Washington, May 12 : Even as today's deadline for restoration of deposed Supreme Court judges is almost certain to expire, and the PML-N expected to take a "stand" today regarding continuance of its support to the PPP-ld coalition government, the US media has predicted fall of the three-month old democratic government in Islamabad.
The new Pakistani government was almost certain to miss the second deadline for restoring sacked judges, "rekindling speculation that the government might collapse", The Washington Post quoted a news agency report as saying.
The news agency report said that the failure of the talks over the judicial dispute in London had raised the "prospect that the three-month-old democratic government will collapse in disarray".
While PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif demanded restoration of all the judges, including former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Zardari wanted them restored but only briefly, said the report and added that Zardari favoured linking the reinstatement of the judges to a constitutional package that would curb President Pervez Musharraf's powers by removing his right to dismiss the government.
Similarly, another report published in several US newspapers noted that the failure of the London talks had "increased the likelihood the ruling coalition could shatter after just six weeks in power and plunge the country back into political turmoil".
According to US media reports, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is learnt to have advised the Pakistani leaders "to avoid a confrontation" with Musharraf.
Boucher met PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London earlier on Sunday, but a US Embassy official in Islamabad said they did not discuss the judicial crisis.
The US official urged the two leaders "not to take measures that could push the government into direct confrontation with Musharraf", the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior PPP official as saying. It also quoted Federal Education Minister Ahsan Iqbal as saying that the PML-N "will have no justification to remain in the government if the judges were not reinstated".