AFP
August 18, 2008

ISLAMABAD (AFP) — Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf resigned on Monday, bringing down the curtain on a turbulent nine years in power to avoid the first impeachment in the nuclear-armed nation’s history.

The key US ally, who seized power in a 1999 coup, announced the move in a lengthy televised address, rejecting the charges against him but saying he wanted to spare Pakistan a damaging battle with the ruling coalition.

The departure of the former general set off wild celebrations at home, yet it was far from certain what would come next for a nation whose role in the “war on terror” has been increasingly questioned by Washington.

“After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign,” Musharraf, wearing a sober suit and tie, said near the end of his one-hour address.

“I leave my future in the hands of the people.”

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