Sep18th 2007,

Pervaiz Musharraf Stepped down as Pakistan Army Chief

Military coups in Pakistan began in 1958 There have been numerous successful attempts since 1951. Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has spent several decades under military rule (1958 – 1971, 1977 – 1988, 1999 – 2008).

Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف‎ Parvez Muśarraf; born 11 August 1943) is a Pakistani politician and a retired four-star general who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the federal government in 1999. He held the presidency from 2001 until 2008, when he tendered his resignation to avoid impeachment.

 General Pervez Musharraf finally quit as Pakistan army chief Wednesday, trading the post for a second five-year term as president and fulfilling a promise many Pakistanis doubted he would keep.

He passed the baton of command to his hand-picked successor, General Ashfaq Kayani, at a ceremony at army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, is to be sworn in as civilian president Thursday, having relinquished his position in the one institution that guaranteed his power.

“The system continues, people come and go, everyone has to go, every good thing comes to an end, everything is mortal,” a tearful Musharraf told top brass and government leaders at the change-of-command ceremony.

The opposition parties of ex-prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif welcomed the resignation. They are both mulling their participation in a January 8 general election they say can’t be fair under emergency rule that Musharraf imposed on November 3.

“It is a pleasant moment in the history of Pakistan. Now our army will get a full-time general as its leader,” Bhutto told reporters in Karachi.


Compiled by: DurreShahwar

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