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Friday June 14, 2024

Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf passes away in Dubai

Special plane carrying body of ex-army chief will land in Rawalpindi today (Monday), say diplomatic officials

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai & Azaz Syed 
February 05, 2023

Former president Gen (retd) General Pervez Musharraf. — AFP/File
Former president Gen (retd) General Pervez Musharraf. — AFP/File

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf passed away at the age of 79 in Dubai after a prolonged illness, Geo News reported on Sunday. 

The former military ruler died at American Hospital Dubai, where he had been undergoing treatment for amyloidosis.

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.

The rumours of Musharraf's death surfaced last year but were rubbished by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), a 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 that is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein in organs and tissues that prevents them from working properly.

‘Musharraf to be laid to rest in Karachi’

The former president will be buried in a Karachi graveyard, confirmed his family sources. The bereaved family formally approached Pakistan’s consulate in Dubai seeking permission to shift the mortal remains of Musharraf to his homeland.

A special plane carrying the body of Musharraf will take off from Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport for homeland at 11am on Monday, according to sources in the family.

It is pertinent to mention here that the former president’s mother was buried in Dubai while his father was laid to rest in Karachi.

Giving details, the diplomatic officials said that the Pakistan’s consulate in Dubai has issued a no objection certificate (NOC) for shifting the mortal remains of Musharraf.

“His [Musharraf] passport has been cancelled,” the officials said, adding that the special plane carrying the body of the former army chief will land in Rawalpindi.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that they were facilitating the transportation of the mortal remains of the ex-army chief.

“Our Missions in the UAE are in contact with the family and are facilitating the transportation of the mortal remains,” she added.

Condolences pour in

Reacting to the news, President Arif Alvi prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased general, and patience for the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also prayed for Musharraf's forgiveness and offered his condolences to the deceased's family.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Sahir Shamshad, and tri-services chiefs expressed heartfelt condolences on the former army chief's demise.

"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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Who was Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf?

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, he joined the special services group. 

The military ruler also took part in the 1965 and 1971 wars. He was promoted to the rank of a four-star general in 1998 and took over the military's command after being appointed as the chief of army staff (COAS) by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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 after taking 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 anti-constitutional measures 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 Judiciary.

Following a movement led by the political parties of Pakistan, Musharraf resigned as the president on August 18, 2008, to avoid impeachment and thereafter moved to London.

The former military ruler was sentenced to death by a special court on December 17, 2019, under Article 6 of the Constitution, on charges of committing high treason and subverting the constitution. A case of high treason was filed against him for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) during the party's tenure in 2014.

Musharraf appeared before the court on March 31, 2016, when he was indicted for the charges.

Later, he flew out of the country due to his illness.