President resigns, leaves Aiwan-e-Sadr
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf has vacated Aiwan-e-Sadr after stepping down from the office of President.
He was accorded a guard of honour before leaving the President’s House.
Before departing, the former president met with many important figures including the Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Tanvir Mehmood.
Chairman Senate, Muhammadmian Soomro has taken over as Acting President of Pakistan after the former president Pervez Musharraf’s departure.
President Pervez Musharraf resigned after remaining in power for nine years.
He announced resignation from his post in an address to the nation.
He dismissed the “false allegations” being leveled against him by the coalition government and said he was neither afraid of the charges against him, nor shy to face these through impeachment.
“For me it is always Pakistan first”, Musharraf said and added that politics of confrontation must come to an end and instead a policy of reconciliation be pursued.
He stressed immediate measure be taken to arrest the economic downturn and said the nation has the resilience to withstand any challenge.
He said it was not a time to show bravado, but to get serious as country’s dignity was at stake, the office of Presidency would bear the brunt.
“For 44 years I have safeguarded the country and will continue to do so.”
“No charge sheet can stand against me. Not even a single charge can be proven against me as I have full trust in Allah Almighty and I did everything with the belief of Pakistan First.”
The President said he took all decisions with consultation, took all stakeholders onboard, on the most difficult decisions.
“All stake holders, whether they were soldiers, politicians, bureaucrats, members of civil society, Ulema were consulted in all decisions. “I have nothing to worry about the charge sheet,” Musharraf said.
The President said he has mixed thoughts to do something to take the country out of this crisis. Parliament can be saved from horse-trading. Even if the impeachment fails, the relations between institutions of the state will never be the same again.
President Musharraf said it was the government’s right to initiate the process of impeachment against him, however he had full right to defend himself.
“Impeachment is their (government’s) right and to face it, is my right,” he categorically added.
However, he said no charge could be proved against him, and he was not afraid of impeachment.
“I believe that no charge sheet can stand against me because I never did things for my own self but for my country.”
“I am not afraid of impeachment because not a single charge can be proved against me.”
Musharraf said he had no guilt on his conscious for his nine-year rule.
“I am leaving with this satisfaction that I did my best with honesty and responsibility,” he said.
President Musharraf defended the performance in all areas of governance during his tenure; particularly the economy, empowerment of people, achievements in health, education and social sectors, besides the war on terror.
“We held elections twice. The senate, national assembly and local government, all completed their terms. This is the essence of democracy”
“I am proud of all these achievements, all done for Pakistan and its people,” the President said.
Musharraf rejected the allegations, saying he has done nothing wrong and could face the charges.
The President said he pursued a reconciliatory approach and there was nothing personal or even a hint of personal vendetta since the new government took over.
The people had new hopes from the new leadership that emerged after the Feb 18 election, where they can fight illiteracy, get employment, bring an end to confrontation between different state institutions.
“Unfortunately all my appeals towards reconciliation and to address the complicated issues, fell on deaf ears.”
“All my efforts unfortunately failed,” Musharraf said.
“Certain vested interests began an atmosphere of confrontation and of vendetta; they blamed me of hatching conspiracies from Aiwan-e-Sadr.”
He said free, fair, transparent elections were held on Feb 18 and participation of all parties was ensured. “Had it been a conspiracy, we would not have done it,” Musharraf said.
In the presence of a healthy opposition the budget passed without a hitch.
“I publicly announced support to the government and offered to share all my experience with them to help address complicated issues it was confronting.”
“The coalition considered me a problem and not a solution,” Musharraf said.
“Are they afraid of me or my obligations under the constitution.”
President Musharraf said he always believed in the slogan of ‘Pakistan First’ and said he still believes in it.
“I have fought two wars for Pakistan and still have the same spirit for my country.”
“I took power of the country when it was at the brink of being declared a failed state,”
Musharraf said and dwelt at length over the economic achievements, since he took over.
However the President said certain elements have been trying to level false allegations against me.
He said eight months back the GDP was growing at a rate of 7 per cent and had touched 180 billion, with 17 billion US dollars in foreign exchange reserves. The revenue collection was Rs 1000 billion.
He said the Stock Exchange Index was 16,000 and the exchange rate hovered around Rs 60 for the past eight years - all these were the indicators of a robust economy, the President added.
He said the Stock Exchange plunged, dollar rose to Rs 77, investors are fleeing the country, money is going out, and no new investment is coming.
