Pervez Musharraf ( ur| '; born 11 August 1943) is a Pakistani politician
and a retired four-star general
who became the tenth president of Pakistan
after the successful military takeover of the federal government
in 1999. He held the presidency from 2001 until 2008, when he tendered his resignation to avoid impeachment
Born in Delhi
during the British Raj
, Musharraf was raised in Karachi
. He studied mathematics at Forman Christian College
and was also educated at the Royal College of Defence Studies
in the United Kingdom
. Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy
in 1961 and was commissioned to the Pakistan Army
in 1964, playing an active role in the Afghan civil war
Musharraf saw action during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
as a second lieutenant
. By the 1980s, he was commanding an artillery brigade
. In the 1990s, Musharraf was promoted to major general
and assigned an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group
. Soon after, he also served as deputy military secretary and director general of military operation
Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was promoted to four-star general by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
in 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces. He led the Kargil infiltration
that almost brought India
to a full-fledged war in 1999.
After months of contentious relations between Sharif and Musharraf, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf as the army's leader. In retaliation, the army staged a coup d'état
in 1999, which allowed Musharraf to take over, Pakistan
in 2001. He subsequently placed Sharif under strict house arrest
before launching official criminal proceedings against him.
Musharraf initially remained the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
and the Chief of the Army Staff
, relinquishing the former position upon confirmation of his presidency. However, he remained the Army Chief until retiring in 2007. The initial stages of his presidency featured controversial wins in a state referendum to grant him a five-year term limit, and a general election
in 2002. During his presidency, he advocated for the Third Way
, adopting a synthesis of conservatism
. Musharraf reinstated the constitution in 2002, though it was heavily amended within the Legal Framework Order
. He appointed Zafarullah Jamali
and later Shaukat Aziz
as Prime Minister
, and oversaw directed policies
, becoming a key player in the American
-led war on terror
Musharraf pushed for social liberalism
under his enlightened moderation program
and promoted economic liberalisation
, while he also banned trade union
s. Musharraf's presidency coincided with a rise of overall gross domestic product
by around 50%; in the same period, domestic savings declined, and economic inequality
rose at a rapid rate. Musharraf's government has also been accused of human rights abuses, and he survived a number of assassination attempts during his presidency. When Aziz departed as prime minister, and after approving the suspension
of the judicature
in 2007, Musharraf's position weakened dramatically.
Tendering his resignation to avoid impeachment in 2008, Musharraf emigrated to London
in a self-imposed exile.
His legacy as leader is mixed; he saw the emergence of a more assertive middle class, but an open disregard for civilian institutions greatly weakened democracy in Pakistan.
Musharraf returned to Pakistan in 2013 to participate in that year's general election
, but was disqualified from participating after the country's high courts
issued arrest warrant
s for him and Aziz for their alleged involvement in the assassinations
of Nawab Akbar Bugti
and Benazir Bhutto
re-election in 2013, he initiated high treason
charges against Musharraf for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007. The case against Musharraf continued after Sharif's removal from office in 2017, the same year in which Musharraf was declared an "absconder" in the Bhutto assassination case by virtue of moving to Dubai
In 2019, Musharraf was sentenced to death in absentia
for the treason charges, although, the death sentence was later annulled by the Lahore High Court.
Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943 to an Urdu-speaking
family in Delhi
, British India
the son of Syed Musharrafuddin
and his wife Begum Zarin Musharraf (c. 1920–2021).
His family were Muslims who were also Sayyid
s, claiming descent from prophet Muhammad
Syed Musharraf graduated from Aligarh Muslim University
and entered the civil service
, which was an extremely prestigious career under British rule.
He came from a long line of government officials as his great-grandfather was a tax collector while his maternal grandfather was a ''qazi'' (judge).
Musharraf's mother Zarin, born in the early 1920s, grew up in Lucknow
and received her schooling there, after which she graduated from Indraprastha College
at Delhi University
, taking a bachelor's degree in English literature. She then married and devoted herself to raising a family.
His father, Syed, was an accountant who worked at the foreign office in the British Indian government and eventually became an accounting director.
Musharraf was the second of three children, all boys. His elder brother, Javed Musharraf, based in Rome
, is an economist and one of the directors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
His younger brother, Naved Musharraf, is an anaesthesiologist based in Illinois
At the time of his birth, Musharraf's family lived in a large home that belonged to his father's family for many years called ''Nehar Wali Haveli'', which means "House Next to the Canal".
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
's family lived next door. It is indicative of "the family's western education and social prominence" that the house's title deeds, although written entirely in Urdu, were signed by Musharraf's father in English.
Pakistan and Turkey
Musharraf was four years old when India achieved independence and Pakistan was created
as the homeland for India's Muslims. His family left for Pakistan in August 1947, a few days before independence
His father joined the Pakistan Civil Services
and began to work for the Pakistani government
; later, his father joined the Foreign Ministry
, taking up an assignment in Turkey
In his autobiography ''In the Line of Fire: A Memoir
'', Musharraf elaborates on his first experience with death, after falling off a mango tree.
Musharraf's family moved to Ankara
in 1949, when his father became part of a diplomatic deputation from Pakistan to Turkey.
He learned to speak Turkish
[Worth, Richard. "Time of Trials". Pervez Musharraf. New York: Chelsea House, 2007]
[Chitkara, M. G.]
Pervez Bonaparte Musharraf
". Indo-Pak Relations: Challenges before New Millennium. New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub., 2001. pp. 135–36
He had a dog named Whiskey that gave him a "lifelong love for dogs".
He played sports in his youth.
In 1956, he left Turkey
and returned to Pakistan in 1957
where he attended Saint Patrick's School
in Karachi and was accepted at the Forman Christian College University
At Forman, Musharraf chose mathematics
as a major in which he exceled academically, but later developed an interest in economics
Initial military career
In 1961, at the age of 18,
Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy
["FACTBOX – Facts about Pakistani Leader Pervez Musharraf"](_blank)
. Reuters (18 August 2008).
During his college years at PMA and initial joint military testings, Musharraf shared a room
with PQ Mehdi
of the Pakistan Air Force
and Abdul Aziz Mirza
of the Navy
(both reached four-star assignments and served with Musharraf later on) and after giving the exams and entrance interviews, all three cadets went to watch a world-acclaimed Urdu film, ''Savera
'' (lit. ''Dawn''), with his inter-services and college friends, Musharraf recalls, ''In the Line of Fire
'', published in 2006.
With his friends, Musharraf passed the standardise, physical, psychological, and officer-training exams, he also took discussions involving the socioeconomics
issues; all three were interviewed by joint military officers who were designated as Commandants.
