Pakistan's prime minister said in an Associated Press interview he expects President Pervez Musharraf to secure another five years in office this fall despite continuing turmoil over his bid to fire the chief justice.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz projected an air of confidence for the government and Musharraf's leadership during the interview Sunday, playing down signs of a spread in Islamic extremism in the country and predicting this will be the first parliament in Pakistan's history to finish its full five-year term.
Aziz said the country has been going through a period of economic growth and now has record reserves of US$15 billion (â‚¬11.2 billion).
"The whole nation hopes, and I'm sure President Musharraf wants, to stand for re-election. We are very sure he will contest and he will be elected for another term," said Aziz, seated in a state reception room in his official residence overlooking the capital.