Islamabad, May 26 : Visiting American senators and officials are zeroing on political leaders of Pakistan with a million dollar question: if Musharraf resigns or is impeached, who will the next president be?
They are keenly considering a Minus-two formula, which entails getting rid of two controversial personalities - Musharraf and deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.
But before considering the name of a new president, the Americans are trying to persuade political forces in Pakistan to let an old friend of George Bush stay as president, even his powers are truncated , sources said.
They are said to be so desperate, that some members of American think-tanks are leaving no stone unturned to prevent Musharraf's impeachment.
The Americans have assured Nawaz Sharif of full support if he chose to become Prime Minister in case new elections are held in the country.
Sharif has been assured that his nomination papers for the current elections to parliament are not rejected in return for allowing Musharraf to stay as president.
Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro is being tipped as the right man for President , as he has found American support, thanks to his non-controversial political image.
Soomro was Musharraf's first choice when Zafarullah Khan Jamali was removed as prime minister, but Shaukat Aziz managed to convince Musharraf that he was the right man for the job.
That Sharif will favour Soomro as the new President of Pakistan, seems remote, as he might not tolerate someone very close to Musharraf in that crucial post.