Pervez Musharraf, Former Military Ruler Of Pakistan, Dies At 79

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who seized energy in a cold coup and later led a reluctant Pakistan into aiding the U.S. struggle in Afghanistan towards the Taliban, has died, officers stated Sunday. He was 79.

Musharraf, a former particular forces commando, turned president by the final of a string of navy coups that roiled Pakistan since its founding amid the bloody 1947 partition of India. He dominated the nuclear-armed state after his 1999 coup by tensions with India, an atomic proliferation scandal and an Islamic extremist insurgency. He stepped down in 2008 whereas dealing with potential impeachment.

Later in life, Musharraf lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai to keep away from legal prices, regardless of making an attempt a political comeback in 2012. But it wasn’t to be as his poor well being plagued his final years. He maintained a soldier’s fatalism after avoiding a violent dying that at all times appeared to be stalking him as Islamic militants twice focused him for assassination.

“I have confronted death and defied it several times in the past because destiny and fate have always smiled on me,” Musharraf as soon as wrote. “I only pray that I have more than the proverbial nine lives of a cat.”

Musharraf’s household introduced in June 2022 that he had been hospitalized for weeks in Dubai whereas affected by amyloidosis, an incurable situation that sees proteins construct up within the physique’s organs. They later stated he additionally wanted entry to the drug daratumumab, which is used to deal with a number of myeloma. That bone marrow most cancers may cause amyloidosis.

Shazia Siraj, a spokeswoman for the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai, confirmed his dying and stated diplomats have been offering help to his household.

The Pakistani navy additionally provided its condolences as did Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the youthful brother of the prime minister Musharraf overthrew in 1999.

“May God give his family the courage to bear this loss,” Sharif stated.

Pakistan, a nation practically twice the dimensions of California alongside the Arabian Sea, is now dwelling to 220 million folks. But it might be its border with Afghanistan that will quickly draw the U.S.′s consideration and dominate Musharraf’s life slightly beneath two years after he seized energy.

Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden launched the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults from Afghanistan, sheltered by the nation’s Taliban rulers. Musharraf knew what would come subsequent.

“America was sure to react violently, like a wounded bear,” he wrote in his autobiography. “If the perpetrator turned out to be al-Qaida, then that wounded bear would come charging straight toward us.”

Musharraf selected the previous. A month later, he stood by then-President George W. Bush on the Waldorf Astoria in New York to declare Pakistan’s unwavering help to battle with the United States towards “terrorism in all its forms wherever it exists.”

Then-U.S. President George W. Bush, proper, shakes fingers with then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at a information convention at New York’s Waldorf – Astoria Hotel, on Nov. 10, 2001. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey, File)

Pakistan turned an important transit level for NATO provides headed to landlocked Afghanistan. That was the case though Pakistan’s highly effective Inter-Services Intelligence company had backed the Taliban after it swept into energy in Afghanistan in 1994. Prior to that, the CIA and others funneled cash and arms by the ISI to Islamic fighters battling the Nineteen Eighties Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan noticed Taliban fighters flee over the border again into Pakistan, together with bin Laden, whom the U.S. would kill in 2011 at a compound in Abbottabad. They regrouped and the offshoot Pakistani Taliban emerged, starting a yearslong insurgency within the mountainous border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The CIA started flying armed Predator drones from Pakistan with Musharraf’s blessing, utilizing an airstrip constructed by the founding president of the United Arab Emirates for falconing in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The program helped beat again the militants however noticed over 400 strikes in Pakistan alone kill a minimum of 2,366 folks — together with 245 civilians, based on the Washington-based New America Foundation assume tank.

Though Pakistan beneath Musharraf launched these operations, the militants nonetheless thrived as billions of American {dollars} flowed into the nation. That led to suspicion that also plagues the U.S. relationship with Pakistan.

“After 9/11, then President Musharraf made a strategic shift to abandon the Taliban and support the U.S. in the war on terror, but neither side believes the other has lived up to expectations flowing from that decision,” a 2009 U.S. cable from then-Ambassador Anne Patterson printed by WikiLeaks stated, describing what had develop into the diplomatic equal of a loveless marriage.

“The relationship is one of co-dependency we grudgingly admit — Pakistan knows the U.S. cannot afford to walk away; the U.S. knows Pakistan cannot survive without our support.”

But it might be Musharraf’s life on the road. Militants tried to assassinate him twice in 2003 by focusing on his convoy, first with a bomb planted on a bridge after which with automotive bombs. That second assault noticed Musharraf’s automobile lifted into the air by the blast earlier than touching the bottom once more. It raced to security on simply its rims, Musharraf pulling a Glock pistol in case he wanted to battle his method out.

