ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: A beleaguered President Pervez Musharraf reiterated on Thursday his determination to fight back and not to step down after coalition partners agreed to impeach him.

Sources said that the president had met his legal advisers and like-minded politicians and rejected charges levelled against him by PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at a news conference on Thursday.

“I have done no wrong and whatever I have done was in the best interest of the country. I have not abrogated the Constitution and will respond to the charges against me in parliament,” he said.

The president has been holding meetings with his legal aides and loyalists over the past two days.

Prominent among those contacted by the president were PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Hamid Nasir Chattha, PML-F chief Pir Pagara, PPP-Sherpao president Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Mr Chattha told reporters after coalition parties’ meeting that “the president will never give up and will fight it out till last”.

According to a TV channel, Pir Pagara ridiculed claims by the ruling coalition that it had a two-thirds majority in parliament.

According to sources, the president held a three-hour long meeting with his chief legal adviser Sharifuddin Pirzada and discussed with him a “bailout strategy”. Various suggestions, including the use of infamous 58(2)b and its consequences, also came under discussion.

Sheikh Rashid, however, denied that he had talked to the president on phone.

He told Dawn: “I have not talked to the president and I cannot go for a rebuttal to TV channels’ reports.”

He said that coalition parties did not have a two-thirds majority in parliament.

In reply to a question why was he not meeting the president, he said: “There is no use of meeting him as I have no vote for him.”



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