The President said it all was leading to increased sufferings for the poor, for whom even the common edibles had gone out of reach.
There has been a global economic slowdown, but only because of the robust economy of Pakistan, it managed to bear all this, he added.
President Musharraf said owing to the increased industrial and economic growth the demand for electricity rose, and admitted that power generation capacity did not match it.
He said over 3000 MW electricity generation was added, but it was inadequate to meet the demand.
In June 2007, we were generating 14000 MW, now we are 10,000 MW and since we do not have adequate funding, the additional generation was not being met.
President Musharraf regretted that unfortunately the atmosphere was being vitiated that was having a negative impact on all sectors of the economy.
The President said in the past nine years all areas were addressed and measures were taken to improve their working.
He said before he took over, only the M2 section of motorway was constructed with much fanfare, while during the nine years a large number of road projects were completed.
“Whosoever says that our policies for last nine years were faulty and unsatisfactory, should not damage Pakistan,” he said.
President Pervez Musharraf said it was now time to “forget about the past and focus on future. The government should find solutions for the problems and take the country forward.”
“There is no essence of democracy now,” the President regretted and added that it was infact during his government that the local government system empowered the people at the grassroots level.
Musharraf said in 1990s, the country had no international stature, but during his tenure Pakistan took a prominence and was heard at all international fora with respect.
He said in the aftermath of the Oct 8 earthquake over 80 countries participated in the Donor’s Conference and instead of the need for US 5 billion dollars, the community pledged US 6.5 billion, reflecting its stature.
value goes up by 1.20 against dollar
Value of rupee has increased by Rs1.20 against dollar
amid news reports of President Musharraf’s resignation.
to dealers, rupee value went up by 1.20 against dollar
which closed at Rs75.40 by the close of day.
President proved his slogan correct: Dr. Sattar
The Central leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, MQM
Dr. Farooq Sattar said Monday President Pervez Musharraf
had proved his slogan “Pakistan First” right
with his resignation.
Geo News after president’s resignation, he said
President Musharraf played his part to overcome the
political instability prevailing in the country. President
Musharraf always gave importance and priority to the
country’s interests, he added.
further said, “President Musharraf has responded
to the charges of ruling coalition with dignity.”
of national reconciliation initiated by the president
should be continued, added Sattar.
said that the responsibility to get the reconciliation
process going lies on the shoulders of present leadership
during such critical phase.
Musharraf departure ends 'critical period' for Pakistan: British FM
LONDON: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation ends a "critical period in Pakistan's history," British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Monday.
Miliband called on Pakistan's political leaders to "come together" to ensure the new government stays on course with economic and security policy, and called for the "early" election of a successor to Musharraf.
"The announcement... by President Musharraf that he is standing down as president brings to a close a critical period in Pakistan's history and its relations with the UK and other countries," he said in a statement.
"Pakistan is a vital friend of the UK and it is essential... that it has a strong and democratic government with a clear mandate and programme for thoroughgoing reform of its social, political and economic structures."
He praised the "significant dividends" of Musharraf's time in office, including on the economic front, in fighting terrorism, tackling corruption and promoting dialogue with long-time foe India.
"But reform depends above all on legitimacy, and that is why the UK has been at pains to stress the importance for Pakistan of strong institutions rather than strong individuals, and why we believe a strong democracy is key.
"The responsibilities on political leaders in Pakistan are now significant. They need to come together to ensure that the recently elected government carries forward an economic and security agenda consistent with the long-term interests of the Pakistani people."
He added that Britain, the former colonial power in Pakistan, would remain "strongly committed" to the country, notably through aid but also through stronger security cooperation with the new government.
"And we will be clear about the essential nature of a new partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan," said.
"I look forward to the early election of a new president in Pakistan to take forward the important shared work that binds our two countries together," he added.
Pervez Musharraf: a history in power
August 1943: Born in Delhi, India.
1964: Joins Pakistani army.
1998: Becomes army chief of staff.
October 1999: Seizes power in a bloodless military coup, overthrowing the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. In response, the Commonwealth suspends Pakistan's membership.
June 20 2001: Makes himself president, replacing Rafiq Tarar, while remaining head of the army. Tarar is forced out of office when the parliament that elected him is dissolved.
July 2001: Holds first meeting with the Indian prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at Agra in India. No progress is made because of differences over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
September 2001: George Bush courts Musharraf, asking him to join him in his "war on terror" and help defeat the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan. The US president promises Pakistan $1bn in aid.
