Washington, Feb 27: US Senator Joseph Biden has said that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will gently withdraw himself from power. "I think he will go gently into the night," Biden said after returning from Pakistan, where he monitored the February 18 elections.
Biden, addressing a meeting at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, said he has known Musharraf for 12 years and met him the morning after the elections. "Musharraf made it clear that the decisions related everything from the court -- and he went through the whole list of things -- are up to the next parliament," Biden added. "And he made it very straightforwardly clear that he's prepared to retire to the responsibilities of the President, which you know are significantly less inclusive than the Prime Minister, under the Constitution," Biden quoted Musharraf, as saying.
Biden said he did not think the PPP will insist on the impeachment of Musharraf as it lacks the votes.
"And my view is, if they treat him with a little bit of dignity, I think he is prepared to, in the near term, significantly withdraw from the exercise of power. And I would bet, just as a plain old politician talking to other politicians and seeing their body language, that two years from now or less he will not be there," he added.
Asked how big a mistake it was for the US to align itself so closely to Musharraf, Biden replied: "I've been arguing for about six years or more that it was a mistake. But rather than focus on the degree, to which it is a mistake, I think this is a significant prospect or a moment of transition here."
"The most frightening thing about a failed Afghanistan is Pakistan. There are a number of powers that have keen interests there including China and Russia. He said he did not know of another place in the world where as many major powers believe their interests to be as clearly focused than Afghanistan," the Daily Times quoted Biden, as saying.