Musharraf impeachment motion to be moved next week

August 12th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, Aug 12 (IANS) Pakistan’s ruling coalition will table the impeachment motion against President Pervez Musharraf in the lower house of the parliament next week, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said Tuesday. She said that the charge sheet against the president will be completed in a day or two and after consultations between the coalition partners, will be tabled in the National Assembly.

According to Rehman, the charge sheet against the president was “very strong” but he would be given full chance to defend himself.

However, sources close to president say he is still hoping for a “miracle” and is not ready to give up.

“The president is continuously taking advice from his close aides and is ready to fight the charges being levelled against him,” said an informed official.

“I am not a coward and will fight the case… the charges against me are baseless and I will bring the reality in front of the nation,” the official quoted Musharraf as saying.

Rehman also maintained that the ruling coalition had a two-thirds majority in parliament necessary for impeaching the president and would get more than the required numbers as several independents and members of the opposition parties would come on board.

Aftab Sherpao, Musharraf’s close aide and a former powerful interior minister in the previous government, surprised many Tuesday by announcing his support to the ruling coalition.

“Our party has decided to support the impeachment motion in the interest of democracy,” a Sherpao aide told reporters in Peshawar.

He spoke after the North West Frontier Province assembly passed a resolution asking Musharraf to seek a trust vote from the Electoral College comprising the four provincial legislatures and the two houses of parliament.

The Punjab assembly passed a similar resolution Monday and the Sindh and Balochistan legislatures are expected to follow suit.

Sherpao was a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) until 2002 before creating his own faction and supporting Musharraf in the previous parliament. He was known for his close association with the military dictator.

Rehman termed the support of PPP-Sherpao as a good omen for democracy, adding that more surprises were in store for Musharraf and his allies.

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