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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Musharraf's quit part of negotiated settlement

 Pakistan President Asif Zardari disclosed for the first time that his predecessor Pervez Musharraf had resigned as part of a negotiated settlement guaranteed by "international and local" stakeholders, according to local media reports Tuesday.
    "All international and local powers, which have stakes in the region, were guarantors of General (r) Pervez Musharraf's negotiated resignation," local newspaper Daily Times quoted the president as saying.
    Though the president did not say much on the issue during an informal chat with senior journalists in iftar-dinner he hosted Monday, he tacitly conceded that Musharraf could not be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution for high treason as was being demanded by some opposition parties, especially the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). "I had been hoping that he (Musharraf) would play golf," he added.
    Zardari said that had the stockholders agreed on the trial it would have been possible to pursue, adding that now parliament could make a decision in this regard, according to the private TV channel ARY News.
    When a journalist asked whether army chief Ashfaq Kayani was also one of the negotiators and guarantors, the president asked, "Why do you want to bring him (Kayani) in this debate?"
    The president avoided responding to a question when specifically asked whether Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government would try Musharraf. "The PPP never recognized him (Musharraf) as the country's president," Zardari said.
    On July 31, Pakistani Supreme Court ruled that Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule and dismiss dozens of senior judges in 2007 was unconstitutional.
    Musharraf's rival and chief of the opposition PML-N Nawaz Sharif has been demanding of the government to put Musharraf on trial for suspending constitution and high treason.
    Musharraf took power in Oct. 1999, following a nonviolent military coup which toppled the government of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In Aug. 2008, Musharraf resigned from the post of President under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.

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