I watched him speak live via BBC-TV; unfortunately I don't have any direct quotes or a link -- not yet, anyway.
[UPDATE: a few news articles are coming online now. Here's a short item from Dawn, and a longer report from Jane Perlez via the International Herald Tribune. And as more articles come along, I may link to a few of them from the text below. But back to our story!]
Musharraf began by claiming that all the allegations against him were false, and he said he could prove as much if he chose to defend himself against the impeachment charges the opposition coalition was preparing to deliver.
But that would have caused too much harm to the country, Musharraf said; it would have damaged both the presidency and the parliament.
Musharraf repeated several times that everything he had done had been for "Pakistan first", and he claimed that he had always conducted himself with honesty and integrity.
He admitted that he might have made some mistakes, but he said he hoped the Pakistani people would put those mistakes behind them. Musharraf said his resignation would reach the speaker of the parliament today.
BBC's prepared coverage was predictably awful. Shortly after Musharraf finished speaking, they cut to an in-studio analyst who spun a few very sad lies about how Musharraf's fate would have been a close call. Hah! Musharraf had almost no support in the parliament, and the parliamentarians are the ones who would have voted. And then BBC showed a canned tribute to Bush's number one ally in the global war to foment terror. They didn't call it that, of course. They still pretend that Bush and Musharraf have been fighting against terrorism, rather than using terror as a political weapon.
But before that happened, and thanks to the spontaniety of live television, they gave their viewers a wee glimpse of forbidden truth.
The BBC's man on the scene in Islamabad, speaking immediately after Musharraf's speech (with no script and no filter) reported that Pakistani TV had placed so much importance on Musharraf's address that they cut away from it -- while he was speaking -- to show people dancing in the streets of Rawalpindi, and lawyers praying -- giving thanks -- in the streets of Islamabad.
This goes against the Western media spin, of course, which holds that Musharraf is a moderate and his opponents are extremists. As usual with the spinning Western media, the reverse is true.
It's the lawyers, not the militants, who have done the most to defeat Musharraf -- and they have done it by supporting a restless pro-democracy movement! Some of them have been beaten bloody for their efforts; some have been arrested. But now they have a chance at actual democratic parliamentary government. Imagine that!
Where are our lawyers???
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