Pakistani president dismisses resignation rumours

May 30th, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, May 30 (DPA) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has dismissed the speculations of his resignation as “part of a malicious campaign to create unrest in the country”, media reports said Friday. “The rumour-mongers wish to create differences between me and the army,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.

Musharraf’s comments were his first since a news report claiming that he was planning to quit took the country by storm Thursday and plunged the stocks by more than 4.5 percent.

The embattled president told a dinner also attended by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani late Thursday that “this trend (of fanning speculations) must not continue as it was damaging for the country’s economy and a threat to foreign investment”.

Earlier, the English-language daily The News claimed in a report that country’s military, which has been the main power base for the retired general Musharraf since he took over in 1999 coup, had decided to distance itself from the beleaguered leader.

A message was conveyed by General Kayani himself Wednesday night in an important meeting with the president, who later on decided “to call it a day”, the newspaper reported, quoting what it called highly placed sources.

But Musharraf insisted the meeting was just a “routine” one.

The president has been under immense pressure to leave the office since Feb 18 elections which saw his political allies defeated outright.

At the weekend, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party announced its intention to force Musharraf to leave voluntarily by slashing his powers through constitutional amendments.

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