Members of Pakistan's ruling coalition say they have finalized a draft
of impeachment charges against embattled President Pervez Musharraf.
A drafting committee on Saturday said the charges
range from violating the constitution to misconduct. They have been
given to coalition officials for scrutiny before being filed by Tuesday
of next week.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today called on
President Musharraf to make up his mind on whether to resign or not.
Qureshi said if the president does not step down in the next two days,
the impeachment process will begin.
On Friday, Mr. Musharraf's allies said talks were under way to reach an
agreement that would allow him to resign without facing impeachment or
criminal charges. But Mr. Musharraf's spokesman (Rashid Qureshi) said reports that the president will step down rather than face impeachment are baseless.
Pakistani media is reporting that Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief (Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz) has traveled to Pakistan to help mediate a deal between President Musharraf and the ruling coalition.
This week, Pakistan's four provincial legislatures voted in favor of a
resolution calling on the president to seek a confidence vote in the
national parliament. Mr. Musharraf is not required by the constitution
to face such a vote.
Removing the president requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Pakistan's parliament.
Mr. Musharraf seized power in a bloodless 1999 military coup. He ruled
largely unchallenged for years, while enjoying U.S. support as a close
ally in the fight against terrorism.