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Pervez Musharraf went from military leader to president of Pakistan after a bloodless coup in 1998.
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Though this law stood, it was not without controversy, and it motivated political forces in the assembly to continue applying pressure to Musharraf.
Musharraf was reelected in October 2007, but the election was contested by a number of judges because he still held the dual positions of army chief and head of state. Musharraf had several of the judges arrested, suspended the constitution, and declared a state of emergency, shutting down all private media channels. On November 24, 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed the reelection of Pervez Musharraf as president. Musharraf resigned from the military on November 28, 2007, thus releasing some of the pressure and continuing what seems to be a "passive-aggressive" pattern of political maneuvering to stay in control with as much power as he can garner.
On March 22, 2008, the Pakistan People's Party named former Parliament Speaker Syad Yusaf Raza Gillani its candidate for prime minister to lead a coalition government against Musharraf. Pressure continued to mount and on August 7, 2008, the coalition sought Musharraf's impeachment for "eroding the trust in the nation." At first Musharraf resisted, saying he would defeat those who tried to push him out of office. On August 18, 2008, however, Pervez Musharraf resigned from the post of president in response to the coalition government's threat of impeachment. It is believed that, had the impeachment taken place, he would have faced corruption and possibly murder charges.
The departure of the former general set off wild celebrations in Pakistan. After his resignation, Musharraf went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and has made a few public-speaking appearances in the United States. He has said that he would like once again to participate in Pakistani politics but has no plans for the immediate future.
The verdict of Pervez Musharraf's time as leader of Pakistan is a mixed one. He did much to improve Pakistan's financial condition, making it the world's third-fastest-growing economy in 2006 and a preferred country for investment. His policies and alliances helped Pakistan substantially reduce its foreign debt and reduce poverty, and they set the country on a path of prosperity, growth, and economic reform.
Musharraf's liberal policies led to more freedom for the broadcast and digital media. During this time, Pakistan experienced huge growth in the number of radio and television stations. Many Pakistanis living abroad get their news from home sources reported on international networks or on the Internet. Under his strong-armed leadership, business and finance grew in Pakistan with increased banking interests and small manufacturing growth. Such policies also put him at odds with more fundamentalist elements in the country.
However, Pervez Musharraf often found himself sandwiched between internal pressures from a culturally and politically diverse and evolving population and the United States, who saw Pakistan as a major factor in the effort to defend itself against terrorism.
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