Uniform will stay: Musharraf

NEW DELHI: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said that he will not give up his position as the chief of the army before polls next year. In an interview to a private Indian TV channel, the Pakistani ruler, who came to power in a coup in 1999, said he would continue to hold the job as the army chief as long as the constitution allowed him to.

“The constitution allows me to hold it till 2007, so I will hold it. So if the elections, as I said are in November, I will be in uniform,” Musharraf said.

Musharraf said it was not easy to give up the army uniform. “It’s not easy, because there are some perceptions. At this moment what Pakistan is facing needs a unity, a unity of command over important organs of state, which includes the military, the political and the bureaucracy.”

The president, however, did not give a definite date for the polls, saying they could be held late 2007 or early 2008.

Musharraf also told the network that he would not allow exiled former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to contest elections next year as both of them have been convicted by court.

“Both of them are convicted. One of them has gone out (of Pakistan) for 10 years for an agreement, by himself. And the other is out since,” Musharraf said.

Source: Times of India

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