Unhappy Musharraf to grill Gilani over deteriorating economic, political situation

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Islamabad, May 23 : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has decided to speak to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over the "political uncertainty" prevailing in the country.

Musharraf is also said to be unhappy with the economic situation the country was facing after the new PPP-led coalition government took over last month.

"The President is worried about the economic situation... he is thinking of talking to the prime minister about it," Presidential spokesman Maj Gen Qureshi was quoted as saying by a Pakistani journalist who was attended a "background" briefing by Qureshi.

Musharraf's spokesman also said that the President would soon speak to Gilani over the "deteriorating political, economic and law and order situation in the country" and convey to the government that political uncertainty was scaring away investors.

According to him, foreign countries had agreed to set up nine universities in Pakistan, but "now they have decided not to come here because of the political uncertainty", reported the Daily Times.

The spokesman ruled out the possibility of the President's impeachment because the government was still "short of a two-thirds majority" in a joint sitting of both houses.

Earlier, in an interview with the Indian news agency, Zardari had reportedly said: "The president has taken off his uniform... but that does not make him (Musharraf) a democrat or a civilian president... the public is telling the PPP that they don't want bread, they don't want electricity, they want him out."

In reply to a question, Zardari went to the extent of saying: "I don't know whether his days are numbered or my days are numbered or our government's days are numbered. Who knows that?"

Zardari's statement only added fuel to the fire, as tensions continue to brew up between the PPP-led coalition government and the Presidency. The main bone of contention between the two sides is the new constitutional package being drafted by the PPP which, according to insiders, entails provisions of clipping Musharraf's wings and taking away key powers from him, including that of dissolving the National Assembly.

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