For now the chairman of the Senate will act as Pakistan’s president but many believe the turmoil in the country is far from over. Opposition to Musharraf has bonded rival parties in the coalition and his departure may bring about a split.
The Pakistan People’s Party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League lead the government. They are old foes and despite recent cooperation will compete in the next election.
India reacted with caution, fearing a weak civilian government will be unable to hold the same influence over the Pakistani army and its secret service, which India believes is involved in most attacks on its soil. Instability in the nuclear armed country also worries its western allies.
However, the US military claim they have no immediate concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. It says it has ensured that the arsenal is under the firm control of the country’s army and that nothing would change following Musharraf’s resignation.