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Musharraf resigns as Pakistan's president

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There is speculation that both Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, the leaders of the two main parties, are interested in the role. However, neither has openly said so.

It was also unclear whether Musharraf would stay in Pakistan or go into exile.

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, head of the main pro-Musharraf party, said Musharraf would live in Islamabad, where he owns a farmhouse on the outskirts.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said leaders of the ruling coalition would discuss later Monday whether to prosecute Musharraf in court on the impeachment charges.

Hugs and celebration

Briefly, his political foes put those issues on the back burner and got on with celebrating.

"It is a victory of democratic forces," Information Minister Sherry Rehman said. "Today, the shadow of dictatorship that has prevailed for long over this country, that chapter has been closed."

Television footage showed groups of people celebrating in the streets in several towns across Pakistan, some of them firing automatic weapons into the sky.

"It is very pleasing to know that Musharraf is no more," said Mohammed Saeed, a shopkeeper among a crowd of people jigging to drum beats and hugging each other at an intersection in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

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