The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Islamic term for Pervez

Islamabad, June 1 (PTI): Hardline Islamist alliance, the Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA) has offered Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf a one-year deadline to quit the key post of army chief, provided the government agrees to implement its 17-point Islamisation programme.

The MMA’s decision to give a one-year deadline to Musharraf was conveyed by deputy secretary general, Hafeez Hussain Ahmad to the president of the ruling, pro-military, Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Sujat Hussain, in Lahore yesterday.

MMA leaders, who were involved in intense parleys with Musharraf’s confidantes to strike a compromise deal on the President’s legal framework order (LFO), which incorporated his amendments, agreed on a one-year deadline as against a two-year period being sought by the President to give up the post of chief of army.

Sujat Hussain along with a team of top intelligence officials had negotiated with MMA leaders for a two-year term for Musharraf as army chief, media reports said.

Earlier, the alliance wanted Musharraf to quit the post by August 14 this year — Pakistan’s independence day — but agreed to extend the deadline by a year if he agreed to implement its Islamisation programme, which included shutting down US bases in Pakistan and enforcing the Shariah law.

Ahmad said the date to quit the post could be worked out by mutual consultation.

MMA’s compromise formula however does not involve the mainstream parties — the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-) led by former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

The government held talks only with the MMA to strike a deal, while the PP and PML- said they would not accept the continuation of Musharraf as army chief beyond August 14 this year.

Musharraf was eager to clinch a deal with the Opposition on the vexed LFO issue before he sets off on a crucial tour to the UK, US and France later this month.

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