Beleaguered president leaves but Pakistan's problems remain - August 19, 2008
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With opponents vowing to impeach him, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation on Monday. According to The Guardian Newspaper Musharraf’s problems are far from over. Though covered for his military coup in 1999 by a constitutional amendment, he has no such protection for the state of emergency he declared last fall, and is thus open to prosecution as long as he remains in Pakistan. There are also a lot of people-mainly Islamic militants-who want to kill him. According to the Hindu newspaper “Musharraf’s exit is unlikely to undo Pakistani militants. “ It goes on to state that the country’s new civilian government has done "little to change Musharraf’s policies in the troubled northwest regions bordering Afghanistan. The coalition government wants to retain close ties to Washington, and support the international fight against Islamic extremism."
Musharraf ResignsProducer: Zaa NkwetaZAA NKWETA (VOICEOVER): With opponents vowing to impeach him, Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, announced his resignation on Monday.PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Today I decide to resign from my post. My resignation will reach the speaker of the National Assembly today. I leave my future in the hands of the nation and the people. [English] Let them be the judges.NKWETA: Seizing power in a military coup in 1999, Musharraf became a keen strategic ally of the US by supporting the so-called war on terror. In so doing, he abandoned Pakistan's support of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. According to The Guardian newspaper, Musharraf's problems are far from over. Though covered for his military coup in 1999 by a constitutional amendment, he has no such protection for the state of emergency he declared last fall, and is thus open to prosecution as long as he remains in Pakistan. There are also a lot of people, mainly Islamic militants, who want to kill him. The article further states that Pakistan's military hung Musharraf out to dry, notably General Ashfaq Kiyani, Musharraf's replacement as head of the military, who decided to restore the army's battered reputation domestically and internationally by withdrawing the army to the role of guarantor of Pakistani democracy, instead of being its dominant actor. Kiyani also warned Musharraf not to manipulate the results of the general election held earlier in February this year. But according to The Hindu newspaper, Musharraf's exit is unlikely to undo Pakistani militants. It goes on to state that the country's new civilian government has done little to change Musharraf's policies in the troubled northwest regions bordering Afghanistan. The coalition government wants to retain close ties to Washington and support the international fight against Islamic extremism. Former minister and political analyst Shafqat Mahmood believes Pakistan's problems are far from over: "It will take away a symbol of hatred but the essential issues do not end with Musharraf." Militant attacks are reported in the northwest almost daily, the country has a faltering economy, and as Jason Burke reports in The Guardian, civilian leaders are unlikely to make much difference to the raging militancy in the northwest, nor are they better placed to deal with the structural problems that fuel both the militancy and weaken Pakistan's ability to combat it. Mohammad Mian Soomro, the chairman of the upper house of Parliament, will serve as caretaker president until a new election is held.DISCLAIMER:Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
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