ROCK THE CASBAH: Pakistan President Resigns; Threatened With Impeachment, Musharraf Don’t Like It

pakistan2.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — 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. In an emotional ending to a speech lasting more than an hour, Mr. Musharraf raised his clenched fists to chest height, and said, “Long live Pakistan!” 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. MORE

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