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It wasn’t till his spouse, Sehba, noticed the automotive coated in gore that the size of the assault dawned on him.

“She is always calm in the face of danger,” he recounted. But then, “she was screaming uncontrollably, hysterically.”

Born Aug. 11, 1943, in New Delhi, India, Musharraf was the center son of a diplomat. His household joined tens of millions of different Muslims in fleeing westward when predominantly Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan break up throughout independence from Britain in 1947. The partition noticed tons of of 1000’s of individuals killed in riots and combating.

Musharraf entered the Pakistani military at age 18 and made his profession there as Islamabad fought three wars towards India. He’d launch his personal try at capturing territory within the disputed Himalayan area of Kashmir in 1999 simply earlier than seizing energy from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif had ordered Musharraf’s dismissal as the military chief flew dwelling from a go to to Sri Lanka and denied his airplane touchdown rights in Pakistan, even because it ran low on gasoline. On the bottom, the military took management and after he landed Musharraf took cost.

Yet as ruler, Musharraf practically reached a take care of India on Kashmir, based on U.S. diplomats on the time. He additionally labored towards a rapprochement with Pakistan’s longtime rival.

Then-President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf salutes on April 9, 2002 at a public rally in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Zia Mazhar, File)
Then-President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf salutes on April 9, 2002 at a public rally in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Zia Mazhar, File)

AP Photo/Zia Mazhar, File

Another main scandal emerged beneath his rule when the world found that famed Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, lengthy related to the nation’s atomic bomb, had been promoting centrifuge designs and different secrets and techniques to nations together with Iran, Libya and North Korea, making tens of tens of millions of {dollars}. Those designs helped Pyongyang to arm itself with a nuclear weapon, whereas centrifuges from Khan’s designs nonetheless spin in Iran amid the collapse of Tehran’s nuclear take care of world powers.

Musharraf stated he suspected Khan but it surely wasn’t till 2003 when then-CIA director George Tenet confirmed him detailed plans for a Pakistani centrifuge that the scientist had been promoting that he realized the severity of what occurred.

Khan would confess on state tv in 2004 and Musharraf would pardon him, although he’d be confined to accommodate arrest after that.

Musharraf’s home help ultimately eroded. He held flawed elections in late 2002 — solely after altering the structure to present himself sweeping powers to sack the prime minister and parliament. He then reneged on a promise to face down as military chief by the tip of 2004.

Militant anger towards Musharraf elevated in 2007 when he ordered a raid towards the Red Mosque in downtown Islamabad. It had develop into a sanctuary for militants against Pakistan’s help of the Afghan struggle. The weeklong operation killed over 100 folks.

The incident severely broken Musharraf’s status amongst on a regular basis residents and earned him the timeless hatred of militants who launched a sequence of punishing assaults following the raid.

Fearing the judiciary would block his continued rule, Musharraf fired the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. That triggered mass demonstrations.

Under stress at dwelling and overseas to revive civilian rule, Musharraf stepped down as military chief. Though he received one other five-year presidential time period, Musharraf confronted a significant disaster following former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in December 2007 at a marketing campaign rally as she sought to develop into prime minister for the third time.

The public suspected Musharraf’s hand within the killing, which he denied. A later United Nations report acknowledged the Pakistani Taliban was a predominant suspect in her slaying however warned that parts of Pakistan’s intelligence companies might have been concerned.

Musharraf resigned as president in August 2008 after ruling coalition officers threatened to have him impeached for imposing emergency rule and firing judges.

“I hope the nation and the people will forgive my mistakes,” Musharraf, struggling together with his feelings, stated in an hourlong televised deal with.

Afterward, he lived overseas in Dubai and London, making an attempt a political comeback in 2012. But Pakistan as a substitute arrested the previous common and put him beneath home arrest. He confronted treason allegations over the Supreme Court debacle and different prices stemming from the Red Mosque raid and Bhutto’s assassination.

The picture of Musharraf being handled as a legal suspect shocked Pakistan, the place navy generals lengthy have been thought-about above the regulation. Pakistan allowed him to depart the nation on bail to Dubai in 2016 for medical therapy and he remained there after dealing with a later-overturned dying sentence.

But it urged Pakistan could also be prepared to show a nook in its historical past of navy rule.

“Musharraf’s resignation is a sad yet familiar story of hubris, this time in a soldier who never became a good politician,” wrote Patterson, the U.S. ambassador, on the time.

“The good news is that the demonstrated strength of institutions that brought Musharraf down — the media, free elections and civil society — also provide some hope for Pakistan’s future. It was these institutions that ironically became much stronger under his government.”

Associated Press author Rebecca Santana contributed to this report. Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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