US speculates equations in case Gen Musharraf falls

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Washington, Nov 15 (UNI) Amid current political crisis in Pakistan, the United States has started speculating on new equations that might arise in case of President Pervez Musharraf's fall.

According to some senior US administration officials General Musharraf's days in power were numbered and the United States should begin considering contingency plans, including reaching out to Pakistan's generals, New York Times reported today.

Officials at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon held meetings to decide what message Deputy Secretary of State John D Negroponte would deliver to General Musharraf and to Pakistan's generals, when he arrives in Islamabad tomorrow.

Administration officials say they still hope that Mr Negroponte can salvage the fractured alliance between General Musharraf and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

But in Pakistan, foreign diplomats and aides to both leaders said the chances of a deal between the leaders were evaporating after the declaration of martial law by General Musharraf.

Officials also said the Bush administration remained wary of the perception that the United States is trying to make deals to install the next leader of Pakistan.

''They don't want to encourage another military coup, but they are also beginning to understand that Musharraf has become part of the problem,'' a former official of the Bush administration informed.

UNI

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