ISLAMABAD - Finally putting an end to his 9 years' rule, the beleaguered President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf Monday stepped down as 12th President of Pakistan, terming the charges levelled against him as totally baseless.    "I did nothing wrong and the charges against me cannot be proven but I am resigning in the larger interest of the nation. I want to save Pakistan from destabilization," the stressed General (Retd) Musharraf announced in an hour-long televised address to the nation. Chairman Senate Mohammedmian Soomro took over as acting President of Pakistan following Pervez Musharraf's stepping down. Speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza accepted his resignation. Musharraf left Aiwan-e-Sadr as he was presented a farewell guard of honour at President House. He also met Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum on his last day in the presidency. General (Retd) Musharraf started hitting at his opponents right from the beginning of his hour-long last speech with an aggressive posture but lost the tempo as he proceeded towards the climax. Now the election for the next President would be held within four weeks.   Sources privy to the developments said General (Retd) Musharraf could leave for Turkey after staying for a short period in Saudi Arabia. "He (Musharraf) is leaving for Turkey," they asserted. However, the public pressure is mounting on the coalition government to stop him from proceeding to any foreign destination. People want him to be openly tried in a court of law, another source stated.                In his address to the nation, the President dismissed the "false allegations" being levelled against him by the coalition government and said he was neither afraid of the charges against him, nor shy to face these through impeachment. Musharraf, in the speech, counted his achievements during his last 9 years and recalled that he had carried a number of reforms and development works. In particular reference, he said he revived the national economy, improved the basic infrastructure including roads, art and culture.       "For me it is always Pakistan first", Musharraf said and added that politics of confrontation must come to an end and instead a policy of reconciliation be pursued. He stressed immediate measure be taken to arrest the economic downturn and said the nation has the resilience to withstand any challenge. It was not a time to show bravado, but to get serious as country's dignity was at stake, the office of Presidency would bear the brunt. "For 44 years I have safeguarded the country and will continue to do so. No charge sheet can stand against me. Not even a single charge can be proven against me as I have full trust in Allah Almighty and I did everything with the belief of Pakistan First," the outgoing President asserted. He said he took all decisions with consultation, took all stakeholders on board, on the most difficult decisions.  "All stakeholders, whether they were soldiers, politicians, bureaucrats, members of civil society, and ulema (religious scholars) were consulted in all decisions. I have nothing to worry about the charge sheet," Musharraf said. General (Retd) Musharraf said he had mixed thoughts to do something to take the country out of this crisis.  Parliament could be saved from horse-trading. Even if the impeachment fails, the relations between institutions of the State will never be the same again. The outgoing President agreed it was the government's right to initiate the process of impeachment against him, but added he had the full right to defend himself.    Musharraf said he had no guilt on his conscious for his nine-year rule. "I am not afraid of impeachment because not a single charge can be proved against me. I am leaving with this satisfaction that I did my best with honesty and responsibility," he said. President Musharraf defended the performance in all areas of governance during his tenure, particularly the economy, empowerment of women, achievements in health, education and social sectors, besides the war on terror. "We held elections twice. The Senate, National Assembly and Local Government, all completed their terms. This is the essence of democracy. I am proud of all these achievements, all done for Pakistan and its people," the outgoing President said. The President said he pursued a reconciliatory approach and there was nothing personal or even a hint of personal vendetta since the new government took over. The people had new hopes from the new leadership that emerged after the Feb 18 election, where they could fight illiteracy, get employment, bringing an end to confrontation among different State institutions. "Unfortunately all my appeals towards reconciliation and to address the complicated issues, fell on deaf ears. All my efforts unfortunately failed," Musharraf said. "Certain vested interests began an atmosphere of confrontation; they blamed me of hatching conspiracies from Aiwan-e-Sadr," he refuted. He said free, fair, transparent elections were held on Feb 18 and participation of all parties was ensured. "Had it been a conspiracy, we would not have done it," Musharraf said. In the presence of a healthy Opposition the budget passed without a hitch, he said and added, "I publicly announced support to the government and offered to share all my experience with them to help address complicated issues it was confronting." The incumbent coalition government considered him as a problem and not a solution, Musharraf mentioned. He recalled, "I have fought two wars for Pakistan and still have the same spirit for my country. I took power of the country