Islamabad -- It has been known through well-placed sources that the President Pervez Musharraf is quite ready to play a political role; however, he is now a spent force. It seemed from the current circumstances that the parties which ruled the power roost during his good-old-days are now enjoying, his worst times. When they are with him, they are with him, however once they are out of his room, they are as out of sight as out of mind.

Richard Boucher the assistant secretary of states for South Asia, was on a visit to Pakistan yesterday and he was on tenterhooks over [this issue], though upon his arrival he was quite confident.

Well-informed sources have informed that the president has not done away with his longing to rule as a president, despite his assertions to cooperate and remain within the constitutional limits of the democratic government. Now he is looking for a political niche for himself. He held meetings with his good-old-days cronies, Pakistan Muslim League, Quaid-e Azam [PML-Q], Muttahidda Qaumi Movement [MQM] and Pakistan People’s Party Sherpao [PPP-S] and told them that he is ready to play his political role and that the allied parties should pave a way for him. The allied leaders assured him for their every possible cooperation.

However, later on, when the President met Richard Boucher, he told the U.S. secretary of state that he should not worry about him. He told him of the proceedings of his meetings [with the leaders]. He told him that not only these parties, the parties sharing power like Awami National Party [ANP] would also oppose the motion of his impeachment. That is why, he can not be impeached. Hence he can hold on to the office for the next five years, and that is the reason that the U.S. government should withdraw its support for him.

According to the sources, Richard Boucher met the leaders of the PML-Q, the MQM, the PPP-S and the ANP, and tried to testify during his discussion with them as to whether they would really oppose the impeachment motion [against the president]. At this none of the leaders of any party confirmed it. They stood on the ground that they did not assure the president that they to oppose the impeachment motion. In this way, the reports which Richard will provide to Bush, the U.S. president, will be certainly different from the previous ones.