Under pressure to step down or face impeachment, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation today in a televised address to the nation.
In his address, Musharraf struck a defiant tone, accusing his opponents of false criticism and said, “Whatever I could do for this country I did it with integrity.”
His resignation signals the end of an important alliance with the United States and now Pakistan’s future – and its U.S. relations – are far from certain. Musharraf ended Pakistan’s support of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan after 9/11 and pledged to help the United States, becoming one of Washington’s most crucial allies in its declared “war on terrorism.”
But by last week Washington appeared to be distancing itself from Musharraf, saying his impeachment was an internal matter. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Bush administration has no plans to offer Musharraf asylum.