The next day, Musharraf along with PQ Mehdi and Mirza, reported to PMA and they were selected for their respective training in their arms of commission.
Finally, in 1964, Musharraf graduated with a Bachelor's degree
in his class of 29th PMA Long Course together with Ali Kuli Khan
and his lifelong friend Abdul Aziz Mirza.
He was commissioned in the artillery regiment
as second lieutenant and posted near the Indo-Pakistan
"Coup in Pakistan – Man in the News; A Soldier's Soldier, Not a Political General"
. ''The New York Times'' (13 October 1999).
During this time in the artillery regiment, Musharraf maintained his close friendship and contact with Mirza through letters and telephones even in difficult times when Mirza, after joining the Navy Special Service Group
, was stationed in East-Pakistan
as a military advisor
to Eastern Corps
Indo-Pakistani conflicts (1965–1971)
His first battlefield experience was with an artillery regiment during the intense fighting for the Khemkaran
sector in the Second Kashmir War
. He also participated in the Lahore and Sialkot
war zones during the conflict.
During the war, Musharraf developed a reputation for sticking to his post under shellfire.
He received the Imtiazi Sanad
medal for gallantry.
Shortly after the end of the War of 1965, he joined the elite Special Service Group (SSG)
He served in the SSG from 1966 to 1972.
He was promoted to captain
and to major
during this period.
During the 1971 war
with India, he was a company commander
of an SSG commando battalion
During the 1971 war he was scheduled to depart to East-Pakistan to join the army-navy
joint military operations, but the deployment was cancelled after Indian Army advances towards Southern Pakistan
Musharraf was promoted to lieutenant colonel
and to colonel
[Harmon, Daniel E. "A Nation Under Military Rule". Pervez Musharraf: President of Pakistan. New York: Rosen Pub., 2008]
As staff officer
in the 1980s, he studied political science
at NDU, and then briefly tenured as assistant professor
of war studies
at the Command and Staff College
and then assistant professor of political science also at the National Defense University
["Pakistan's Chief Executive a Formar Commando"](_blank)
. ''New Straits Times'' (16 October 1999).
One of his professors at NDU was general Jehangir Karamat
who served Musharraf's guidance counselor and instructor who had significant influence on Musharraf's philosophy and critical thinking.
He did not play any significant role in Pakistan's proxy war
in the 1979–1989 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
[Weaver, Mary Anne.]
General On Tightrope
". Pakistan: in the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. pp. 25–31
In 1987, he became a brigade commander
of a new brigade of the SSG near Siachen Glacier
He was personally chosen by then-President and Chief of Army Staff general Zia-ul-Haq for this assignment due to Musharraf's wide experience in mountain
and arctic warfare
In September 1987, Musharraf commanded an assault at Bilafond La
before being pushed back.
He studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies
(RCDS) in Britain during 1990–91.
His course-mate included Major-generals B. S. Malik and Ashok Mehta
of the Indian Army, and Ali Kuli Khan of Pakistan Army.
In his course studies, Musharraf performed extremely in relation to his classmates, submitted his master's degree thesis, titled "Impact of Arm Race in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent", and earned good remarks.
He submitted his thesis to Commandant General Antony Walker
who regarded Musharraf as one of his finest students he had seen in his entire career.
At one point, Walker described Musharraf: "A capable, articulate and extremely personable officer, who made a valuable impact at RCDS. His country is fortunate to have the services of a man of his undeniable quality."
He graduated with a master's degree from RCDS and returned to Pakistan soon after.
Upon returning in the 1980s, Musharraf took an interest in the emerging Pakistani rock
music genre, and often listened to rock music after leaving duty.
During that decade, regarded as the time when rock music in Pakistan began, Musharraf was reportedly keen on the popular Western fashions of the time
, which were then very popular in government and public circles.
Whilst in the Army he earned the nickname "Cowboy" for his westernized ways and his fashion interest in Western clothing.
Early commandant (1991–1995)
Earlier in 1988–89, as Brigadier, Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
but she rebuffed the plan.
[Kapur, S. Paul. "The Covert Nuclear Period". Dangerous Deterrent: Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Conflict in South Asia. Singapore: NUS, 2009]
In 1991–93, he secured a two-star promotion, elevating him to the rank of major general and held the command of 40th Army Division
as its GOC
, stationed in Okara Military District
in Punjab Province
In 1993–95, Major-General Musharraf worked closely with the Chief of Army Staff as Director-General of Pakistan Army's Directorate General for the Military Operations (DGMO).
During this time, Musharraf became close to engineering officer and director-general of ''ISI
'' lieutenant-general Javed Nasir
and had worked with him while directing operations in Bosnian war
His political philosophy was influenced by Benazir Bhutto
who mentored him on various occasions, and Musharraf generally was close to Benazir Bhutto on military policy issues on India.
From 1993 to 1995, Musharraf repeatedly visited the United States as part of the delegation of Benazir Bhutto.
[Journalist and author George Crile's book, ''Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History'' (Grove Press, New York, 2003)]
It was Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman
who lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently getting Musharraf's promotion papers approved by Benazir Bhutto, which eventually led to his appointment in Benazir Bhutto's key staff.
In 1993, Musharraf personally assisted Benazir Bhutto to have a secret meeting at the Pakistani Embassy
in Washington, D.C.
with officials from the Mossad
and a special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin
It was during this time Musharraf built an extremely cordial relationship with Shaukat Aziz who, at that time, was serving as the executive president
of global financial services of the Citibank
After the collapse of the fractious Afghan government, Musharraf assisted General Babar
and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
in devising a policy of supporting the newly formed Taliban
in the Afghan civil war
against the Northern Alliance
On policy issues, Musharraf befriended senior justice
of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Rafiq Tarar
(later president) and held common beliefs with the latter.
His last military field operations posting was in the Mangla
region of the Kashmir Province
in 1995 when Benazir Bhutto approved the promotion of Musharraf to three-star rank, Lieutenant-General
Between 1995 and 1998, Lieutenant-General Musharraf was the corps commander of I ''Strike'' Corps
(CC-1) stationed in Mangla, Mangla Military District
Four-star appointments (1998–2007)
Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs
Although both Nawaz Sharif and general Jehangir Karamat
were educated, and held common beliefs concerning national security, problems arose with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Chief of Army Staff General Karamat in October 1998.
While addressing the officers and cadets at the Naval War College
, General Karamat promoted the creation of the National Security Council
which would be backed by a "team of civil-military experts"
for devising policies to seek resolution ongoing problems relating the civil-military issues; also recommended a "neutral but competent bureaucracy
and administration of at federal level and the establishment of Local governments
in four provinces
This proposal was met with hostility, and led to Nawaz Sharif's dismissal of General Karamat.
