Agence France-Presse - 8/18/2008 12:36 PM GMT
Musharraf resigns as Pakistan president
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf resigned on Monday, bringing down the curtain on a turbulent nine years in power to avoid the first impeachment in the nuclear-armed nation's history.
The key US ally, who seized power in a 1999 coup, announced the move in a lengthy televised address, rejecting the charges against him but saying he wanted to spare Pakistan a damaging battle with the ruling coalition.
The departure of the former general set off wild celebrations at home, yet it was far from certain what would come next for a nation whose role in the "war on terror" has been increasingly questioned by Washington.
"After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign," Musharraf, wearing a sober suit and tie, said near the end of his one-hour address.
"I leave my future in the hands of the people."
Pervez Musharraf was born 11 August 1943 (ohh, Happy Belated Birthday, Sir!). He seized power in 1999. He suspended the constitution of Pakistan. He appointed himself to the office of President of Pakistan, in 2001. He jailed/arrested several justices/lawyers/publics. Today, he announced his resignation as President of Pakistan.