to quit.
Rumours that Musharraf was close to resigning were one of the reasons for precipitous falls on the Karachi stock market on Wednesday and Thursday.
A front page story in the News newspaper on Thursday focussed on a late-night meeting between the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, and Musharraf, fanning the speculation.
The military issued a statement saying Kayani “regretted that a section of press is trying to unnecessarily sensationalise routine functional matters”.
A spokesman for Musharraf rebutted the newspaper article's assertion that Musharraf had agreed to leave his official residence in Rawalpindi. “Neither has there been any discussion of the president moving out of the President's Lodge, nor is there any plan for him to do so,” said Rashid Qureshi. Formerly known as Army House, the Rawalpindi residence was renamed the President's Lodge after Musharraf quit as army chief last November, and opted to continue living there for security reasons.