In turn, this reduced Nawaz's mandate in public circles, and led to much criticism from Leader of the Opposition Benazir Bhutto
There were three lieutenant-general officers potentially in line to succeed General Karamat as four-star rank and chief of army staff. Lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan, a graduate of PMA and RMA, Sandhurst
was an extremely capable staff officer and well-liked in public circles, but was seen as close to the former chief of army staff general (retired) Abdul Vaheed
; and was not promoted.
Second in line was lieutenant-general Khalid Nawaz Khan who was popularly known for his ruthless leadership in the army; particularly for his unforgiving attitude to his junior officers. Lieutenant-general Nawaz Khan was known for his opposition and anti-muhajir
sentiment, and was particularly hard line against the MQM
Musharraf was in third-in-line and was well regarded by the general public and the armed forces. He also had an excellent academic standing from his college and university studies.
Musharraf was strongly favored by the Prime Minister's colleagues: a straight officer with democratic views.
Nisar Ali Khan
and Shahbaz Sharif
recommended Musharraf and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif personally promoted Musharraf to the rank of four-star general to replace Karamat.
After the Kargil incident, Musharraf did not wish to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs:
Musharraf favored the chief of naval staff Admiral Bokhari to take on this role, and claimed that: "he did not care"
Prime minister Sharif was displeased by this suggestion, due to the hostile nature of his relationship with the Admiral. Musharraf further exacerbated his divide with Nawaz Sharif after recommending the forced retirement of senior officers close to the Prime minister,
including Lieutenant-General Tariq Pervez (or ''TP''), commander of XII Corps
, who was a brother-in-law of a high profile cabinet minister.
According to Musharraf, lieutenant-general TP was an ill-mannered, foul-mouthed, ill-disciplined officer who caused a great deal of dissent within the armed forces.
Nawaz Sharif's announcement of the promotion of General Musharraf to Chairman Joint Chiefs caused an escalation of the tensions with Admiral Bokhari: upon hearing the news, he launched a strong protest against the Prime minister The next morning, the Prime minister relieved Admiral Bokhari of his duties.
It was during his time as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that Musharraf began to build friendly relations with the United States Army
establishment, including General Anthony Zinni
, General Tommy Franks
, General John Abizaid
, and General Colin Powell
of the US Army, all of whom were premier four-star generals in the military history of the United States
The Pakistan Army originally conceived the Kargil plan after the Siachen conflict
but the plan was rebuffed repeatedly by senior civilian and military officials.
Musharraf was a leading strategist behind the Kargil Conflict.
From March to May 1999, he ordered the secret infiltration of Kashmiri forces in the Kargil district
After India discovered the infiltration, a fierce Indian offensive nearly led to a full-scale war.
However, Sharif withdrew support of the insurgents in the border conflict in July because of heightened international pressure.
Sharif's decision antagonized the Pakistan Army and rumors of a possible coup began emerging soon afterward.
Sharif and Musharraf dispute on who was responsible for the Kargil conflict and Pakistan's withdrawal.
This strategic operation met with great hostility in the public circles and wide scale disapproval in the media
who roundly criticised this operation. Musharraf had severe confrontation and became involved in serious altercations with his senior officers, chief of naval staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari
chief of air staff, air chief marshal
PQ Mehdi and senior lieutenant-general
Ali Kuli Khan.
Admiral Bokhari ultimately demanded a full-fledged joint-service court martial against General Musharraf,
while on the other hand General Kuli Khan lambasted the war as "a disaster bigger than the East-Pakistan tragedy"
[Kargil was a bigger disaster than 1971](_blank)
– Interview of Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan Khattak.
adding that the plan was "flawed in terms of its conception, tactical planning and execution" that ended in "sacrificing so many soldiers."
Problems with his lifelong friend, chief of air staff
air chief marshal Pervez Mehdi also arose when air chief refrained to participate or authorise any air strike to support the elements of army operations in the Kargil region.
During the last meeting with the Prime minister, Musharraf faced grave criticism on results produced by Kargil infiltration by the principal military intelligence (MI)
director lieutenant-general Jamshed Gulzar Kiani
who maintained in the meeting: "(...) whatever has been written there is against logic. If you catch your enemy by the jugular vein he would react with full force... If you cut enemy supply lines, the only option for him will be to ensure supplies by air... (sic).. at that situation the Indian Army was unlikely to confront and it had to come up to the occasion. It is against wisdom that you dictate to the enemy to keep the war limited to a certain front...."
Nawaz Sharif has maintained that the Operation was conducted without his knowledge. However, details of the briefing he got from the military before and after the Kargil operation have become public. Before the operation, between January and March, Sharif was briefed about the operation in three separate meetings. In January, the army briefed him about the Indian troop movement along the LOC in Skardu on 29 January 1999, on 5 February at Kel, on 12 March at the GHQ, and finally on 17 May at the ISI headquarters. During the end of the June DCC meeting, a tense Sharif turned to the army chief and said "you should have told me earlier", Musharraf pulled out his notebook and repeated the dates and contents of around seven briefings he had given him since the beginning of January.
Military officials from Musharraf's Joint Staff Headquarters (JS HQ) met with regional corps commanders three times in late September in anticipation of a possible coup.
"Countdown to Pakistan's Coup: A Duel of Nerves in the Air", ''The New York Times''
(17 October 1999).
To quieten rumours of a fallout between Musharraf and Sharif, Sharif officially certified Musharraf's remaining two years of his term on 30 September.
Musharraf had left for a weekend trip to take part in Sri Lanka
's 50th-anniversary celebrations.
["Under the Gun"](_blank)
''Time'' (25 October 1999).
When Pervez Musharraf was returning from an official visit to Colombo
his flight was denied landing permissions to Karachi International Airport after orders were issued from the Prime Minister's office.
Upon hearing the announcement of Nawaz Sharif, replacing Pervez Musharraf by Khwaja Ziauddin
, the third replacement of the top military commander of the country in less than two years,
local military commanders began to mobilize troops towards Islamabad
from nearby Rawalpindi
["How the 1999 Pakistan Coup Unfolded"](_blank)
. BBC News (23 August 2007).
The military placed Sharif under house arrest,
[Dugger, Celia W]
. ''The New York Times'' (13 October 1999)
but in a last-ditch effort Sharif privately ordered Karachi air traffic controllers to redirect Musharraf's flight to India.
