Musharraf sworn in as president

Pervez Musharraf embarked on a new, five-year term as a civilian president Thursday, a day after ceding the powerful post of army chief — the basis of his rule for the past eight years.

Musharraf sworn in as president
In his inaugural address, Musharraf welcomed the return from exile of his old foes, former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, saying it was "good" for political reconciliation.

"I only hope that they will ... move forward toward a conciliatory, civilized, democratic and political environment in the future," Musharraf said.

However, neither was present at the ceremony in the state palace in Islamabad, and it remained unclear whether the changeover would defuse the threat of a boycott of upcoming parliamentary elections. Such a move would undercut Musharraf's effort to legitimize his rule through a democratic ballot.

"This is a milestone in the transition of Pakistan to the complete essence of democracy," Musharraf told an audience of government officials, foreign diplomats and military generals. "Elections will be held in January come whatever may."

On Wednesday, a tearful Musharraf ended a four-decade military career as part of his long-delayed pledge not to serve as both president and army chief.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Kasım 2007, 11:59
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