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Learning English - Words in the News
18 August, 2008 - Published 11:32 GMT
Musharraf resigns
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is facing impeachment by parliament, has announced his resignation. Mr Musharraf seized power in a coup almost nine years ago. Charles Haviland reports from Islamabad:

Listen to the story

Looking calm the embattled president went on national television and announced that, after consulting his allies and advisors, he had decided to resign. Mr Musharraf said his appeals for reconciliation with his opponents had fallen on deaf ears. He said the impeachment process he had been facing would have plunged the country into uncertainty.

The former general may now have relinquished the political power he clung onto for so long but the tone of his speech was anything but contrite. He said he had believed it was his destiny to save Pakistan, helped by God, and that he had prevented it from being declared a terrorist state.

In a clear reference to the leaders of the big political parties who've opposed him so implacably, Mr Musharraf said there were some elements who considered themselves more important than Pakistan and who were trying to betray the country. He said their allegations against him were false and went into elaborate detail about what he said were the social, economic and infrastructural improvements made during his rule.

Charles Haviland, BBC News, Islamabad

Listen to the words

under attack (because his continuing rule has caused a lot of controversy)

appeals for reconciliation
strong requests to overcome differences and start working together

fallen on deaf ears
been ignored

formally charging a public official, especially a president, with crimes or other serious offences (in order to remove them from public office)

given up

clung onto
tried very hard to keep

anything but contrite
not showing any regret or guilt (for the bad things that some people believe he has done)

In a clear reference to
obviously talking about

showing strong opinions that are impossible to change

went into elaborate detail
talked very specifically, including all the particulars

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