The plan failed after soldiers in Karachi surrounded the airport control tower
[Dugger, Celia W., and Raja Zulfikar]
"Pakistan Military Completes Seizure of All Authority"
. ''The New York Times'' (15 October 1999)
At 2:50 am on 13 October,
Musharraf addressed the nation with a recorded message.
Musharraf met with President Rafiq Tarar
on 13 October to deliberate on legitimising the coup. On 15 October, Musharraf ended emerging hopes of a quick transition to democracy after he declared a state of emergency, suspended the Constitution and assumed power as Chief Executive.
He also quickly purged the government of political enemies, notably Ziauddin and national airline chief Shahid Khaqan Abbassi
On 17 October, he gave his second national address and established a seven-member military-civilian council to govern the country.
[Dugger, Celia W]
"Pakistan's New Leader Is Struggling to Assemble His Cabinet"
. ''The New York Times'' (23 October 1999).
He named three retired military officers and a judge as provincial administrators on 21 October. Ultimately, Musharraf assumed executive powers but did not obtain the office of the Prime minister.
The Prime minister's secretariat (official residence of Prime minister of Pakistan) was closed by the military police and its staff was fired by Musharraf immediately.
There were no organised protests within the country to the coup,
that was widely criticized by the international community. Consequently, Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations
. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled to Saudi Arabia
on his personal request and under a contract.
The senior military appointments in the inter-services were extremely important and crucial for Musharraf to keep the legitimacy and the support for his coup in the joint inter-services.
Starting with the PAF, Musharraf pressured President Tarar to appoint most-junior air marshal
to four-star rank
, particularly someone with Musharraf had experienced working during the inter-services operations.
Once Air-chief Marshal Pervez Kureshi
was retired, the most junior air marshal Muschaf Mir
(who worked with Musharraf in 1996 to assist ''ISI'' in Taliban matters) was appointed to four-star rank as well as elevated as Chief of Air Staff.
There were two extremely important military appointments made by Musharraf in the Navy. Although Admiral Aziz Mirza (a lifelong friend of Musharraf, he shared a dorm with the admiral in the 1960s and they graduated together from the academy) was appointed by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Mirza remained extremely supportive of Musharraf's coup and was also a close friend of Musharraf since 1971 when both participated in a joint operation against the Indian Army
After Mirza's retirement, Musharraf appointed Admiral Shahid Karimullah, with whom Musharraf had trained together in special forces
schools during the 1960s,
to four-star rank and chief of naval staff.
Musharraf's first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia on 26 October where he met with King Fahd
After meeting senior Saudi royals, the next day he went to Medina
and performed Umrah
On 28 October, he went to United Arab Emirates
before returning home.
["Musharraf Holds Talks with the Saudis"](_blank)
. ''New Straits Times'' Malaysia (26 October 1999).
[Dugger, Celia W]
"Pakistan Military Says 7 Civilians Will Join New Government"
. ''The New York Times'' (26 October 1999).
By the end of October, Musharraf appointed many technocrats and bureaucrats in his Cabinet, including former Citibank executive Shaukat Aziz as Finance Minister
and Abdul Sattar
as Foreign Minister
In early November, he released details of his assets to the public.
In late December 1999, Musharraf dealt with his first international crisis when India accused Pakistan's involvement in the Indian Airlines Flight 814
hijacking. Though United States President Bill Clinton
pressured Musharraf to ban the alleged group behind the hijacking — Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
, Pakistani officials refused because of fears of reprisal from political parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami
In March 2000, Musharraf banned political rallies.
"Sharif Family Alone against the Military"
. ''The Guardian'' (1 April 2000)
In a television interview
given in 2001, Musharraf openly spoke about the negative role of a few high-ranking officers in the Pakistan Armed Forces in state's affairs
Musharraf labelled many of his senior professors at NDU as "pseudo-intellectuals", including the NDU
's notable professors, General Aslam Beg
and Jehangir Karamat under whom Musharraf studied and served well.
Sharif trial and exile
The Military Police
held former prime minister Sharif under house arrest at a government guesthouse
and opened his Lahore home to the public in late October 1999.
"Army Throws Open First Family's Palace"
. ''The Guardian'' (29 October 1999).
He was formally indicted in November
[Dugger, Celia W. (11 November 1999]
. ''The New York Times''.
on charges of hijacking, kidnapping, attempted murder, and treason for preventing Musharraf's flight from landing at Karachi airport on the day of the coup.
[Kershner, Isabel, and Mark Landler]
. ''The New York Times'' (12 November 1999).
His trial began in early March 2000 in an anti-terrorism court,
which is designed for speedy trials. He testified Musharraf began preparations of a coup after the Kargil conflict.
[Kershner, Isabel, and Mark Landler]
. ''The New York Times'' (9 March 2000)
Sharif was placed in Adiala Jail, infamous for hosting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's trial, and his leading defence lawyer, Iqbal Raad, was shot dead in Karachi in mid-March.
Sharif's defense team blamed the military for intentionally providing their lawyers with inadequate protection.
"Gunmen Shoot Dead Lawyer of Deposed Pakistani Leader Sharif"
. ''The Guardian'' (11 March 2000)
The court proceedings were widely accused of being a show trial
. Sources from Pakistan claimed that Musharraf and his military government's officers were in full mood to exercise tough conditions on Sharif, and intended to send Nawaz Sharif to the gallows
to face a similar fate to that of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
in 1979. It was the pressure on Musharraf exerted by Saudi Arabia and the United States to exile Sharif after it was confirmed that the court is about to give its verdict on Nawaz Sharif over treason charges, and the court would sentence Sharif to death. Sharif signed an agreement with Musharraf and his military government and his family was exiled to Saudi Arabia in December 2000.
Shortly after Musharraf's takeover, Musharraf issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000
, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court asked Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002. After President Rafiq Tarar's resignation, Musharraf formally appointed himself as President on 20 June 2001. In August 2002, he issued the Legal Framework Order No. 2002
, which added numerous amendments to the Constitution
2002 general elections
Musharraf called for nationwide political elections in the country after accepting the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Musharraf was the first military president to accept the rulings of the Supreme Court and holding free and fair elections in 2002, part of his vision to return democratic rule to the country.
In October 2002, Pakistan held general elections
, which the pro-Musharraf PML-Q
won wide margins, although it had failed to gain an absolute majority. The PML-Q formed a government with far-right religious parties coalition, the MMA
and the liberals MQM
; the coalition legitimized Musharraf's rule.
After the elections, the PML-Q nominated Zafarullah Khan Jamali
for the office of prime minister, which Musharraf also approved.
After first session at the Parliament
, Musharraf voluntarily transferred the powers of chief executive to Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali.
