Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pakistan Leaders Tighten Noose around Musharraf

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pakistan Leaders Tighten Noose around Musharraf

Article excerpt

Byline: ED HARRIS

PAKISTAN'S president was today told to seek a confidence vote in parliament or face impeachment.

The ruling coalition parties said they had agreed "in principle" to start proceedings against Pervez Musharraf and were looking at a draft resolution.

It was not clear today how they would proceed or whether Mr Musharraf could be forced from office.

Latest reports indicated that Mr Musharraf had cancelled a trip to the Olympics. The foreign ministry said the prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gillani, would attend tomorrow's opening ceremony in Beijing instead. There was no confirmation from the president's office, but the news immediately fuelled speculation that the president had cancelled his trip because of the imminent moves to oust him.

The president ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif 's government in a bloodless coup in 1999 and then dominated Pakistan for eight years.

He was sidelined when party leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Sharif formed a coalition government after trouncing the former general's allies in parliamentary elections in February. The coalition has a comfortable majority in the National Assembly, so Mr Musharraf would struggle to win a confidence vote. …

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