ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In its first decisive move against Pakistan's former military ruler, the governing coalition announced Thursday that it would seek to impeach President Pervez Musharraf unless he agrees to resign.
Musharraf's allies, though, indicated that he would fight the attempt to oust him from his civilian post.
The developments could usher in a fresh round of turmoil in Pakistan, which has spent the past 18 months in a state of political upheaval.
Pakistan is considered a crucial U.S. ally in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida, although relations have been badly strained lately by American doubts as to whether the country's new civilian government has the resolve to confront Islamic militants.
The Bush administration, which supported Musharraf as his popularity plummeted last year and throughout a deeply unpopular bout of de facto martial law last fall, is concerned that his abrupt ouster could trigger instability. But U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said the president's fate was an internal Pakistani issue.
The move against Musharraf marks a rare show of unity by the two main parties in the ruling coalition, which have squabbled their way through their first five months in office.
Musharraf's camp suggested that the coalition was simply trying to bolster its own popularity by making him a scapegoat.