Musharraf succeeded to pass the XVII amendment
, which grants powers to dissolve the parliament, with approval required from the Supreme Court.
Within two years, Jamali proved to be an ineffective prime minister as he forcefully implemented his policies in the country and caused problems with the business class elites. Musharraf accepted the resignation of Jamali and asked his close colleague Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
to appoint a new prime minister in place.
Hussain nominated Finance minister Shaukat Aziz, who had been impressive due to his performance as finance minister in 1999. Musharraf regarded Aziz as his right hand and preferable choice for the office of Prime minister.
With Aziz appointed as Prime minister, Musharraf transferred all executive powers to Aziz as he trusted Shaukat Aziz.
Aziz proved to be extremely capable in running the government; under his leadership economic growth reached to a maximum level, which further stabilized Musharraf's presidency.
Aziz swiftly, quietly and quickly undermined the elements seeking to undermine Musharraf, which became a factor in Musharraf's trust in him.
Between 2004 and 2007, Aziz approved many projects that did not require Musharraf's permission.
In 2010, all constitutional changes carried out by Musharraf and Aziz's policies were reverted by the 18th Amendment, which put the country back to its initial position and restored the powers of the Prime Minister.
The presidency of Pervez Musharraf helped bring the liberal forces
to the national level and into prominence, for the first time in the history of Pakistan
He granted national amnesty to the political workers of the liberal parties like Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League (Q), and supported MQM in becoming a central player in the government. Musharraf disbanded the cultural policies of the previous Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and quickly adopted Benazir Bhutto's cultural policies after disbanding Indian channels
in the country.
His cultural policies liberalized Pakistan's media
, and he issued many television licenses to the private-sector
to open television centers and media houses.
The television dramas
, film industry
and literature activities, were personally encouraged by Pervez Musharraf.
Under his policies, the rock music bands gained a following in the country and many concerts were held each week.
His cultural policies, the film, theatre, rock and folk music, and television programs were extremely devoted to and promoted the national spirit
of the country.
In 2001, Musharraf got on stage with the rock music band, Junoon
, and sang the national song with the band.
On political fronts, Musharraf faced fierce opposition from the ultra-conservative alliance, the MMA, led by clergyman Maulana Noorani
In Pakistan, Maulana Noorani was remembered as a mystic religious leader and had preached spiritual aspects of Islam all over the world as part of the World Islamic Mission
Although the political deadlock posed by Maulana Noorani was neutralized after Noorani
's death, Musharraf yet had to face the opposition from ARD
led by Benazir Bhutto of the PPP.
Support for the War on Terror
Musharraf allied with the United States against the Afghan mujahideen
after the September 11 attacks
A few months after the 11 September attacks, Musharraf gave a speech against extremism. He instituted prohibitions on foreign students' access to studying Islam within Pakistan, an effort that began as an outright ban but was later reduced to restrictions on obtaining visas
. On 18 September 2005, Musharraf made a speech before a broad based audience of Jew
ish leadership, sponsored by the American Jewish Congress
's Council for World Jewry, in New York City
. He was widely criticised by Middle East
ern leaders, but was met with some praise among Jewish leadership.
Relations with India
After the 2001 Gujarat earthquake
, Musharraf expressed his sympathies to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
and sent a plane load of relief supplies to India.
In 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to resolve the Kashmir dispute
. In 2004 a cease-fire was agreed upon along the Line of Control. Many troops still patrol the border.
Relations with Saudi Arabia
In 2006, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited Pakistan for the first time as King. Musharraf honoured King Abdullah with the ''Nishan-e-Pakistan
''. Musharraf received the King Abdul-Aziz Medallion in 2007.
From September 2001
until his resignation in 2007 from the military, Musharraf's presidency was affected by scandals relating to nuclear weapons, which were detrimental to his authoritative legitimacy in the country and in the international community.
In October 2001, Musharraf authorized a sting operation led by FIA
to arrest two physicists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood
and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed
, because of their supposed connection with the Taliban
after they secretly visited Taliban-controlled Afghanistan
[Pakistani Atomic Expert, Arrested Last Week, Had Strong Pro-Taliban Views](_blank)
''The New York Times'', 2 November 2001.
The local Pakistani media widely circulated the reports that "Mahmood had a meeting with Osama bin Laden
where Bin Laden had shown interest in building a radiological weapon
it was later discovered that neither scientist had any in-depth knowledge of the technology.
In December 2001, Musharraf authorized security hearings and the two scientists were taken into the custody by the JAG Branch
(JAG); security hearings continued until early 2002.
Another scandal arose as a consequence of disclosure by Pakistani nuclear physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan
. On 27 February 2001, Musharraf spoke highly of Khan at a state dinner in Islamabad,
and he personally approved Khan's appointment as Science Advisor to the Government
. In 2004, Musharraf relieved Abdul Qadeer Khan from his post and initially denied knowledge of the government's involvement in nuclear proliferation, despite Khan's claim that Musharraf was the "Big Boss" of the proliferation ring. Following this, Musharraf authorized a national security hearing, which continued until his resignation from the army in 2007. According to Zahid Malik, Musharraf and the military establishment at that time acted against Abdul Qadeer Khan in an attempt to prove the loyalty of Pakistan to the United States and Western world
The investigations backfired on Musharraf and public opinion turned against him.
The populist ARD movement, which included the major political parties
such as the PML
and the PPP
, used the issue to bring down Musharraf's presidency.
The debriefing of Abdul Qadeer Khan severely damaged Musharraf's own public image and his political prestige in the country.
He faced bitter domestic criticism for attempting to vilify Khan, specifically from opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. In an interview to ''Daily Times
'', Bhutto maintained that Khan had been a "scapegoat
" in the nuclear proliferation scandal and said that she didn't "believe that such a big scandal could have taken place under the nose of General Musharraf".
Musharraf's long-standing ally, the MQM
, published criticism of Musharraf over his handling of Abdul Qadeer Khan. The ARD movement and the political parties further tapped into the public anger and mass demonstrations against Musharraf. The credibility of the United States was also badly damaged;
the US itself refrained from pressuring Musharraf to take further action against Khan.
While Abdul Qadeer Khan remained popular in the country,
Musharraf could not withstand the political pressure
and his presidency was further weakened.
Musharraf quickly pardoned Abdul Qadeer Khan in exchange for cooperation and issued confinement
orders against Khan that limited Khan's movement. He handed over the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan to Prime minister
Aziz who had been supportive towards Khan, personally "thanking" him: "The services of Dr. Qadeer Khan are unforgettable for the country."
