Musharraf steps down

The Pakistani president, yielding to growing presssure, resigns as jubilation breaks out in many quarters of the country.

Published August 18, 2008 3:23PM (EDT)

The big international story today, of course, is Pervez Musharraf's resignation as president of Pakistan.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he will resign, just days ahead of impeachment in parliament over attempts by the U.S.-backed leader to impose authoritarian rule on his turbulent nation.

An emotional Musharraf said he wanted to spare Pakistan from a dangerous power struggle.

"I hope the nation and the people will forgive my mistakes," Musharraf said in a televised address largely devoted to defending his record ...

Musharraf, who has been largely sidelined since his rivals came to power, finally yielded after the coalition finalized impeachment charges against him and threatened to send a motion to Parliament later this week.

The charges were expected to include violating the constitution and gross misconduct, likely in connection with the ouster of the judges and the declaration of emergency rule.

Well, there you have it: Yet another world leader vouched for by George W. Bush gets the hook.

For more analysis of the significance of Musharraf's reign, check out the BBC's Chris Morris here. For a good feature on the elation many Pakistanis expressed upon hearing news of the resignation, check out Reuters' Asim Tanveer here.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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