Saudi intelligence chief in Pakistan amid Musharraf crisis

ISLAMABAD, August 16, 2008 (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief dashed to Pakistan for talks with the government over its plans to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, a senior official in Islamabad said Saturday. “If the president resigns, the coalition government will look into the (amnesty) subject,” he told AFP.

The visit of Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz came as a minister from the ruling coalition pressed Musharraf to stand down within two days and avoid putting the country through a destabilising impeachment battle.

“Yes, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz did visit Pakistan on Friday and met senior government officials,” a senior coalition official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The main purpose of the visit was to find an amicable solution to the (Musharraf impeachment) issue and that no one should become a laughing stock,” the official said.

Asked what solution the coalition regarded as acceptable, the official said that “Musharraf should step down” but that it was “really up to Musharraf” if his plans included exile to Saudi Arabia.

Musharraf’s spokesman said on Friday that the president would not step down, but allies and coalition officials said that talks were