Pakistan President Gen. (retd.) Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation in a televised address to the people of Pakistan. He has sent his resignation to the Speaker of the National Assembly (Lower House of the Parliament of Pakistan). The Chairman of the Senate (Upper House), Mohammedmian Soomro, has been sworn in as the caretaker President of Pakistan.
Musharraf leaves the Presidential Palace in Islamabad after nine years . . .
Though Gen. (retd.) Musharraf denied the impeachment charges against him in the address, he announced his resignation immediately after that. It was the only option left for the former military ruler after the elected representatives decided to bring an impeachment motion against the President.
The deeply unpopular President, who seized power in a military coup nine years ago was strongly backed by the Bush administration as an “important ally” in the “war against terror” in neighbouring Afghanistan and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). There were reports that he could possibly go into exile to the United States or Saudi Arabia, another country that plays a big role in the internal affairs of Pakistan, but they were denied by his aides.
The people of Pakistan were delighted with his resignation. According to a report on the website of the Pakistani newspaper Dawn:
Pakistanis danced in the streets on Monday after President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation, with many ordinary people hoping his departure would bring improvement to their lives. Lawyers, who have spearheaded an anti-Musharraf campaign since he tried to sack the chief justice last year, stormed out of courts in Multan on hearing of Musharraf’s resignation, shouting “Down with the American stooge.” Jaffar Shah, a retired soldier in Peshawar, said: “The root cause of all problems has gone. I wish I could fire shots to show my joy but unfortunately I can’t do that.” People in Karachi handed out sweets and danced in celebration. “Thank God he’s resigned. The country will do much better now. It’s a victory for the people,” said a businessman. In Lahore, the sound of drums and cheers of joy echoed throughout this ancient walled city. Elsewhere, people fired Kalashnikovs in the air to celebrate.