18 'Q' MPs to back impeachment of Musharraf, says Pak Information Minister

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Lahore, Aug.9 : Pakistan's Information and Broadcasting Minister, Sherry Rehman has claimed that at least eighteen members of the PML-Q, the party that has been supporting President Musharraf all along, have contacted the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leadership and said that they will support the impeachment motion against the President.

According to the Daily Times, Rehman is said to have told the privately-run Samaa TV that the PPP-led four-party coalition has devised a strategy to oust Musharraf.

She said that the draft of the impeachment-related resolutions to be tabled in the four assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier Province and Balochistan would be prepared today.

The draft regarding the proposed impeachment has been completed by a four-member Draft Committee of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party-Pakistan Muslim League coalition and placed with the Leader of the House in the Senate.

According to The News, the committee comprises of Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Sherry Rehman, Farooq H. Naek and Raza Rabbani.

Rehman also informed that a joint meeting of the parliamentary parties of the coalition would be held before the August 11 National Assembly Session.

Rehman's claim comes even as the U.S. State Department has advised to all parties involved in the impeachment process to ensure that their actions are consistent with the Rule of Law and the Pakistan Constitution.

"This is a matter for the Pakistanis to decide," the Dawn quoted State Department spokesman Gonzalo R. Gallegos as saying earlier this week.

The U.S. which has been a key ally of Musharraf, is now distancing itself from him. Gallegos said that Washington will continue its close ties with the democratically elected Government of Pakistan.

Asked how the U.S. would react if the move actually led to President Musharraf's impeachment, Gallegos, who is leaving for Islamabad this week to join the U.S. Embassy as a senior diplomat, said: "We have consistently said the internal politics of Pakistan is an issue for the Pakistani people to decide.

Our expectation is that any action will be consistent with the rule of law and the Pakistani Constitution. It is the responsibility of Pakistanis' leaders to decide on a way forward to succeed as a modern and democratic country."

ANI

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