It was inevitable:

Facing an imminent impeachment, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Monday announced his resignation maintaining that he wanted to avoid the country being put into instability and confrontation.

“No impeachment or no chargesheet can stand against me…. But I think this is not the time for individual bravado… this is the time for serious thought. “In the interest of the country, I have decided to resign. The resignation will reach the National Assembly Speaker shortly,” the 65-year-old former army chief said in an emotional internationally televised address.

Musharraf’s decision brings to an end a bitter confrontation between the presidency and the five-month-old PPP-led coalition government that has been gunning for him since its victory in the February 18 elections.

Not much is known about his fate but the back-room negotiations were intense:

Pervez Musharraf’s endgame drama has taken a new twist after Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief flew to Pakistan to urge the President’s political opponents to allow him a graceful exit from office.

Less than two days before Pakistan’s government is scheduled to lay out impeachment charges against Mr Musharraf in parliament, Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Islamabad to intervene on the beleaguered President’s behalf. He urged the government to agree to a deal that would allow Mr Musharraf to avoid impeachment.

The way ahead for Pakistan is also unclear – at least to the public:

There were few indications of who the next president would be. According to the Constitution, a new president must be chosen within 30 days. American officials have said that Mr. Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister who was assassinated in December, would like the post. But Mr. Sharif, who maintains a barely civil relationship with Mr. Zardari, is strongly opposed to the elevation of Mr. Zardari.

For now, at least, we’re either too busy cutting deals, or too uncertain about the future, to comment:

Lou Fintor, the spokesman at the United States Embassy in Islamabad, declined to comment on the announced resignation.

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