Islamabad, Aug 18 : In a style that could have beaten Hitchcock at his best in terms of suspense, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today announced his resignation from Presidency in his Address to the Nation, saying that his resignation would be soon submitted to the National Assembly Speaker.
He said he was stepping down because he didn't want to drag the office of President of Pakistan to the process of Impeachment. "Even if the impeachment process against me is defeated, the Office of President would be demeaned and it won't give a right message", he said with moist eyes.
But, it wasn't clear whether he would leave Pakistan to lead a retired life in some other country. From his words "Pakistan ko Khudahafiz" at the end of his hour-long address, a conclusion could be drawn that he has plans to leave the country, thereby laying to rest the speculations that he would shift to his newly-built sprawling mansion on the outskirts of Islamabad.
In his address, Musharraf highlighted his achievements during his 44-year long career as a military man and then as the President. He claimed that during his nine-year regime, Pakistan had made unprecedented overall development, in all sectors, like industry, education, per capita income, GDP growth rate, and law and order situation.
Musharraf said that during his regime, the exchange rate of Pakistan rupee against dollar hovered around Rs 60, but it had gone down now to the level of Rs 70.
Announcing his resignation, he thanked his countrymen for reposing faith in him, and appealed to the present day government to take the progress further, refrain from policy of confrontation and adopt reconciliation.
He said that he always tried for the betterment of Pakistan and took along all sectors of the Pakistani society, even the politicians and the Ulema.
Musharraf was the twelfth President of Pakistan. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Pakistan as well as former Chief of Army Staff. e seized power in 1999 by affecting a bloodless military coup and suspended his country's of Pakistan twice since then.
He took power on October 12, 1999, ousting Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister, dismissed the national and provincial legislative assemblies, assumed the title of Chief Executive and became Pakistan's de facto head of government, thereby becoming the fourth Army chief of Pakistan to have assumed executive control. Later in 2001, Musharraf appointed himself to the office of President of Pakistan.
On November 3, 2007, only days before a bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan was to decide on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of his re-election as president in the controversial October 2007 elections, he, as Chief of Army Staff, suspended the constitution, jailed several justices and lawyers of the supreme court including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the arrest of political dissidents and human rights activists, and shut down all private television channels.
On November 3, 2007, Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan which lasted until December 15, 2007. During this time, the constitution of the country was suspended.
On November 24, 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed his re-election as President.