President Pervez Musharraf resigned yesterday, in the face of threats by the opposition-led government of Pakistan to have him formally impeached.
Rejecting the charges of abuse of power, the former general who seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 said he was resigning in the interests of the country, which in this case coincided nicely with the interests of himself.
He is widely expected to be replaced by one of the leaders of the opposing coalition. Pakistanis were said to be looking forward with optimism to a new era of democracy - perhaps led by Asif Ali Zardari, who spent several years in prison charged with fraud and corruption, and whose chief qualification to lead the Pakistan People’s Party is that his corrupt wife Benazir Bhutto was the daughter of its corrupt founder; or possibly by Nawaz Sharif, whose previous, corrupt leadership of the country was so successful that the population positively welcomed the seizure of power by a military dictator.
“Today we have buried dictatorship forever,” said Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousuf Gilani optimistically. “But watch this space for updates on that.”