Global Politics

Pakistan leader under pressure to resign

(What's the likelihood that Musharraf will resign?) There's a lot of speculation but behind the scenes it seems talks are taking place because everyone wants this issue resolved so the government can move on. (Remind us what precipitated all of this and how it's related to the charges of misconduct against Musharraf?) Musharraf's power and his popularity have been draining away over the last 18 months. Last year Musharraf sacked the country's top judges in an effort to stay on as president. There were elections in February which his parties lost and now it's been a matter of time before the new government pushed for impeachment. Part of this is just to put pressure on him to resign, and one minister said the charges of misconduct could extend to over 100 pages but we don't know exactly what the charges will be. But an impeachment fight could go on for weeks, so his opponents would rather that he just resign. (Musharraf used to be regarded as an ally in Bush's war on terror. What would Pakistan be like without Musharraf?) There's the head of the army but he doesn't want to be involved in politics. After that there are three or four men who are vying for power, but it's unlikely there will be a single figure who emerges. (Is there an opening here for a fresh start with the US presidential election?) The situation is tangled and anti-Americanism is rife here and it would be tempting to play on those sentiments for whoever replaces Musharraf. (How is this registering with the Pakistani people?) No Pakistani President has been impeached before so Pakistanis are addicts of the political soap operas. At the same time, they want it over quickly so the government can move on.

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