On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported the provincial assembly of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) also passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf. The 107-4 vote comes just a day after the Punjab Assembly passed a similar resolution, [see yesterday’s post].
A Reuters piece also reported that the “embattled” President “lost the support of some allies” today, “with provincial legislatures dominated by his opponents increasing pressure on him to step down before a bid to impeach him.” Information Minister Sherry Rehman told reporters, “The tidal wave is sweeping the country. Even his own former allies are now voting against him.” Reuters quoted Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, a leader of a small political party that backed Musharraf for years [PPP-Sherpao], who said, “This is no time for confrontation and we want to strengthen the democratic process. That’s why we have decided to support the impeachment motion.”
Despite these reports, the President is still holding on to his office. An article in today’s Dawn noted that Musharraf reportedly told his loyalists “that he has ‘sufficient official records’ to expose failures of the four-month-old coalition government.” Several PML-Q members [the oft-labeled “pro-Musharraf” party], including party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, as well as MNAs Marvi Memon, Amir Muqam and Sheikh Waqas Akram have recently assured Musharraf of their support. Dawn added, “They told reporters that the president had criticized PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for what he termed his personal vendetta against him.” Additionally, reported the news agency, Musharraf “dismissed as rubbish the allegations of misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military assistance, saying that pocketing foreign aid by an individual was not possible because it was utilised under a system.”
PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who had made those allegations yesterday, reportedly backed away from such claims soon afterwards. The News reported that Zardari, in an interview with Geo TV‘s Hamid Mir, said that “it would be premature to say that President Musharraf might have misappropriated the U.S. aid given to Pakistan in war against terror.”
What happens next remains to be seen. However, it looks like President Musharraf is not going down without a fight. For further analysis, view the below segment from Al-Jazeera English: