Monday, August 18, 2008
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf announced in a televised address to the nation Monday that he had decided to resign after nine years in power to avoid the threat of impeachment.
"After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign," a grim-faced Musharraf said, backed by Pakistani flags and a portrait of the country's founder.
"I leave my future in the hands of people."
Musharraf made the shock announcement after denying that any of the impeachment charges against him could stand and launching into a lengthy defence of his time in power.
"Not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me," Musharraf said. "No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan."
He said that there was now law and order in the country, that human rights and democracy had been improved and that Pakistan was now an crucial country internationally.
"On the map of the world, Pakistan is now an important country, by the grace of Allah," he said.