Big news out of Pakistan:
Under pressure over impending impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced he would resign Monday, ending nearly nine years as 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 said the governing coalition, which has pushed for impeachment, had tried to “turn lies into truths.” “They don’t realize they can succeed against me but the country will undergo irreparable damage.” In an emotional ending to a speech lasting more than an hour, Mr. Musharraf raised his clenched fists to chest height, and said, “Long live Pakistan!”
Musharraf took power in 1999 in one of those “bloodless coups” and was a reliable partner in American anti-terrorism work.