Zardari officially clarifies Musharraf stepped down as part of a 'guaranteed' deal

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Islamabad, Sep.15 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has revealed that former President General Pervez Musharraf had stepped down from the Presidency as a part of a deal which was facilitated by 'international and local' guarantors.

"All international and local powers, which have stakes in the region, were guarantors of General Pervez Musharraf's negotiated resignation," Zardari told media person during an Iftar party here.

Zardari, however, distanced himself from questions regarding Musharraf's trial under the Article Six of the Constitution, but hinted that the former general may never be prosecuted.

"I had been hoping that he (Musharraf) would play golf," The Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.

When asked whether the present Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani was also a part of the deal and one of the negotiators in it, Zardari said: "Why do you want to bring him (Kayani) in this debate?"

Zardari also tacitly avoided responding to questions whether the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was actually willing to punish Musharraf saying: "The PPP never recognised him (Musharraf) as the country's president."

Referring to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Zardari said, "The 'thinking' behind the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and killing of Shahnawaz Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto was one."

When journalists asked him about his views on the controversial 'minus-one formula' Zardari said such formula could only be implemented in the regime of president like Farooq Leghari. (ANI)

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