|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Under pressure over impending impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced he would resign Monday, ending nearly nine years as the head of 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.
Mr. Musharraf has been under strong pressure in the past few days, as the coalition said it had completed a charge sheet to take to Parliament for his impeachment. The charges were centered on “gross violations” of the Constitution, according to the minister of information, Sherry Rehman.
The rhetoric from the coalition mounted over the weekend, but the leading politicians wavered on an exact date for bringing the charges, thus leaving a window for Mr. Musharraf to leave.
In his speech, Mr. Musharraf tore into the coalition for what he called their failed economic policies. He said Pakistan’s critical economic situation — a declining currency, capital flight, soaring inflation — was their responsibility. In contrast, he said, his policies had brought prosperity out of near economic collapse when he took charge in 1999.
He then gave a laundry list of his achievements, ranging from expanded road networks to a national art gallery in the capital. Although Pakistan’s literacy rate hovers around 50 percent, and is much lower among women, he took credit for new schools.
The army, the most powerful institution in Pakistan, stayed publicly above the fray in the past 10 days. But in remaining studiously neutral and declining to come to Mr. Musharraf’s rescue, the new leader of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvaz Kayani, tipped the scales against the president, politicians said.