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Local media: Musharraf likely to step down
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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has finally made up his mind to quit instead of facing the imminent impeachment, local newspaper The News reported Friday.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf addresses an Independence Day ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf addresses an Independence Day ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The coalition government has offered indemnity and security to Musharraf if he resigns and "the drop scene is likely in a few days," according to a leading English newspaper Daily Times.

The ruling coalition announced on Aug. 7 that they would initiate the proceedings to impeach Musharraf on the ground that he had violated the Constitution and his policies had led to economic crisis in the country.

Some senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N),part of the ruling coalition, have called for Musharraf's resignation to avoid the impeachment. However, presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi has repeatedly clarified that Musharraf would face the impeachment.

Local media reports indicate that the coalition and Musharraf have been negotiating on a deal to provide Musharraf a safe passage in return for his resignation.

The Daily Times report said the coalition had reached a consensus on a deal to provide safe passage and security cover to Musharraf.

However, other reports contradicted the Daily Times report, saying that Nawaz Sharif, chief of the PML-N, stuck to his position against safe exit to Musharraf.

The coalition has been preparing a "charge sheet" against Musharraf. Local newspaper The Nation reported on Friday that the task committee set up by the two major coalition partners, Pakistan People's Party and PML-N, would meet on Friday to finalize the draft charge sheet.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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