Musharraf to address nation
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is to address the nation on Monday afternoon, his spokesman told AFP, while dismissing rumours that he had resigned to avoid impeachment.Updated: Aug 18, 2008 10:33 IST
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is to address the nation on Monday afternoon, his spokesman told AFP, while dismissing rumours that he had resigned to avoid impeachment.
"The president will address the nation at 1:00pm (0700 GMT)," said retired Major General Rashid Qureshi, the chief presidential spokesman.
Asked about local television reports that Musharraf had already resigned in the face of attempts by the governing coalition to impeach him, the spokesman replied, "It is all nonsense."
Musharraf has other options available apart from resignation, including his powers as president to dissolve parliament and even to declare a state of emergency.
The coalition, headed by the party of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto, said on Sunday that it had drawn up impeachment charges against the former army chief and would lodge them in parliament this week.
Officials say that Musharraf's aides have been in talks with the coalition, brokered by Saudi Arabia, the United States and Britain, to allow him to quit in return for an indemnity for his previous actions.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said it appeared that Musharraf had "seen the writing on the wall."
"He is a wise man, he is a very experienced man and he has seen the writing on the wall," Qureshi told Dawn News television when asked if he had confirmation that Musharraf had resigned.
"He has seen the sentiments of not just the elected representatives, but various institutions... who all asked him to move in a particular way and do not destabilise things here," he said.
Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, said: "His political fate has been sealed. Whatever he says doesn't matter."
Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and then imposed a state of emergency in November last year to push his re-election to another five-year term through the Supreme Court.