West accused of plotting to save Musharraf

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London, Feb.26 : Britain and America are being accused of pressing winners of the February 18 elections in Pakistan not to remove President Musharraf.

Senior figures of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the two biggest parties in the new Parliament, revealed this to The Times.

They claimed that British High Commissioner to Pakistan Robert Brinkley and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson, met PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif separately on a couple of occasions and pressed both not to go ahead with their demand for Musharraf's removal from office.

Brian Hunt, the American consul in Lahore, also met Sharif's brother, Shahbaz, on Wednesday as well as Aitzaz Ahsan, a prominent figure in the PPP, who led the lawyers' movement against Mr Musharraf last year.

British and US officials publicly insist that the meetings were routine or introductory, and deny urging any party not to remove Mr Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999.

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