On 4 July 2008, in an interview, Abdul Qadeer Khan laid the blame on President Musharraf and later on Benazir Bhutto for transferring the technology, claiming that Musharraf was aware of all the deals and he was the "Big Boss" for those deals.
Khan said that "Musharraf gave centrifuges to North Korea in a 2000 shipment supervised by the armed forces. The equipment was sent in a North Korean plane loaded under the supervision of Pakistan security officials."
Nuclear weapons expert David Albright
of the Institute for Science and International Security
agreed that Khan's activities were government-sanctioned.
The transfer of centrifuges for uranium enrichment to North Korea was almost certainly sanctioned by the government, according to Albright.
After Musharraf's resignation, Abdul Qadeer Khan was released from house arrest by the executive order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. After Musharraf left the country, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
General Tärik Majid
terminated all further debriefings of Abdul Qadeer Khan. Few believed that Abdul Qadeer Khan acted alone and the affair risked gravely damaging the Armed Forces, which oversaw and controlled the nuclear weapons development and of which Musharraf was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until his resignation from military service on 28 November 2007.
[Ron Moreau and Zahid Hussain,]
Chain of Command; The Military: Musharraf dodged a bullet, but could be heading for a showdown with his Army
", ''Newsweek'', 16 February 2004, p. 20.
When Musharraf came to power in 1999, he promised that the corruption in the government bureaucracy would be cleaned up. However, some claimed that the level of corruption did not diminish throughout Musharraf's time.
In December 2003, Musharraf made a deal with MMA
, a six-member coalition of far-right Islam
ic parties, agreeing to leave the army by 31 December 2004. With that party's support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to muster the two-thirds supermajority
required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment, which retroactively legalised Musharraf's 1999 coup and many of his decrees.
Musharraf reneged on his agreement with the MMA
and pro-Musharraf legislators in the Parliament passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both offices.
On 1 January 2004, Musharraf had won a confidence vote
in the Electoral College of Pakistan
, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56% majority, but many opposition and Islamic members of parliament walked out to protest the vote. As a result of this vote, his term was extended to 2007.
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigned on 26 June 2004, after losing the support of Musharraf's party, PML(Q)
. His resignation was at least partially due to his public differences with the party chairman, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
. This was rumored to have happened at Musharraf's command. Jamali had been appointed with the support of Musharraf's and the pro-Musharraf PML(Q). Most PML(Q) parliamentarians formerly belonged to the Pakistan Muslim League party led by Sharif, and most ministers of the cabinet were formerly senior members of other parties, joining the PML(Q) after the elections upon being offered positions. Musharraf nominated Shaukat Aziz
, the minister for finance and a former employee of Citibank
and head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister.
In 2005, the Bugti
clan attacked a gas field in Balochistan, after Dr. Shazia was raped at that location. Musharraf responded by 4,500 soldiers, supported by tanks and helicopters, to guard the gas field.
The National Assembly voted in favor of the "Women's Protection Bill
" on 15 November 2006 and the Senate approved it on 23 November 2006. President General Pervez Musharraf signed into law the "Women's Protection Bill", on 1 December 2006. The bill places rape laws under the penal code and allegedly does away with harsh conditions that previously required victims to produce four male witnesses and exposed the victims to prosecution for adultery if they were unable to prove the crime.
However, the Women's Protection bill has been criticized heavily by many for paying continued lip service and failing to address the actual problem by its roots: repealing the Hudood Ordinance. In this context, Musharraf has also been criticized by women and human rights activists for not following up his words by action. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that "The so-called Women's Protection Bill is a farcical attempt at making Hudood Ordinances palatable" outlining the issues of the bill and the continued impact on women.
His government increased reserved seats for women in assemblies, in order to increase women's representation and make their presence more effective. The number of reserved seats in the National Assembly was increased from 20 to 60. In provincial assemblies, 128 seats were reserved for women. This situation has brought out increase participation of women in the 1988 and 2008 elections.
In March 2005, a couple of months after the rape of a Pakistani physician, Dr. Shazia Khalid, working on a government gas plant in the remote Balochistan
province, Musharraf was criticised for pronouncing, Captain Hammad, a fellow military man and the accused in the case, innocent before the judicial inquiry was complete. Shazia alleged that she was forced by the government to leave the country.
In an interview given to ''The Washington Post
'' in September 2005, Musharraf said that Pakistani women who had been the victims of rape treated rape as a "moneymaking concern", and were only interested in the publicity in order to make money and get a Canadian visa. He subsequently denied making these comments, but the ''Post'' made available an audio recording of the interview, in which Musharraf could be heard making the quoted remarks. Musharraf also denied Mukhtaran Mai, a Pakistani rape victim, the right to travel abroad, until pressured by US State Department. The remarks made by Musharraf sparked outrage and protests both internationally and in Pakistan by various groups i.e. women groups, activists. In a rally, held close to the presidential palace and Pakistan's parliament, hundreds of women demonstrated in Pakistan demanding Musharraf apologise for the controversial remarks about female rape victims.
Musharraf has survived multiple assassination attempts and alleged plots.
In 2000 Kamran Atif, an alleged member of Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alami
, tried to assassinate Musharraf. Atif was sentenced to death in 2006 by an Anti Terrorism Court
. On 14 December 2003, Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly guarded convoy
crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi; It was the third such attempt during his four-year rule. On 25 December 2003, two suicide bombers
tried to assassinate Musharraf, but their car bomb
s failed to kill him; 16 others died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windshield on his car.
was an alleged mastermind behind these attempts, and was killed by Pakistani forces in 2004 after an extensive manhunt.
On 6 July 2007, there was another attempted assassination, when an unknown group fired a 7.62 submachine gun
at Musharraf's plane as it took off from a runway
. Security also recovered 2 anti-aircraft guns
, from which no shots had been fired. On 17 July 2007, Pakistani police detained 39 people in relation to the attempted assassination of Musharraf. The suspects were detained at an undisclosed location by a joint team of Punjab Police
, the Federal Investigation Agency and other Pakistani intelligence agencies.
Fall from the presidency
By August 2007, polls showed 64 percent of Pakistanis did not want another Musharraf term.
[Pakistan: A mess in Pakistan]
. The Economist. Retrieved on 23 January 2011.
Controversies involving the atomic issues, Lal Masjid incident
, the unpopular War in North-West Pakistan
, the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
, and widely circulated criticisms from rivals Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, had brutalized the personal image of Musharraf in public and political circles. More importantly, with Shaukat Aziz departing from the office of Prime Minister, Musharraf could not have sustained his presidency any longer and dramatically fell from the presidency within a matter of eight months, after popular and mass public movements called for his impeachment
for the actions taken during his presidency.
