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Clock Ticks for Musharraf's Ouster

Nawaz Sharif said in a speech today that he and the PPP's Asif Ali Zardari have agreed to begin talks on removing president Pervez Musharraf from power and exiling him as a traitor.

In his speech today, Mr. Sharif said there is no reason for Mr. Musharraf to have what he called a "safe exit" and called for the president to be punished as a traitor.

Zardari and Mr. Sharif met Tuesday to decide on constitutional reforms put forward by the PPP chief that would considerably weaken President Musharraf's powers. The talks ended without an agreement on that issue.

Musharraf's spokesman has denied rumors Musharraf is considering quitting.

Sharif, who was ousted himself by Musharraf nearly ten years ago, said, "A high treason case should be registered against him and he should be given the punishment of a traitor." To be sure, the personal axe is large and the grinding wheel spinning, powered by this year's Pakistani election results which swept Sharif's Pakistani Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) into shared power with Bhutto's PPP.

Meanwhile, the same ruling coalition's prime minister, the PPP's Yousuf Raza Gilani, is pushing pushing for an increase in US military aid to Pakistan.

The PML-N/PPP coalition was swept into power in large part by furthering the notion that Musharraf is too close to the US and in fact largely controlled by the US. Now they seek to try him for treason while incredulously soliciting an increase in financial grants already unparalleled in the two nations' historic relationship.

Now, I've been a sharp critic of Musharraf in recent years, but there's a word for that in the dictionary. I'll report back when I find it.

NOTE: Meanwhile, the Islamists in Pakistan are demonstrating, demanding the release of A.Q. Khan, popularly touted as the 'Father of the Islamic Bomb.' Pakistan, such a wonderful place. And we haven't even toured Waziristan yet today. It's one of those days when you just scratch your head in near-bewilderment. But it's not as if any of the above developments was unpredictable or unforeseen. It's just a day when they all converge.