ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a coup nine years ago and was a key U.S. ally in its campaign against terrorism, quit office on Monday to avoid impeachment charges.
“Whether I win or lose, the nation will lose,” Musharraf, 65, said in an hour-long televised address in which he passionately defended his record.
“The honor and dignity of the country will be affected and in my view, the honor of the office of president will also be affected.”
Prolonged jockeying and uncertainty over Musharraf’s position had hurt financial markets in the nuclear-armed country of 165 million people, and raised concerns in Washington and elsewhere that it was distracting from efforts to tackle militancy….
As if those efforts have ever been anything but half-hearted — at best.