April 2002: Wins a referendum giving him another five years in office. Observers criticise the referendum as blighted by irregularities.
May 2002: Pakistan test fires three medium-range surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Musharraf insists his country would not be the one to initiate war.
August 2002: Consolidates his power still further, giving himself the right to dismiss an elected parliament.
October 2002: Pakistan's first general election since Musharraf seized power in 1999 results in a hung parliament.
November 2002: Mir Zafarullah Jamali becomes the first civilian prime minister since 1999. He is a member of a Musharraf-supporting party.
November 2003: Pakistan's National Assembly meets for the first time since 1999.
December 2003: Musharraf promises to step down as head of the army by January 2005.
May 2004: Pakistan is readmitted to the Commonwealth.
December 2004: Musharraf announces he will stay on as head of the army.
August 2005: Pakistan tests its first nuclear-capable cruise missile.
March 2007: Musharraf suspends the chief justice, Iftakar Mohammed Chaudhry, triggering a wave of anger across the country and the first joint protests held by the parties of exiled former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.
October 2007: Signs a corruption amnesty, opening the way for Bhutto's return and a possible power-sharing agreement. Within hours of Bhutto's arrival back in the country, bombers attack a Bhutto rally in Karachi, killing more than 100 people.
November 2007: Declares a state of emergency, rounding up opposition leaders at gunpoint. In the same month, Musharraf quits as head of the army, becoming a civilian president.
December 15 2007: Lifts state of emergency and announces plans to go ahead with parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8.
December 27 2007: Benazir Bhutto is assassinated at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
January 2008: Elections postponed until February 18.
February 2008: The two main opposition parties gain a clear majority in the elections.
August 2008: The two main parties strike a deal to impeach Musharraf if parliament backs the move.
August 18 2008: Musharraf announces his resignation
Japan sees no change in “US-led war on terror” after Musharraf
TOKYO: Japan's prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, said he expected no immediate change to the US-led "war on terror" after Mr Musharraf announced his resignation.
When asked what kind of changes does this bring to the 'war-on-terror' and the Afghan situation, he said: “I don't expect any significant change for now”.
"I would expect different things would occur later. But it is not a time for us to make predictions and share them with you," he told Japanese journalists.
Bangladesh wishes Pakistan well
DHAKA: Bangladesh wishes its beleaguered neighbour Pakistan well after its president Pervez Musharraf, under pressure over impending impeachment charges, resigned Monday.
"We wish Pakistan well," foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told bdnews24.com in his initial reaction to the rather anticipated resignation.
He said there would be no change in the relations between the two countries.
"Bangladesh strongly believes that the people of Pakistani will determine their political destiny," said Dr Iftekhar.
General Musharraf , who unseated a democratically elected Prime Minister Newaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999, resigned in the face of impeachment threat by the two biggest political parties of Pakistan.
Musharraf's resignation Pak's internal matter: India
NEW DELHI: Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday described the resignation of the Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf as an "internal matter" of that country.
"It is an internal matter of Pakistan," Mukherjee said when reporters sought his reaction on the resignation of President Musharraf.
Recalling his recent visit to Pakistan, Mukherjee said a process has been initiated to improve bilateral ties between the two countries and foreign secretary-level talks would be held shortly.
"During my visit to Pakistan, I had, in fact, developed a personal relationship with the leaders of that country. From Nawaz Sharif to Asif Ali Zardari and Yusuf Gilani, I have cordial discussions with all of them and it seems to me that a positive approach could be made in improving our relations," Mukherjee said on the sidelines of a seminar on Nuclear deal.
The External Affairs minister said apart from bilateral issues, international issues too figured in the "talks".
"When I had met with a car accident in Murshidabad district last year, Nawaz Sharif personally telephoned me from London to enquire about my health," he said.
Zardari hails president’s resignation
ISLAMABAD: Congratulating the heads of the ruling coalition on President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation on Monday, PPP-co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari termed Musharraf’s resignation as a victory for democracy and the people of Pakistan.
Commenting on the President’s decision to step down, PPP-co-chairman said the president’s resignation would strengthen democracy in the country.
President's resignation triggers heavy buying at KSE
KARACHI: Bulls entered the market in last minutes after listening to the announcement of President Musharraf's resignation, triggering across the board buying at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Monday.
