Musharraf spokesperson denies resignation

Friday, August 15, 2008

Musharraf in 2004.
Image: Antônio Cruz/ABr.

The chief spokesperson for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has denied reports that came out Thursday indicating that the president would step down within days. "I'm tired of saying there's no such thing," Rashid Quershi remarked, and called reports that Musharraf was seeking immunity "nonsense."

Meanwhile, Tariq Azim Khan, a former minister under Musharraf, has said that talks concerning the issue are taking place. "Talks are under way and many people are interested that the issue is settled amicably without going into the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf."

When the Associated Press asked if Musharraf was going to resign, Azim Khan replied that "there are people who are advising him to avoid confrontation, but I don't think he has made up his mind."

"It is at the moment that Pakistan cannot afford confrontation," Azim Khan said. "And it's obvious that the present government and President Musharraf cannot get along. So it is in the best interest of Pakistan that some way is found whereby this mode of confrontation can be changed or can be more conciliatory."

Only a few people are still with [President Musharraf], and he only wants two things: indemnity ... and a piece of land.

—Senior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan

"He is ready to resign but he is putting conditions like indemnity for the November 3 action," said an anonymous source within the coalition government to The Guardian. "Backdoor talks are still going on. Things have not yet been finalised. Let's see what happens."

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said the ruling coalition is determined to press forward with impeachment if Musharraf does not resign. "We have conveyed to them that the coalition is determined for impeachment, and if he wants to save himself, the best way is for him to quit."

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a senior minister in the government, said: "Only a few people are still with him and he only wants two things: indemnity for the sins and crimes he committed in the past eight years, and a piece of land ... so he can live rest of his life there."

This story has updates
See Pakistan's Musharraf announces resignation