Musharraf Will Step Down as Army Chief

Move was key to appease critics, keep job as president
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 2:13 PM CDT
President Musharraf, Dec 5th, 06   (AP/Anjum Naveed)
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(Newser) – Pervez Musharraf will resign as Pakistan's army chief in order to pursue another term as president, a party official said today, likely clearing the way for a power-sharing agreement with exiled former PM Benazir Bhutto. Reuters reports that talks with Bhutto, who returns to Pakistan October 18 to seek power, had largely stalled because of Musharraf's refusal to surrender either job.

Aside from Bhutto, however, Musharraf was under fire from ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and a hostile Supreme Court. But by stepping down, Musharraf further weakens his own power and complicates the political landscape of a country that is a key US ally, nuclear power, and site of strong al-Qaeda presence. His presidential term expires November 15.