Suspension of the Chief Justice
On 9 March 2007, Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
and pressed corruption charges against him. He replaced him with Acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal.
Musharraf's moves sparked protests among Pakistani lawyers. On 12 March 2007, lawyers started a campaign called Judicial Activism across Pakistan and began boycotting all court procedures in protest against the suspension. In Islamabad, as well as other cities such as Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta
hundreds of lawyers dressed in black suits attended rallies, condemning the suspension as unconstitutional. Slowly the expressions of support for the ousted Chief Justice gathered momentum and by May, protesters and opposition parties took out huge rallies against Musharraf, and his tenure as army chief was also challenged in the courts.
Lal Masjid siege
Lal Masjid had a religious school for women and the Jamia Hafsa madrassa, which was attached to the mosque.
A male madrassa was only a few minutes drive away.
In April 2007, the mosque administration started to encourage attacks on local video shops, alleging that they were selling porn films, and massage parlours, which were alleged to be used as brothels. These attacks were often carried out by the mosque's female students. In July 2007, a confrontation occurred when government authorities made a decision to stop the student violence and send police officers to arrest the responsible individuals and the madrassa administration.
This development led to a standoff between police forces and armed students.
Mosque leaders and students refused to surrender and fired at police from inside the mosque building. Both sides suffered casualties.
Return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif
On 27 July, Bhutto met for the first time with Musharraf in the United Arab Emirates
to discuss her return to Pakistan. On 14 September 2007, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim stated that Bhutto will not be deported, but must face corruption charges against her. He clarified Sharif's and Bhutto's right to return to Pakistan. On 17 September 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf's allies of pushing Pakistan to crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. Bhutto returned from eight years exile on 18 October. Musharraf called for a three-day mourning period after Bhutto's assassination on 27 December 2007.
Sharif returned to Pakistan in September 2007 and was immediately arrested and taken into custody at the airport. He was sent back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi intelligence chief Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
and Lebanese politician Saad Hariri
arrived separately in Islamabad on 8 September 2007, the former with a message from Saudi King Abdullah and the latter after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in London. After meeting President General Pervez Musharraf for two-and-a-half hours discussing Nawaz Sharif's possible return. On arrival in Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif was received by Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz, the Saudi intelligence chief, who had met Musharraf in Islamabad the previous day. That meeting had been followed by a rare press conference, at which he had warned that Sharif should not violate the terms of King Abdullah's agreement of staying out of politics for 10 years.
Resignation from the Military
On 2 October 2007, Musharraf appointed General Tariq Majid
Joint Chiefs Committee and approved General Ashfaq Kayani
as vice chief of the army starting 8 October. When Musharraf resigned from military on 28 November 2007, Kayani became Chief of Army Staff.
[Maneuvering Before Vote in Pakistan]
, ''The New York Times'', 3 October 2007
2007 presidential elections
In a March 2007 interview, Musharraf said that he intended to stay in office for another five years.
A nine-member panel of Supreme Court judges deliberated on six petitions (including Jamaat-e-Islami's, Pakistan's largest Islamic group) for disqualification of Musharraf as a presidential candidate. Bhutto stated that her party may join other opposition groups, including Sharif's.
On 28 September 2007, in a 6–3 vote, Judge Rana Bhagwandas
's court removed obstacles to Musharraf's election bid.
2007 state of emergency
On 3 November 2007 Musharraf declared emergency rule
He suspended the Constitution
, imposed a state of emergency, and fired the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court again.
In Islamabad, troops entered the Supreme Court building, arrested the judges and kept them detained in their homes.
Independent and international television channels went off air.
Public protests were mounted against Musharraf.
2008 general elections
General elections were held on 18 February 2008, in which the Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP) polled the highest votes and won the most seats. On 23 March 2008, President Musharraf said an "era of democracy" had begun in Pakistan and that he had put the country "on the track of development and progress". On 22 March, the PPP named former parliament speaker Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
as its candidate for the country's next prime minister, to lead a coalition government united against him.
On 7 August 2008, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League
(N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment
. Asif Ali Zardari
and Nawaz Sharif announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he step down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharraf refused to step down. A charge-sheet had been drafted and was to be presented to parliament. It included Mr. Musharraf's first seizure of power in 1999—at the expense of Nawaz Sharif, the PML(N)'s leader, whom Mr. Musharraf imprisoned and exiled—and his second in November 2007, when he declared an emergency as a means to get re-elected as president. The charge-sheet also listed some of Mr. Musharraf's contributions to the "war on terror."
Musharraf delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics, by a day. On 11 August, the government summoned the national assembly.
On 18 August 2008, Musharraf announced his resignation. On the following day, he defended his nine-year rule in an hour-long televised speech. However, public opinion was largely against him by this time. A poll conducted a day after his resignation showed that 63% Pakistanis welcomed Musharraf's decision to step down while only 15% were unhappy with it. On 23 November 2008 he left for exile in London where he arrived the following day.
Academia and lectureship
After his resignation, Musharraf went to perform a holy pilgrimage to Mecca
. He then went on a speaking and lectureship tour through the Middle East, Europe, and United States. Chicago-based Embark LLC was one of the international public-relations firms trying to land Musharraf as a highly paid keynote speaker.
[Pakistan's Musharraf: Lucrative Speaking Fees?](_blank)
. ''Newsweek'' (23 August 2008). Retrieved on 23 January 2011.
According to Embark President David B. Wheeler, the speaking fee for Musharraf would be $150,000–200,000 for a day plus jet and other V.I.P. arrangements on the ground.
In 2011, he also lectured at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
on politics and racism where he also authored and published a paper with George Perkvich.
Musharraf launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League
, in June 2010.
Legal threats and actions
The PML-N has tried to get Pervez Musharraf to stand trial in an article 6 trial for treason in relation to the emergency on 3 November 2007. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has said a consensus resolution is required in national assembly for an article 6 trial of Pervez Musharraf"I have no love lost for Musharraf ... if parliament decides to try him, I will be with parliament. Article 6 cannot be applied to one individual ... those who supported him are today in my cabinet and some of them have also joined the PML-N ... the MMA, the MQM and the PML-Q supported him ... this is why I have said that it is not doable," said the Prime Minister while informally talking to editors and also replying to questions by journalists at an Iftar-dinner he had hosted for them. Although the constitution of Pakistan, Article 232 and Article 236, provides for emergencies, and on 15 February 2008, the ''interim'' Pakistan Supreme Court attempted to validated the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, after the Supreme Court judges were restored to the bench, on 31 July 2009, they ruled that Musharraf had violated the constitution when he declared emergency rule in 2007.
