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No pressure to quit as Army chief: Musharraf
August 30, 2007 19:57 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] has rejected "any pressure or ultimatum" in making a decision to quit as army chief amid claims by former premier Benazir Bhutto [Images] that the General has agreed to shed his uniform as part of a power-sharing deal.
"While the president believes in dialogue and deliberations on all important national issues, he never works under any pressure or ultimatum," Musharraf's spokesman Rashid Qureshi said in a statement in Islamabad on Thursday.
"The president will make all decisions only in national interest at appropriate times according to the Constitution and the law," he said in the first official reaction from Musharraf's side on the power-sharing talks with Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan People's Party.
The spokesman was responding to reports that Bhutto's calls for concrete commitments by the end of this week amounted to an ultimatum to decide whether to remove uniform. A government spokesman Mohammed Ali Durrani, meanwhile, said Musharraf had not yet decided whether to step down as army chief before the Presidential elections.
"When it is time, he will announce it," Durrani told reporters. In a series of interviews, Bhutto claimed that most issues with Musharraf had been resolved including that he had agreed to doff his uniform before the Presidential elections.