Islamabad : US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is due to arrive in Pakistan Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations but will not mediate in the country's current political crisis, the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said Monday.
"I do not know who made up the story that Richard Boucher is coming here to mediate, it is absolutely baseless", ministry spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told reporters.
Pakistani media have speculated that Boucher might be involved in talks between President Pervez Musharraf – a key ally in the US-led war on terrorism – and the opposition party of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistan People's Party, to ensure the political survival of the embattled leader.
Musharraf is under increasing pressure for his suspension in March of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry over alleged misconduct.
The measure sparked major protests by opposition parties, lawyers and rights activists and has since grown into a movement against military rule by the army general.
Aslam said she had no information that Boucher would be holding a meeting with opposition leaders during his visit.