US, other Western countries asked Musharraf to put off emergency idea: Source

November 14th, 2007 - 8:21 am ICT by admin  
Washington and a number of other western capitals established contacts with President General Pervez Musharraf on Thursday and Friday, and advised him to not take any extra-constitutional step, The Dawn reported.

However, these sources were quick to add, the proposal was still on the table, and, depending on how the situation unfolds over the next few days, drastic steps could be taken to prevent the ‘derailment’ of the system.

Meanwhile, uncertainty and apprehension is prevailing in the country after reports started coming in that the government was contemplating taking “extraordinary steps” to wriggle out of an “extraordinary situation”.

But as the case on the president’s re-election dragged out in the Supreme Court, the General and his aides were undecided on whether to adopt the constitutional path by imposing emergency rule under Article 232 of the ‘green book’ or resort to extra-constitutional measures like ‘emergency-plus’, the daily reported.

The head of the United States Centcom, Admiral William J. Fallon had met almost every top civilian and military official in Pakistan. He broached not only the security situation in the NWFP, but also sounded out his interlocutors on the “extraordinary measures” under discussion.

According to media reports, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had urged Musharraf to go ahead with the general election and conveyed Washington’s opposition to extra-constitutional means.

Senior ministers like Sheikh Rashid Ahmed admitted that all options were under consideration, but kept on insisting that nothing was final as it was a part of the ongoing process to exhaust various options to end the prevailing uncertainty.

“Consultations on various options started last week after the president’s camp started backing its hunch that the Supreme Court would deliver an adverse verdict in Gen Musharraf’s eligibility case,” said sources.

On the other hand, the ruling party circles have suggested that by November 5 the National Assembly will be summoned with draft of the emergency proclamation order.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid had taken members of the ruling group into confidence about the draft of the emergency proclamation order, said sources. (ANI)

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