Pervez Musharraf: From mastermind of Kargil war to exile in Dubai
The mastermind of the Kargil war and former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf died in the Gulf country on Sunday after a prolonged illness. He was 79 years old. Musharraf overthrew the then Prime Minister Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999 after the Kargil defeat.
Islamabad. General Pervez Musharraf, the architect of the Kargil War and former President of Pakistan, overthrew the democratically elected government in a military coup in 1999 and ruled the country for nine years. During this he also tried to project himself as a progressive Muslim leader. Born in a middle-class family in Delhi, Musharraf migrated to Pakistan in 1947 after partition. He spent his last years battling illness while in self-exile in the United Arab Emirates. Musharraf died in the Gulf country on Sunday after a prolonged illness. He was 79 years old.
Retired General Mursharaf was the main architect of the Kargil war, which took place a few months after the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed a historic peace accord with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lahore. After the defeat at Kargil, Musharraf overthrew the then Prime Minister Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999 and ruled Pakistan in various capacities from 1999 to 2008. Musharraf ruled Pakistan initially as Chief Executive and later as President. Musharraf, who announced elections in 2008 due to domestic and international pressure, was forced to resign as president after the elections and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai.
Musharraf formed his own party ‘All Pakistan Muslim League’ in 2010 and declared himself as the chairman of the party. He returned to Pakistan in March 2013 to contest elections after being in self-exile for almost five years. However, he was dragged to court on various counts—including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007, treason under Article Six of the Pakistani Constitution, and the murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, chief of the Bugti tribe. In the year 2019, Musharraf was sentenced to death in absentia by a special court. The court found him guilty of treason on November 3, 2007, for imposing Emergency in defiance of the Constitution.
The decision enraged Pakistan’s powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for most of the time since the country’s existence. It was the first time that a former top military officer was sentenced to death for treason in Pakistan. This sentence was later quashed by the Lahore High Court. Musharraf, who lives in Dubai, was also declared a proclaimed offender in connection with the Benazir Bhutto assassination and the murder of the cleric of the Lal Masjid. During Musharraf’s tenure, Pakistan saw some structural reforms ranging from the economic and social sector to the administrative sector.
After the 9/11 attacks on America, Musharraf promised to support America in the war against terrorism. He has cracked down on Islamist groups and banned dozens of radical organizations in an effort to present himself as a moderate and progressive Muslim leader. Musharraf had visited India in 2001 for the Agra summit and had also visited India-Pakistan cricket match in 2005.
Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi. He spent his early years – from 1949 to 1956 – in Turkey, as his father Syed Musharrafuddin was stationed in Ankara. After returning from Turkey he attended St. Patrick’s High School, Karachi and then F.C. College, Lahore. He had joined the Pakistan Army in 1961. Musharraf fought as a young officer in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and also participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 as a commander. Musharraf was married in 1968 and has a daughter and a son.
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