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Musharraf Agrees to Give Up Position as Armed Forces Chief


Pakistan's year-long political crisis has come to an end with a landmark agreement between the ruling party and the opposition over controversial constitutional reforms introduced by the president.

The agreement became possible after President Pervez Musharraf agreed to give up his position as head of the armed forces by the end of next year.

In exchange, the major opposition alliance of religious parties has agreed to support a series of constitutional changes, which give unprecedented power to the office of the president, including the right to dissolve parliament.

Ruling party Senator S.M. Zafar says the deal will end a year of political confrontation between his pro-Musharraf party and the opposition.

"All controversies will come to an end," he said. "And a democratic process which was, in a way, not functioning fully will be able to able function with its full force."

The deal will give the ruling party the required two-thirds majority needed to pass the constitutional amendments.

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