Shedding military 'skin' no easy call for Musharraf
For a man who claims his khakis are "part of my skin," embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will find it tough to hang up his military uniform as promised.
But the former commando who seized power in 1999 appears to have been left with little choice, after months of political turmoil surrounding his attempts to cling to his dual military and civilian roles.
His main lawyer told the Supreme Court here Tuesday that General Musharraf, 64, will resign as army chief if as planned he wins re-election by parliament in a ballot due by October 15.
"Musharraf has been unwilling to give up his uniform because he knows his strength comes from being the army chief," political analyst Kamal Matinuddin told AFP.
"He also knew he would be backed by the US in its 'war on terror.'"
By his own admission, indiscipline marred Musharraf's early army career.
After joining the Pakistan Military Academy aged 18 he was court martialled for taking unauthorized leave. He was only spared when war broke out with India in 1965, and won a gallantry award.
He became a commando in 1966 but admitted on his website that "my bluntness and indiscipline landed me in many a serious trouble" until his marriage in 1968. He now has a son and a daughter.