ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf is set to step down as army chief and swear a new oath of office as a civilian president by the weekend, the country’s attorney general said Wednesday.
Malik Mohammad Qayyum told AFP that if the Supreme Court throws out a final legal challenge Thursday to Musharraf’s re-election as expected, the military ruler would hang up his uniform within days.
“If the Supreme Court lifts the stay order against his re-election, then President Musharraf is likely to take the oath as a civilian president by Saturday or Sunday,” Qayyum said.
On Monday the top court dismissed the main five of six challenges against Musharraf’s October 6 victory, leaving just one — regarded as minor — to be heard Thursday.
The Pakistani leader, who declared emergency rule on November 3, has been under intense international pressure to quit as the chief of army staff, hold free and fair elections, end the emergency and free political prisoners.
Musharraf has promised to quit his army post as soon as the court dismisses all the challenges, so that his victory can be officially validated.
On Tuesday, authorities set January 8 as the date for general elections and announced the release of thousands of prisoners, but there is still no sign of an end to the emergency.