Islamabad, Aug 6 : President Pervez Musharraf, who was earlier expected to leave for China today to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, has cancelled his visit.
A member of his entourage said they have been told that President Musharraf's scheduled visit to China has been "cancelled". Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq confirmed the visit had been called off.
During his visit, President Musharraf was expected to meet US President George W Bush on the sideline of the Olympics. The President was also scheduled to meet the Chinese leadership and discuss matters of mutual interest, and is also expected to meet the heads of several financial institutions and foreign investors.
The cancellation of Musharraf's visit comes hours after PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif was told by PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari that he was ready to impeach Musharraf if the coalition had numbers (majority) in the National Assembly.
The "make-or-break" meeting between the two leaders was meant to resolve contentious issues between the two coalition partners, including the sacked judges' reinstatement and the impeachment of the President.
Sources privy to the meeting reportedly said that the agreement came about after senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif assured Zardari that the coalition partners had sufficient strength to impeach Musharraf if the PPP took the initiative. "Both parties agreed that the issue of reinstating the sacked judges could easily be resolved once they succeeded in getting rid of President Musharraf," the Daily Times quoted the sources as saying.
According to the sources, Nawaz also complained to Zardari about not taking his party into confidence over the military operations in FATA and NWFP, and an increase in petroleum prices.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted six hours, PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that the "discussions were held in a very cordial manner and were very positive, frank and productive". "Major progress was made as broad consensus emerged on key issues," he added.
He said the talks would resume on Wednesday at Zardari.