Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, has died at the age of 79
Photo: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images
The former president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, he died after a long illness at the age of 79.
Musharraf, a four-star general, ruled Pakistan for nearly a decade after seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1999.
A spokeswoman for the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai confirmed his death. Although his cause of death was not immediately clear, he was hospitalized last year in Dubai with an incurable condition related to bone marrow cancer.
Although some media have reported that the general suffered from amyloidosis, a rare disease that causes organ damage. What was a reality is that he had been bedridden and in a wheelchair for a long time.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharifand the Pakistani army also confirmed his death and offered their condolences to his family.
In a brief statement issued by the army's media wing, senior military commanders expressed their "deepest condolences" on the passing of the former military ruler.
"May Allah bless the soul of the deceased and give strength to his grieving family."
Born in Delhi in 1943 during the British Raj and raised in Karachi and Istanbul, General Musharraf was commissioned into the Pakistan Army in 1964 and served in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War as a second lieutenant.
He rose to national prominence after being promoted to four-star general by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, as well as head of the armed forces.
At the time, Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was backing the Taliban after they came to power in Afghanistan in 1994, something General Musharraf was later reported to have supported.
Then, after leading the Kargil infiltration that sparked the 1999 India-Pakistan war, he responded to Sharif's attempt to sack him by ordering the army to seize power, eventually leading to his assumption of the Pakistani presidency in 2001. .
At the national level, Musharraf's policies of liberalizing the economy and the media helped more moderate forces in Pakistani society to assert themselves over the religious right, which had dominated the country's politics for decades.
Musharraf's political party, launched in 2010, failed to win any significant seats in two subsequent general elections. He chose to live in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates after being accused of treason in 2014.
In 2019, a court sentenced him to death in absentia for the imposition of a state of emergency in 2007, but the verdict was later overturned. Musharraf is survived by his wife Sehba and two children.
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