(Reuters) - Pakistan’s beleaguered President Pervez Musharraf resigned on Monday in the face of an impending impeachment motion by the nuclear-armed nation’s ruling coalition government.
Here are some facts about Musharraf:
— The second of three brothers, Musharraf was born into a middle class Muslim family in India in August 1943. His family moved to the newly created majority-Muslim state of Pakistan following India’s independence and partition in 1947.
— He spent seven years in Turkey, during his civil servant father’s posting to Ankara. In 1956 the family settled in Karachi.
— Entering the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961, the keen sportsman first saw action in the 1965 war against India and was decorated for gallantry. He had to endure the army’s humiliating defeat by India in the 1971 war and served for seven years in Pakistan’s special service commando group.
— Promoted to the rank of general and named army chief in October 1998, Musharraf overthrew then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 in a bloodless coup. He first led the country as chief executive and then won a five-year presidential term in a 2002 referendum critics say was rigged.
— Musharraf was one of President George W. Bush’s most important non-NATO allies in the U.S. war on terrorism. Supporters painted him as a strong leader who could save Pakistan’s moderate Muslim majority from militant, religious extremism.
— However, a bloody army assault on Islamabad’s Red Mosque in July 2007, during which at least 105 people were killed, led to a rise in attacks by Islamist militants that in the past year have killed at least 800 people.
— Musharraf won most votes in presidential elections on October 6, 2007, and then had to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of his re-election while still army chief. The court met on November 2 and the next day Musharraf imposed emergency rule.
— Musharraf said he had acted in response to rising Islamist militancy and what he called a paralysis of government by judicial interference.
— Most Pakistanis and foreign diplomats however believed his main motive was to prevent the Supreme Court invalidating his re-election. He quit as military chief in late November and finally lifted the state of emergency on December 15.
— In parliamentary elections in February 2008, delayed for 40 days following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, parties led by Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari (Pakistan People’s Party) and Sharif (Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)) won a resounding victory over the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League. Analysts said then that Musharraf might be driven out.
— On August 7 the ruling coalition said it would launch an impeachment process. Musharraf resigned on Monday.
Source: Reuters/ www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk