This week's visit to Pakistan of two high-ranking US policymakers -- Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher -- raised some expectations that they might be carrying the message to General Musharraf that it was time to quit. The visit coincides with the swearing in of a new democratic government hostile to the president.

But so far there's no sign of it. Any likelihood of Musharraf's resignation seems to stem from his own recognition that his position is untenable, rather than an American change of heart. Bruce Loudon reports in this morning's Australian, barely hiding his own incredulity, that "Even yesterday, Mr Negroponte and Mr Boucher were said to be arguing for the new democratic leadership to work with Mr Musharraf rather than force him to quit."