Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf passes away at 79

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ISLAMABAD: Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf passed away in a Dubai hospital at the age of 79 after a prolonged illness, his family confirmed on Sunday.

The former military ruler was undergoing treatment for amyloidosis at American Hospital Dubai.

Musharraf’s family has filed an application in the Pakistani consulate in Dubai to shift the former military leader’s body to Pakistan.

A special jet will fly to Dubai from Nur Khan airbase to bring Musharraf’s mortal remains back to Pakistan.

Last year, reports circulated of Musharraf’s death but they were rubbished by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), which was the political party established by the former president.

The party had refuted the news related to him being in critical condition or on a ventilator. It added that Musharraf was being treated for amyloidosis at his home and his condition was stable.

Amyloidosis is a condition which is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein in organs and tissues that prevents them from working properly.

Condolences pour in

Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered his condolences on the former army chief’s demise.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Sahir Shamshad, and tri-services chiefs also expressed heartfelt condolences on Musharraf’s death.

“CJCSC and services chiefs express heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of General Pervez Musharraf, former president, CJCSC and chief of army staff. May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family,” the military’s media wing said.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry offered his condolences, saying: “Musharraf was a great person […], ‘Pakistan first’ was his theory and vision.”

Former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi, while pouring in condolences, said that Musharraf’s services to the Pakistan Army and the country cannot be forgotten.

Expressing deep sorrow over the former president’s death, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said that he shares his grief with the bereaved family.

Profile

Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in Delhi, British India. He got his commission from the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul on April 19, 1961.

Upon getting his commission, the former military ruler joined the special services group.

The military ruler also took part in the 1965 and 1971 wars.

He was promoted to the rank of general in 1998 and took over as the chief of army staff (COAS) post that he held till 2007. A year later on October 12, 1999, Gen (retd) Musharraf usurped power in a coup d’etat.

Musharraf remained the longest-serving president of Pakistan as he took over the country’s reins. He was elected as the president through a referendum in 2002 and remained in office till 2008.

During his tenure, the military leader accepted the US proposal for Pakistan to become a frontline ally after the 9/11 incident.

Later in 2004, he was elected as a president in uniform for five years via the 17th Amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Musharraf is also known for the anti-constitutional measures he took to depose the judges of the Supreme Court in November 2007, which marked the beginning of the Lawyers’ Movement — also known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Judiciary.

Following a movement led by the political parties, Musharraf resigned as the president on August 18, 2008.

The former military ruler was sentenced to death by a special court on December 17, 2019, under Article 6 of the Constitution. A case of high treason was filed against him during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) tenure.

Musharraf was present in the court on March 31, 2016, when he was indicted on the charges.

Later, he flew out of the country due to his illness. He did not return to Pakistan after leaving the country.