August 12, 2008

Musharraf to Fight Impeachment Effort

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, refusing to resign, says he will disprove the charges against him from the ruling coalition that wants to impeach him.

As the National Assembly began its session to consider impeaching Musharraf on charges of misconduct, violating the Constitution and financial irregularities, the embattled president said he would prove the allegations "false before the nation," the Press Trust of India reported.

The ruling coalition, led by the Pakistan People's party, claimed its charge-sheet is an "unimpeachable document." The charges were expected to be filed this week.

Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for Musharraf, said his boss has no plans to resign despite pressures from various quarters to do so, the report said. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported Musharraf told his supporters he has "sufficient official records" to expose the failures of the 4-month-old coalition government.

Musharraf also was quoted as dismissing accusations that he misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. anti-terrorism assistance.

Separately, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said the National Assembly session will continue until the impeachment process is completed.

It will take a two-third majority of both houses of parliament to impeach Musharraf. CNN reported parties opposed to Musharraf have 274 members in the National Assembly and the Senate. They will need 295 out of the total 440 seats for impeachment.