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Pakistan: Former President Pervez Musharraf has died


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General and politician Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death in absentia for treason in 2019.

Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf has died after a long illness in a hospital in Dubai, Pakistani media reported today.

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General Pervez Musharraf (11 August 1943) served as the country’s president from 1999 until his resignation in 2008.


He was born in New Delhi on August 11, 1943. In his “Memoirs” he revealed that he had fallen from a mango tree when he was a teenager and was seriously injured. This was also his first experience with death, as he himself wrote. He married Shehba and they had a son.

Coup and rise to power

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His military career began at his country’s Military Academy in 1961 and continued in the United Kingdom. He became the Chief of the Army in 1998 and the de facto head of the government of Pakistan in a bloodless military coup on 12 October 1999. The coup came after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to dismiss Musharraf as Army Chief. Musharraf’s supporters seized the airport and Sharif was overthrown, placed under house arrest and exiled. On June 20, 2001, the 13th President of the country was sworn in.

Later political career

In 2000 the Supreme Court called for elections and Musharraf held a referendum (April 30, 2002), which extended his term. Participation in the referendum was low. Parliamentary elections followed in October 2002, in which the pro-Musharraf party, PML-Q, won a majority in Parliament. On 1 January 2004, Musharraf received a vote of confidence and was formally installed as president, with a term ending in October of 2007.

In the diplomatic field, he followed a moderate policy and contributed to better relations with India. Western countries also considered him a moderate leader. On December 14, 2003, there was a third failed attempt to assassinate him with a bomb, in Rawalpindi. On December 25, 2003, two suicide bombers attempted to kill him but failed. 16 bystanders were killed. In November 2002, Musharraf handed over powers to the newly elected Parliament and the National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister.

Musharraf ran again for the presidency and was re-elected according to unofficial results, in the presidential election on 6 October 2007, with a large majority.

He was elected by provincial and federal legislators (1,170 in all) and Musharraf received 671 votes to just 8 for Wajihuddin Ahmed. Six votes were invalid.

Due to the continued violent clashes, as well as the non-validation of his re-election by the Supreme Court, Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3, 2007. On the 28th of the same month, he resigned as Army Chief. A day later he was sworn in again for his second term, this time wearing civilian clothes. On 24 November 2007 his re-election to the office of President was confirmed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. On December 15, 2007, the state of emergency was lifted.


The Pakistan People’s Party and the Muslim League agreed on 7 August 2008 to oust Musharraf. On August 18, 2008, under pressure from the coalition government, which accused him of violating the Constitution and abuse of power, Musharraf announced in a televised address his resignation from the office of President. Another president would be elected immediately within 30 days. His resignation was celebrated by thousands of Pakistanis in the streets. The president of the Senate, Muhammad Mian Soumro, took over as interim president.


After his resignation, Musharraf, after performing a pilgrimage to Mecca, traveled to the Middle East, Europe and the USA, giving speeches to organizations and institutions. On November 24, 2008, he settled in London, declaring himself a self-exile. From there, in June 2010 he created the All Pakistan Muslim League (English: All Pakistan Muslim League, Urdu: آل پاکستان مسلم لیگ), of which he was named president on 1 October 2010.

Back in Pakistan, the PML-N sought to have Musharraf charged with treason, under Article 6 of the Constitution, over the country’s declaration of a state of emergency in November 2007. The case was intervened by Saudi Arabia, which pressure that there should be no trial on this matter.

On 11 February 2011, the Anti-Terrorism Court issued an arrest warrant against Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. On March 8 that year, the Sindh High Court indicted him for treason.

Back to Pakistan

Since 2011, he had stated that he wished to return to the country and be a candidate in the next national elections. His expected return prompted the Taliban to issue a video statement vowing to attempt to assassinate Musharraf. Despite the threats, Musharraf returned to Pakistan on March 24, 2013.

On 19 April 2013, Pakistani police arrested Pervez Musharraf at his home on the outskirts of Islamabad, two days before he was to be brought to court to face charges related to abuse of power during his 2007 presidency. Musharraf was arrested under house arrest. In 2019 he was sentenced to death in absentia for treason.

With information from APE-ME / WIKIPEDIA

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