Monday, August 18, 2008

Musharraf Resigns Amid More Questions than Answers

Following months of speculation, President Musharraf of Pakistan has resigned, a Nixonian type move to avoid articles of impeachment complete with an address to the nation. There appears to be no vice-president or any particular order of succession, his replacement apparently left to the governing parties and a new election. In the meantime, the Chairman of the Senate, Mohammadmian Soomro, becomes the acting president under the Pakistani Constitution. There are few if any clues as to who will be the next president or what that will mean to the US.

Questions remain whether Musharraf was anti-terrorist or in bed in with the Taliban; even his countrymen cannot agree. There is strong belief in Pakistan that the emergency he declared late last year was solely for the purpose of insuring his re-election to the office, and he has been unable to achieve much since that point. There is a Prime Minister, so perhaps an orderly transition is not terribly important.

Politically active Pakistanis have made repeated calls for Musharraf's impeachment and/or resignation and/or charging him with crimes, their substance recounted in this online petition. Inside Pakistan, many viewed him as an American puppet and corrupt.

It is doubtful that President's Musharraf's exit will end the intrigue that seems to surround every facet of Pakistani politics, though there is great hope, amid cynicism, that the judiciary that existed prior to the declaration of emergency will be restored.


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