Posted tagged ‘President of Pakistan’

Pervez Musharraf Resigns as President of Pakistan

August 18, 2008

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, facing threats of impeachment, resigned his Presidency this morning in a televised address to the nation.

Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Credit: Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

From the New York Times:

Under pressure over impending impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced that he would resign Monday, ending nearly nine years as one of the United States’ most important allies in the campaign against terrorism.

Speaking on television from his presidential office here at 1 p.m., Mr. Musharraf, dressed in a gray suit and tie, said that after consulting with his aides, “I have decided to resign today.” He said he was putting national interest above “personal bravado.”

“Whether I win or lose the impeachment, the nation will lose,” he said, adding that he was not prepared to put the office of the presidency through the impeachment process.

His resignation came after 10 days of intense political maneuvering in Pakistan, and cleared the way for the four-month-old coalition government to choose a new president by a vote of Parliament and the provincial assemblies. But there were intense concerns in Washington that Mr. Musharraf’s departure would open a new era of instability in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country of 165 million people, as the fragile coalition jockeys for his share of power.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Following days of reported negotiations with a governing political coalition whose most cohesive bond is opposition to the former Army chief, Mr. Musharraf said he was sending his resignation to the speaker of the National Assembly. That announcement came after a nearly 45-minute defense of his leadership — begun with a bloodless coup in 1998 — that ranged from counterterrorism accomplishments to the construction of highways, dams and canals, and even the proliferation of Pakistani cellphones during his time in office.

Without mentioning the imposition of emergency rule last year and suspension of the judiciary that are among the acts his opponents deem impeachable offenses, Mr. Musharraf declared that “not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me.” And he began and finished his argument by saying he had only ever acted out of concern for the country. “No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan.”

It will be very interesting to watch how this situation develops as Pakistan has been arguably our most important ally in the war on terrorism. How will the incoming leader stand on this issue? How will the US relationship be maintained? Thoughts?