Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation, ending nine years of military rule.
Musharraf, who seized power in 1999 in a military coup, made the announcement Monday in a nationally televised address amid calls for his resignation by the country’s two ruling coalition parties and threats of impeachment.
Musharraf’s resignation brings to an end an important alliance with the United States, the Washington Post reported. The president was among the first Muslim leaders to stand with the U.S. following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and he allowed the U.S. to use military bases in Pakistan while pursuing the Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents.
The U.S. has backed off from its support of Musharraf, announcing Sunday that it would not be offering Musharraf asylum when he is forced to leave Pakistan.
The governments of Pakistan and Israel do not have official relations. In 2003, Musharraf floated the idea of diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, and in 2005 the foreign ministers of the two countries met for the first time. Musharraf has said that Pakistan will not recognize Israel until a Palestinian state is established.
A report in the Bangladesh News claims that Musharraf and Israel’s President Shimon Peres have been in regular contact for the last three years and that Peres has now offered his help to the deposed Pakistani leader.