KSE 100-Index gained 460.91 points to close at 10,719.62 as turnover was estimated at 158.862 million as prices of 234 scrips recorded gains while 36 sustained losses and 13 remained unchanged.
A dealer at a leading brokerage house said that market was mixed in the morning. However, soon after listening to the address of President Pervez Musharraf in which he announced to tender his resignation, the bulls entered the market and made all round shopping, he added.
He said that all the leading scrips went up in few minutes and upper limit locks were exercised, limiting further buying.
He said that hectic buying will be seen tomorrow (Tuesday) as investors could not complete buying according to their desire.
The market capitalization was improved by Rs 137.21 billion to Rs3.332 trillion.
NBP was the volume leader for a consecutive third day with a turnover of 13.574 million shares followed by NIB Bank 10.855 million shares, Zeal Pak Cement 10.125 million shares, OGDC 6.984 million shares and Pervez Ahmed 6.730 million shares.
OGDC closed at 118.68, NIB Bank 10.24, Arif Habib Sec 122.37,Lucky Cement 73.76, NBP 124.63, MCB Bank 303.71, Bank Al-Falah 41.04,D G Khan Cement 48.75 and POL 269.12.
Unilever recorded the highest increase of Rs 32 to 2332 followed by Shell Pakistan which moved up by 21.18 to 444.89 while Pak Engg. dipped by Rs 20.85 to 396.15 and Service Industries down by 4.96 to 94.32.
Bush to work with Pakistan
CRAWFORD: US President George W. Bush will keep working with Pakistan on counter-terrorism and other issues after President Pervez Musharraf's resignation, the White House said Monday.
"President Bush is committed to a strong Pakistan that continues its efforts to strengthen democracy and fight terror," US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement.
Judges should be restored in 3 days: Aitzaz
LAHORE: President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan has directed the lawyers to remove the black flags from bar rooms after resignation of the president.
Talking to Geo News here on Monday, he said now that president Pervez Musharraf had resigned the deposed judges should be restored in the next 3 days.
“If the judges are not reinstated now, the lawyers will stage sit-in across the country,” Aitzaz Ahsan said.
He said the former president Pervez Musharraf instead of going into exile should face the charges.
President’s resignation pushes KSE, rupee value up
KARACHI: The reports of the President’s resignation on Monday strengthened rupee value and turned the stock market bullish.
The rupee, which remained under pressure from the beginning of this year, witnessed improvement in its value against dollar by Rs1.40.
Karachi Stock Exchange was buoyant right from the start of today’s trade in reaction to reports regarding President’s resignation. The benchmark KSE-100 crossed 10,700 level.
The major Index registered a gain of more than 450 points.
The KSE members welcomed the resignation by the President, saying the step would put to an end the ongoing confrontation in the country.
Senior members of KSE including Siddique Dalal, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Siraj Kasem Teli, former president of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tariq Saeed while talking to Geo News said President’s quitting of his office will now remove the prevailing political uncertainties in the country.
They were of the view that this development will pave way for the democratic institutions of the country to be strengthened further and the government will now be able to function in a more effective way.
NA Speaker receives President’s resignation
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly has received the resignation tendered by President Pervez Musharraf earlier today.
The NA Speaker will read out the resignation in the Assembly’s hall at NA session which has started its proceedings.
Musharraf’s resignation result of PPP’s long struggle
LAHORE: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi termed the resignation of embattled President Pervez Musharraf a result of the continuous struggle by slain PPP leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and party workers.
In a statement issued here on Monday, he noted that the stepping down of Musharraf would pave the way for a stronger parliament and country. “Today was a historic day for the PPP,” Qureshi said
President’s resignation proves Parliament’s sovereignty: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday greeted the nation on the resignation of Pervez Musharraf and said its a dawn of democracy and the dictatorship is ended for good.
"Today we can say with pride that our country too has democracy, constitution and rule of law," he said addressing the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister recalled the sacrifices made by the coalition parties' leaders and workers and said it has eventually paid off today.
"Your parliament is sovereign today," he said.
Gilani said the political workers and their leaders went to jail for the sake of democracy, independence of judiciary and media and to make institutions strong.
The Prime Minister on the occasion said that he has forgiven those who put him in jail and was not bitter about it.
"Our responsibilities have increased...I want to set up a truth and reconciliation committee of the house."
He said democracy was better than the best of dictatorship and added that he had never accepted the17th amendment and article 58(2)b of the constitution.
