Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 11:31 UK

Musharraf says he will not resign

President Pervez Musharraf (image from 25 March)
General Musharraf has faced repeated calls to step down

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has said he has no immediate plans to resign and go into exile.

Following speculative media reports he told journalists that he supports the present government and will continue to give it his backing.

President Musharraf has been facing calls to step down since his allies were defeated in elections in February.

But he has held onto the presidency despite facing resistance and having lost public support.

"I am not tendering resignation now," he told a group of journalists in a briefing that was later broadcast on Pakistani news channels.

However, with the government proposing changes to the constitution aimed at reducing his powers, he indicated that he would not like his role to be purely ceremonial.

"I will keep watching. I can't become a useless vegetable," he said.

President Musharraf has been in power since leading a military coup in 1999, but stepped down as army chief last year.


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