Former Pakistan Prez General Pervez Musharraf dies in Dubai
NEW DELHI : The former President of Pakistan General Pravez Mushraf died in Dubai after a long illness, a statement from the country’s army said. Musharraf died in hospital on Sunday morning. He was 79. His body will be flown back from the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan on a special flight after his family submitted an application to do so, local TV channel Geo News reports.
Mr Musharraf’s organs were malfunctioning because of an ailment called amyloidosis. This disease affects connective tissues and organs, inhibiting normal functioning. It’s a rare disease caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other senior leaders also tweeted and offered condolences to the deceased’s family on Sunday. “I offer my condolences to the family of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. May the departed soul rest in peace!” wrote Sharif.
The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sent condolences to Dr Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan, on the death of Musharraf. Musharraf’s involvement while serving as the leader of the country’s army in the Kargil conflict in May 1999 – when Pakistani generals secretly ordered an operation to occupy heights in Kargil on the Indian side – caused many in India to view him as an adversary. But in one Indian parliamentarian’s eyes, Musharraf redeemed himself during his presidency. “Once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace 2002-2007,” Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, said.
Mr Mushaf was president between 2001 and 2008 – He had survived numerous assassination attempts, and found himself on the front line of the struggle between militant Islamists and the West. He supported the US “war on terror” after 9/11 despite domestic opposition.
Born in New Delhi in 1943, Mr Musharraf was four years old when his parents joined the mass exodus by Muslims to the newly-created Pakistan. His father served in the foreign ministry, while his mother was a teacher and the family subscribed to a moderate, tolerant brand of Islam. He joined the army at the age of 18, and went on to lead an elite commando unit before rising to become its chief. He took power by ousting the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who had tried to sack him for green lighting an operation to invade Kashmir, bringing Pakistan and India to the brink of war.
Facing charges back home for the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007, Mr Musharraf has been living in Dubai for the last eight years. He had earlier expressed his desire to spend the “rest of his life” in his home country, and wanted to return to Pakistan as soon as possible.The former President was the tenth president of Pakistan after a successful bloodless military coup in 1999. He served as the 10th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan (CJCSC) from 1998 to 2001 and the 7th top general from 1998 to 2007.
He was known as the architect of the Kargil war, the man who ordered his soldiers to enter India to cut off Leh from Srinagar. In the war that followed in the summer of 1999, Pakistani soldiers, whose presence he denied, were decimated in the high mountains of Kargil. It was a catastrophic military failure for Mr Musharraf, who had pushed forward with the plan, keeping his Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif mostly in the dark.
Almost unbelievably, two years after Kargil, Mr Musharraf emerged stronger than ever.Nawaz Sharif, who tried to prevent Mr Musharraf from returning to the country while he was on an official tour of Sri Lanka, was arrested, jailed, and subsequently sent to exile. With the support of his Army, and in a bloodless coup, Mr Musharraf appointed himself President of Pakistan in 1999. Pakistan’s start-and-stop democratic process would grind to a halt for the next 7 years.
In 2008 he suffered defeat in the polls and left the country six months later. When he returned in 2013 to try to contest the election, he was arrested and barred from standing. He was charged with high treason and was sentenced to death in absentia only for the decision to be overturned less than a month later. He left Pakistan for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and had been living in exile in the country ever since.
In the statement Pakistan’s military expressed its “heartfelt condolences” and added: “May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to bereaved family.” Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss.”Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed his condolences, as did the country’s military leaders.
He was embroiled in a number of court cases following his loss of power, including accusations of failing to provide adequate security for former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, whose assassination by the Taliban in 2007 shocked Pakistan and the world.And his career ultimately ended in disgrace and arrest, when he was sentenced to death in absentia for treason in 2019. Though that sentencing was later reversed, he never returned to Pakistan.
Despite these events, Fawad Chaudhury, a former aide of Musharraf and currently a senior leader of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, praised Musharraf and the influence he had on Pakistan.”He is called a military dictator, but there has never been a stronger democratic system than that under him. the former general was instrumental in bringing an independent media and promoting diversity of opinion. said Chaudhry
Mr Musharraf faced a deluge of cases, and was accused of subverting the constitution. He was initially prevented from leaving Pakistan, but in March 2016, his name was removed from the exit control list, and he was allowed to travel to Dubai.In December 2019, a special court in Pakistani sentenced General Pervez Musharraf in absentia to death for suspending Pakistan’s constitution in 2007, a symbolic order since Dubai does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan. Mr Musharraf challenged the order and in January 2020, the Lahore High Court annulled the death sentence and held the earlier trial to be unconstitutional.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).