when it was at the brink of being declared a failed State." He said eight months back the GDP was growing at a rate of 7 per cent and the economy size had touched $ 180 billion, with $ 17 billion in foreign exchange reserves. The revenue collection was Rs 1000 billion. He said the Stock Exchange Index was 16,000 and the exchange rate hovered around Rs 60 to a dollar for the past eight years - all these were the indicators of a robust economy, the President added. "The Stock Exchange plunged, dollar rose to Rs 77, investors are fleeing from the country, money is going out, and no new investment is coming," reminded the outgoing President. He said that all of this was leading to increased sufferings for the poor, for whom even the common edibles had gone out of reach. There had been a global economic slowdown, but only because of the robust economy of Pakistan, it managed to bear all this, he added. Musharraf said owing to the increased industrial and economic growth the demand for electricity rose, and admitted that power generation capacity did not match it. He said over 3000 MW electricity generation was added, but it was inadequate to meet the increasing demand. "In June 2007, we were generating 14000 MW, now we are producing 10,000 MW and since we do not have adequate funding, the additional generation was not meeting the requirement," he maintained. He regretted that unfortunately the atmosphere was being vitiated that was having a negative impact on all the sectors of the economy. In the past nine years all areas were addressed and measures were taken to improve their working. Musharraf urged the opponents that it was now time to forget about the past and to focus on the future. The government should find solutions for the problems and take the country forward. Musharraf said in 1990s, the country had no international stature, but during his tenure Pakistan took a prominence and was heard at all international fora with respect. He said in the aftermath of the Oct 8, 2005 earthquake over 80 countries participated in the Donor's Conference and instead of the need for $ 5 billion, the international community pledged $ 6.5 billion, reflecting the country's stature. Key points of speech n    Pakistan first has been my philosophy. n    Nine years ago when I assumed the power of this country it was going to be declared a terrorist state and on the verge of being declared an economically failed state. n    Unfortunately, some elements acting for vested interests levelled false allegations against me and deceived people.     I conducted 18 February elections which were free and fair and power was transferred in an amicable manner. This is the proof of my reconciliatory attitude.     All my appeals for reconciliation and leaving behind the past failed.     Now they (the ruling coalition) want to impeach me. Why, because they want to hide their mistakes?     No charge sheet can stand against me, no charge can be proved against me, because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan.     This is not time for individual bravado, it is time to think seriously. "I leave my future in the hands of the people." "I am sad that Pakistan is going down fast, poor people are being pressed by price hikes. I pray that this government will provide relief to people." Events since 1999 - 1999 - October 12: Musharraf overthrows elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the latter sacks him as Army Chief. - 2000 - May 13: Supreme Court validates coup. December: Nawaz is freed from prison on hijacking and corruption charges, exiled to Saudi Arabia and banned from returning to Pakistan for 10 years. - 2001 - June 20: Musharraf declares himself President after the incumbent, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, resigns. September 11: Musharraf drops support for Taliban and allies Pakistan with Washington after 9/11 attacks. - 2002 - April 30: Musharraf wins controversial national referendum on his rule. October 10: Pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League-Q wins general elections. November 16: Musharraf sworn in for a fresh five-year term. - 2003 - December: Musharraf escapes two assassination attempts. - 2004 - January 1: Musharraf wins parliamentary vote of confidence affirming his unelected rule until 2007. February: Musharraf pardons nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan for allegedly leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. December 30: Musharraf reneges on promise to quit as Army Chief. - 2007 - March 9: Musharraf sacks chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, sparking protests. Justice Iftikhar reinstated by Supreme Court in July. July 10: Troops storm the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, killing scores. October 6: Parliament elects Musharraf to another five-year term as President in a vote boycotted by the Opposition. October 18: Benazir Bhutto returns from exile. November 3: Musharraf imposes state of emergency, sacks Chief Justice, suspends Constitution. November 25: Nawaz returns from exile. November 28: Musharraf steps down as Army Chief and hands control of military to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani December 15: Musharraf lifts state of emergency. December 27: Benazir assassinated at election rally. - 2008 - February 18: Parties of Benazir and Nawaz trounce Musharraf's allies in general elections. March 24: Parliament elects Yousuf Raza Gilani as Prime Minister. August 7: Coalition says Musharraf to face impeachment. August 17: Coalition says it has finalised impeachment charges. August 18: Musharraf announces his resignation.