ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman on Monday dismissed a suggestion from three U.S. senators that the embattled leader make a "graceful exit" from power his opponents' victory in Pakistan's elections.
Musharraf was elected to a new five-year presidential term last year by Pakistani lawmakers, "not by any senator from the United States," his spokesman Rashid Qureshi told Dawn News television.
"So I don't think he needs to respond to anything that is said by these people," he said.
The three U.S. senators met Musharraf shortly after last week's parliamentary vote in which his political allies were routed. Some Pakistani political leaders have also called for him to resign.
Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that he would advise Musharraf to seek a dignified way to leave office.
"I firmly believe if (political parties) do not focus on old grudges — and there's plenty in Pakistan — and give him a graceful way to move," then it could happen, Biden, a Democrat, said on ABC television.
Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Chuck Hagel also endorsed a negotiated retreat rather than a push from power for Musharraf.