From the BBC
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, facing impeachment on charges drawn up by the governing coalition, has announced that he is resigning.
He went on national TV to say that while he was confident the charges would not stand, this was not the time for more confrontation.
Probably the smart thing to do, but I am sure there is some subtext to this that involves manipulation of the public… Musharraf is a consummate politician. I suspect he is actually leaving his status up to the people of Pakistan, he is calling for them to voice what they want him to do.
It is a common tactic in Pakistan and was a trick often employed by Benazir Bhutto’s father when he was in office. Be self effacing, martyristic, and make the public love you and ask for a referendum of public opinion.
And then there is this from CNN
“I have not done anything for my personal gain. Whatever I have done, I have done it for Pakistan.”
And to be honest, with all the turbulence of the last 9 years of Musharraf’s reign, he is not a totally corrupt individual. He most certainly not stripped the country of it’s assets or used his position to enrich himself unlike some of his political opponents.
Musharraf’s personal assets consist of a few undeveloped pieces of land around Islamabad, a modest house, a small apartment, and an old army jeep. He has not even used his position to enrich his children. His son, for instance, is a computer programmer in California making a couple hundred grand a year after an extended period of time struggling to move up within the company.
On the other hand, some of his political opponents are multi-billionaires, and have set up their children with business that earn them millions.
The Bhutto family, for instance, has been accused of laundering money, de-frauding the government, taking kickbacks, even trading information on how to make nuclear weapons.
Whatever Musharraf is, greedy certainly isn’t it.
He claims, as BBC reports, that:
An impeachment process would have plunged the country into more uncertainty, he said, and it was no time for “individual bravado”.
Perhaps this is true… and we shall see how things work out in Pakistan. The people seem happy, the lawyers seem happy, and I am sure the judges are happy…. I just hope it lasts.