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Musharraf calls off China visit amid ouster rumours

August 06, 2008 11:19 IST

President Pervez Musharraf [Images] on Wednesday abruptly cancelled his scheduled visit to China to participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic [Images] Games in the wake of reports that Pakistan's ruling coalition could be finalising a move to impeach him.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told reporters that Musharraf, who was due to fly to Beijing [Images] today, had called off his visit, a day after sparring coalition allies Pakistan People's Party and Nawaz Sharif's PML(N) had crucial talks to discuss his fate.

Officials, whoever, did not give any reason for the decision.

Other sources, however, said Musharraf cancelled his visit after the top leaders of the PPP-led coalition agreed in principle to impeach the President.

Musharraf has also called a meeting of his close constitutional and legal advisors at his camp office in Rawalpindi to discuss a strategy to counter any possible move to impeach him, the sources said.

Sources further said the decision to explore ways to impeach Musharraf was taken during a marathon meeting on Tuesday between PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.

Both parties have been tight-lipped about the meeting and did not issue any statement on the talks.                                           

Leaders of both parties merely said they had reached consensus on several key issues and a final decision would be taken after consulting the other allies of the coalition, including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Awami National Party and parliamentarians from the tribal areas.

Though the top leaders of the PPP and PML-N were earlier scheduled to meet here today at 11.30 am, the meeting has now been deferred till 2 pm. 

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