Pervez Musharraf has resigned as Pakistan’s leader.
He quit to avoid being impeached on charges of gross misconduct and violating the constitution. Prolonged uncertainty over Musharraf’s status had worried the US, which feared it was a distraction from tackling violent militants, especially along the Afghanistan border.
In a live TV address, Musharraf said that regardless of whether he would had won or lost the impeachment case, the nation would have lost and the honour and dignity of the country and the presidency would have been affected.
Commenting on whether he had asked for immunity from prosecution, Musharraf said: “I don’t want anything from anybody. I have no interest. I leave my future in the hands of the nation and the people.”
In fact it will be in the hands of the leaders of the ruling coalition government – Asif Zardari, who was married to the assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf ousted as prime minister in a coup. They have now to decide whether to prosecute Musharraf in court.
It was not clear who the next president will be. Whoever it is has to be voted in, within thirty days, by an electoral college made up of members of both houses of parliament and Pakistan’s provincial assemblies.