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Impeachment of Musharraf likely: US

A top US intelligence official says Musharraf faces threat if PPP and PML-N get the support of independents.

world Updated: Feb 29, 2008 01:39 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf faces the threat of being impeached if the two major parties, PPP and PML-N, which have joined hands to form the next government get the support of independents, a top US intelligence official has said.

The official said even though the two parties do not have the numbers Musharraf can be arraigned since PML-N leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif had "an agenda to impeach President Musharraf".

The Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnel told the Bush administration that the PPP and PML(N) "do not have the votes to do that (impeach), but if they had independents join them, they could possibly have the votes".

The ruling coalition needs a two-third majority in a House of 272 to successfully carry out any impeachment. The PPP(88) and PML-N (66) together have 154 seats. The Awami National Party (ANP) which has 10 members and an unspecified number of independents have also extended support.

"We are watching very closely now to see how the coalition is formed, who the members will be and who the prime minister might be," McConnel said.

On being asked by the Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin about the fairness of the polls, he said "all the reporting I saw was, by Pakistani standards, reasonable and fair. The number of people voting were a little higher than anticipated and a little higher than average for Pakistan. It was over 40 per cent".