Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf dies at 79

Lazy eyes listen


Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani president and military leader, died on Sunday at the age of 79 in Dubai, where he had been living in self-imposed exile. Musharraf’s family announced in June that he was hospitalized with amyloidosis, a rare disease characterized by protein buildup in organs.

Pakistan’s political and military leaders expressed their condolences following Musharraf’s death. “May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces.

Musharraf joined the army at the age of 18 and fought in the Indo-Pakistani war in 1965. He rose through the ranks to become the Chief of Army Staff in 1998. Musharraf overthrew the government in a bloodless coup the following year.

Musharraf closely allied Pakistan with the United States during Washington’s global “war on terror” launched in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on American soil. As a result, he became a target of Al-Qaeda and other extremists, and he was the victim of at least three assassination attempts. Meanwhile, Pakistan became increasingly reliant on US military and security assistance.

Pakistan’s ex-president Musharraf has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against a special tribunal’s guilty verdict in a treason case.

At home, Musharraf enacted a number of liberal reforms aimed at expanding women’s rights and modernizing the country. Simultaneously, opponents accused him of authoritarianism when he suspended the constitution and declared a state of emergency across Pakistan in 2007. Musharraf eventually resigned in August 2008, amid an impeachment attempt.

In 2014, Pakistan’s Supreme Court charged Musharraf with high treason in relation to his 2007 emergency rule. In 2016, the former president traveled to the UAE for medical treatment and has not returned since.

Musharraf was sentenced to death by the court in 2019. The verdict was overturned in 2020 after the ex-president appealed it.

Musharraf has denied the charges of treason. He apologized for past errors in 2010. “I take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the entire nation for those wrong decisions,” he said at the time to supporters. “I’ve learned my lessons, and I’m certain I won’t make the same mistakes again.”