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Aides say Pakistan's Musharraf Will Fight Impeachment


Key allies of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf say they will challenge any attempt by the country's ruling coalition to impeach him.

A spokesman for the main pro-Musharraf opposition party, Tariq Azeem, Friday expressed doubts the ruling coalition has enough votes in parliament to move forward. Aides said President Musharraf has no plans to resign.

Thursday, Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said they want to strip Mr. Musharraf of the presidency and restore the judges he ousted last year.

Friday, Mr. Sharif announced his party's ministers will rejoin the cabinet in a show of solidarity after the coalition leaders agreed to impeach President Musharraf. The ministers had resigned in May, because of the coalition's failure to reinstate the judiciary.

Impeaching Mr. Musharraf requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Gonzalo Gallegos, said Thursday the impeachment plan is an internal matter, but that the U.S. wants any action to be consistent with Pakistan's constitution and the rule of law.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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