Pervez Musharraf cancels his China visit

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Islamabad, Aug 6: The foreign office confimed the cancellation of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to China to attend the inauguration of Beijing Olympics on Wednesday, Aug 6.

The abrupt cancellation of visit came amid media reports ruling coalition's decision to impeach Musharraf. The decision was reportedly taken at the meeting of Pakistan Peoples Party and its main partner in coalition Pakistan Muslim League (N) on Tuesday, Aug 5. The coalition is to meet again in Islamabad on Wednesday, Aug 6. The PPP and PML (N) which came to power on Monday, Feb 18 election after routing Musharraf's political allies, on Tuesday, Aug 5 agreed to formally ask President Pervez Musharraf to step down and to impeach him through parliamentary measures if he did not oblige, local media reports said quoting unnamed sources in both the parties.

The PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif led their respective teams in the six-hour talks amid growing concerns over the future of the ruling coalition because of the differences over the issues of reinstatement of judges and the future of an increasingly isolated President.

Although there was no official confirmation, the meeting left no doubt that the focus was on impeachment of the President.

Later, PML-N leader Khwaja Asif confirmed in an interview with a private television network that ''all legal and constitutional hitches are being removed to impeach the President.'' The state-run news agency APP said the issues of deposed judges and the President's impeachment dominated the talks.

According to the PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar, Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif held one-to-one talks for more than an hour after which they were joined by their aides. He announced that there had been a 'very positive progress' in the talks.

Immediately after the meeting, a team of PPP and PML-N negotiators, headed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, flew to Karachi to brief Awami National Party's (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the other two small coalition partners, about Tuesday, Aug 5 deliberations.

This was considered by observers here as an indication that the two parties were serious about their decision to act against President Musharraf.


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