Pakistan’s former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, has died at the age of 79 in a hospital in Dubai. The news of his death was confirmed by the Pakistan army. The general, who took power in 1999 through a bloodless coup, was serving as the country’s army chief, chief executive, and president during the 9/11 attacks in the United States. He was Washington’s main regional ally during the invasion of Afghanistan and managed to survive multiple assassination attempts by militants.
An analyst, Hasan Askari, noted that Musharraf’s decision to join the war against terror brought a positive impact, resulting in an influx of aid. The senior military officials extended their condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for the departed soul.
In his nearly nine years of rule, General Musharraf saw a period of economic growth, mostly due to the aid from Washington, however, the conflict spilled into Pakistan’s border areas. Despite his easygoing persona, he faced criticism for blurring the division between the state and army, and faced opposition after trying to dismiss the chief justice and failing to control the economy. He suspended the constitution twice and imposed emergency rule, leading to widespread criticism from rights groups for widespread abuse, including the arrest of thousands of political opponents and dissidents.
After his defeat in the 2008 elections, General Musharraf resigned and was forced into exile. In 2013, his attempt to return to power was unsuccessful, and he faced charges related to the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. He was placed under house arrest and later sentenced to death in absentia for treason. However, the ruling was nullified by a court.
Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi offered condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for the eternal rest of the departed soul.