Saudi Arabia exerted its influence to attempt to prevent treason charges, under Article 6 of the constitution, from being brought against Musharraf, citing existing agreements between the states, as well as pressuring Sharif directly. As it turned out, it was not Sharif's decision to make.
Abbottabad's district and sessions judge in a missing person
's case passed judgment asking the authorities to declare Pervez Musharraf a proclaimed offender.
On 11 February 2011 the Anti Terrorism Court, issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf and charged him with conspiracy to commit murder of Benazir Bhutto. On 8 March 2011, the Sindh High Court
registered treason charges against him.
Pakistani police commandos
Regarding the Lahore attack
on Sri Lanka
n players, Musharraf criticized the police commandos' inability to kill any of the gunmen, saying "If this was the elite force
I would expect them to have shot down those people who attacked them, the reaction, their training should be on a level that if anyone shoots toward the company they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down."
[Newhouse, Barry (5 March 2009) , Voice of America.]
Regarding the blasphemy laws
, Musharraf said that Pakistan is sensitive to religious issues and that the blasphemy law should stay.
Return to Pakistan
Since the start of 2011, news had circulated that Musharraf would return to Pakistan before the 2013 general election. He himself vowed this in several interviews. On ''Piers Morgan Tonight
'', Musharraf announced his plans to return to Pakistan on 23 March 2012 in order to seek the Presidency in 2013. The Taliban
and Talal Bugti
threatened to kill him should he return. On 3 April 2014, Musharraf escaped the fourth assassination attempt, resulting in an injury of a woman, according to Pakistani news.
On 24 March 2013, after a four-year self-imposed exile, he returned to Pakistan.
[ He landed at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, via a chartered Emirates flight with Pakistani journalists and foreign news correspondents. Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML greeted Musharraf upon his arrival at Karachi airport, and he delivered a short public speech.
On 16 April 2013, an electoral tribunal in Chitral declared Musharraf disqualified from candidacy there, effectively quashing his political ambitions (several other constituencies had previously rejected Musharraf's nominations). A spokesperson for Musharraf's party said the ruling was "biased" and they would appeal the decision.]
While Musharraf had technically been on bail since his return to the country,
on 18 April 2013, the Islamabad High Court ordered the arrest of Musharraf on charges relating to the 2007 arrests of judges. Musharraf escaped from court with the aid of his security personnel, and went to his farm-house mansion. The following day Musharraf was under house arrest but was later transferred to police headquarters in Islamabad. Musharraf characterized his arrest as "politically motivated" and his legal team has declared their intention to fight the charges in the Supreme Court. Further to the charges of this arrest, the Senate also passed a resolution petitioning that Musharraf be charged with high treason in relation to the events of 2007.
Court arrest orders
On Friday 26 April 2013 the court ordered house arrest for Musharraf in connection with the death of Benazir Bhutto.
On 20 May, a Pakistani court granted bail to Musharraf. On 12 June 2014 Sindh High Court allowed him to travel to seek medical attention abroad.
Judicial hearings and return to exile
On 25 June 2013, Musharraf was named as prime suspect in two separate cases. The first case was subverting and suspending the constitution, and the second was a Federal Investigation Agency probe into the conspiracy to assassinate Bhutto. Musharraf was indicted on 20 August 2013 for Bhutto's assassination in 2007. On 2 September 2013, a first information report (FIR) was registered against him for his role in the Lal Masjid Operation in 2007. The FIR was lodged after the son of slain hard line cleric Abdul Rahid Ghazi (who was killed during the operation) asked authorities to bring charges against Musharraf.
On 18 March 2016, Musharraf's name was removed from the Exit Control List and he was allowed to travel abroad, citing medical treatment. He currently lives in Dubai in self-imposed exile. Musharraf vowed to return to Pakistan, but has not done so.
[Salman Masood] It was first disclosed in October 2018 that Musharraf suffers from amyloidosis, a rare and serious illness for which he has undergone treatment in hospitals in London and Dubai; an official with Musharraf's political party said that Musharraf would return to Pakistan after he made a full recovery.
In 2017, Musharraf appeared as a political analyst on his weekly television show ''Sab Se Pehle Pakistan with President Musharraf'', hosted by BOL News.
On 31 August 2017, the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi declared him an "absconder" in Bhutto's murder case. The court also ordered that his property and bank account in Pakistan be seized.
Death Sentence Overturned for Pervez Musharraf, Ex-Leader of Pakistan
''New York Times'' (13 January 2020).
On 17 December 2019, a special court declared him a traitor and sentenced him ''in absentia'' to death for abrogating and suspending the constitution in November 2007. The three-member panel of the special court which issued the order was spearheaded by Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court Waqar Ahmed Seth. He is also the first Pakistani Army General to be sentenced to death. Analysts did not expect Musharraf to face the sentence given his illness and the fact that Dubai has no extradition treaty with Pakistan;
the verdict was also viewed as largely symbolic given that Musharraf retains support within the current Pakistani government and military. [
Musharraf challenged the verdict,] and on 13 January 2020, the Lahore High Court annulled the death sentence against Musharraf, ruling that the special court that held the trial was unconstitutional. [ The unanimous verdict was delivered by a three-member bench of the Lahore High Court,] consisting of Justice Sayyed Muhammad Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir. The court ruled that the prosecution of Musharraf was politically motivated and that the crimes of high treason and subverting the Constitution were "a joint offense" that "cannot be undertaken by a single person." [
Musharraf is the second son of his parents and has two brothers—Javed and Naved.
["Musharraf Mother Meets Indian PM"](_blank)
. BBC News (21 March 2005).
Javed retired as a high-level official in Pakistan's civil service. Naved is an anesthesiologist who has lived in Chicago since completing his residency training at Loyola University Medical Center in 1979.
Musharraf married Sehba, who is from Karachi, on 28 December 1968. They have a daughter, Ayla, an architect married to film director Asim Raza, and a son, Bilal. He also has close family ties to the prominent Kheshgi family.
Musharraf published his autobiography—''In the Line of Fire: A Memoir''—in 2006.
* Enlightened Moderation
* Politics of Pakistan
General Pervez Musharraf
official Pakistan Army profile
Pervez Musharraf Foundation
Interviews and statements
to U.S. Institute of Peace (text, audio & video available) June 2003
"Plea for Enlightened Moderation"
Pervez Musharraf, ''The Washington Post'', 13 May 2004
"Was Kargil a Conspiracy Against Pakistan?"
e-zine.pk, 14 May 2011, conspiracy theory involving Musharraf, the U.S. and India
"Terror and Musharraf's hubris mark Pakistan election campaign"
Radio France Internationale
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