Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stepped down today as chief of his nation's military in a bid to ease the tensions gripping the country. He will be installed as civilian president for a five-year term tomorrow. His resignation officially marks the end of military rule, though the country remains in a state of emergency imposed by him. "I love this army, and this relationship will continue," said Musharraf, "though I will not be in uniform."
The president, under pressure from the West to step down as military chief, will be replaced by Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who has cooperated with the US in the fight against terrorism, and prefers to keep the military out of politics. Opposition leaders and Western allies want emergency rule lifted before elections scheduled for January.