Gilani said he has always maintained that there should be a balance of power between the president and the parliament.
The president, he added, is a symbol of federation and his office demands that he should act as such by remaining above party affiliation.
Gilani recalled that when he was the speaker, he never took sides and issued production orders of detained MNAs, irrespective of party affiliation.
He regretted that the predecessor of the present speaker, when Javed Hashmi was in jail, never issued his production orders and failed to protect the rights of the house members. Gilani said he strongly believed that, as provided in the constitution, prime minister and ministers are answerable to the parliament.
The Prime Minister said there was a very thin line between accountability and revenge and called for an institution that was transparent having representations from both the government and the opposition.
Addressing the chair, he said there is a need to strengthen the institution of Public Accounts Committee and the parliament's standing committees.
He called for free, fair and transparent election commission to ensure credibility of election process and its results.
The Prime Minister thanked media and lawyers for their role in bringing democracy to the country.
The government and the opposition, he added, have now great responsibility on their shoulders to act in a mature manner. He said they can now bring any amendment they want in the constitution but it should be in the greater national interest.
CM Sindh terms Musharraf’s resignation as ‘people’s victory’
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah Monday described the tendering of resignation by the President Pervez Musharraf as the victory of the people.
Addressing the party workers here outside Bilawal House after the stepping down of the president, he said Pervez Musharraf is not the first person to tender resignation. “Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also made the general Yahya Khan to resign and now Co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari along with the coalition partners completed the mission of Ms Benazir Bhutto,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the government will resolve the issue of unemployment in collaboration with the democratic forces.
The PPP workers on the occasion danced to the PPP songs and distributed sweets.
World urges stability as Pakistan president quits
LONDON: World leaders urged stability and unity in Pakistan -- seen by the West as a key partner in fighting terrorism -- as they reacted to news of Pervez Musharraf's resignation as president.
"President Bush looks forward to working with the Government of Pakistan on the economic, political and security challenges they face," US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement on behalf of the US president.
Bush also paid tribute to Musharraf for his "efforts in the democratic transition of Pakistan as well as his commitment to fighting Al-Qaeda and extremist groups," the statement said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Musharraf in a statement "a friend to the United States and one of the world's most committed partners in the war against terrorism and extremism."
Meanwhile, Pakistan's regional rival India declined to comment on Musharraf's decision, with the foreign ministry in Delhi describing it as an "internal matter" for its neighbour.
Musharraf, the former army chief who seized power in a coup in 1999, announced Monday in a televised address that he would stand down in the face of looming impeachment charges.
Afghanistan, whose President Hamid Karzai has had strained relations with Musharraf amid a surge in Islamist extremist violence, said it hoped the move would help strengthen the civilian Pakistani government.
"We are determined to continue our cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism, which pose challenges to both countries," Karzai's spokesman Homayun Hamidzada said in an interview.
Russia, another major player in Central Asian geopolitics, expressed hope that Musharraf's departure would not cause instability in the country.
"Russia hopes the departure of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will not have negative consequences for the internal political stability of this major Asian nation," its foreign ministry said in a statement.
But the Iranian government expressed confidence that Pakistan would weather Musharraf's departure, according to foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi, quoted by the official news agency.
In Britain, from which Commonwealth member Pakistan declared independence in 1947, Foreign Secretary David Miliband praised the "significant dividends" of Musharraf's time in office, including on the economic front, in fighting terrorism, tackling corruption and promoting dialogue with India.
"But reform depends above all on legitimacy, and that is why the United Kingdom has been at pains to stress the importance for Pakistan of strong institutions rather than strong individuals, and why we believe a strong democracy is key," said Miliband.
"I look forward to the early election of a new president in Pakistan to take forward the important shared work that binds our two countries together."
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said Musharraf's departure was "essentially a matter of internal politics," while France -- which holds the EU presidency -- echoed Britain's call for unity.
"We would like the next president and the Pakistani government to work together in a constructive climate and with respect for the institutions to address the many challenges facing Pakistan," the French foreign ministry said.
In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said he expected no immediate change to the US-led "war on terror" after Musharraf's departure.
"What kind of changes does this bring to the 'war-on-terror' and the Afghan situation? I don't expect any significant change for now," Fukuda told reporters.
Japan is a major donor to Pakistan, a front-line ally in the US-led military efforts in Afghanistan, despite concerns about Islamabad's nuclear arsenal, public unrest and its democratic process.