ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – As the third resolution in as many days passes in favor of impeaching embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, he is also losing the support of some allies, including a former minister who served under him.
The assembly in southern Sindh province on Wednesday passed a resolution urging him to resign — the third of Pakistan's four provinces to do so this week.
On Monday legislators of the powerful Punjab province also passed a resolution against the former general. North West Frontier province lawmakers followed suit on Tuesday.
An impeachment motion could be introduced in the federal parliament early next week accusing the president of violating the constitution and gross misconduct.
Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 until just a few months ago, has given no public sign that he plans to stand down, but the role of the long-time U.S. ally has been largely marginalized after the opposition swept February elections.
The remaining Balochistan province is expected to pass similar no confidence resolutions hoping to prompt a resignation from Musharraf, something his supporters say isn’t going to happen.
Musharraf's political ally Tariq Azim downplayed the provincial resolutions saying: “No resolution passed by any provincial assembly has any relevance to the impeachment of the president, and if the coalition has any case, it must follow the proper course by moving a motion in the parliament.”
Information Minister Sherry Rehman said Tuesday that the ruling coalition is planning just that.
“The tidal wave against President Pervez Musharraf shows that all the democratic forces are together for his impeachment,” said Rehman speaking in Islamabad.
The process will leap to the federal level once a charge-sheet is presented to parliament. Rehman said the ruling parties’ “charge-sheet against Musharraf is very strong.” She added they have the two-thirds votes needed to carry the impeachment and that the motion could move forward next week.
Outside of stating that it’s an internal Pakistani issue, Washington has not said much about the Musharraf impeachment.
Pakistan will celebrate 61 years of independence on Thursday, and in its short and often rocky political history, a president has never been impeached.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.