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Pervez Musharraf

Early life

British India

Pervez Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943 to an Urdu-speaking family in Delhi, British India,the son of Syed Musharrafuddinand his wife Begum Zarin Musharraf.At the time of his birth his family lived at a large home that belonged to his father’s family for many years called Nehar Wali Haveli, which means “House Next to the Canal”.His family were Sunni Muslims who were also Sayyids, 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 in Delhi University, taking a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She then got 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 a accounting director.

Musharraf was the second of three children, all boys. His elder brother, Dr. Javed Musharraf, based in Rome, is an economist and is one of the Directors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.His younger brother, Dr. Naved Musharraf, is an anaestheologist based in Illinois, USA.

Musharraf’s first childhood home in Delhi was called ‘Neharwali Haveli’, literally ‘canal-side house’. 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.He had a dog named Whiskey that gave him a “lifelong love for dogs”.He played sports in his youth.In 1956, he left Turkeyand returned to Pakistan in 1957where he attended Saint Patrick’s School in Karachi and was accepted at the Forman Christian College University in Lahore. At Forman, Musharraf declared his major in mathematics and performed extremely well in his collegiate mathematics, but later developed an interest in economics.

Initial military career

In 1961, at age of 18,Musharraf entered the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul.During his college years at PMA and initial joint military testings, Musharraf shared a room with PQ Mehdi of Pakistan Air Force and Abdul Aziz Mirza of 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 border.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 East Pakistan Army.

Indo-Pakistani conflicts (1965–1971)

His first battlefield experience was with an artillery regiment in the intense fighting for 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 was selected to join the special force school by recommendation of his commanding officer in Sialkot.[citation needed] After passing the rigorous exams and physically tough training, he joined the elite Special Service Group (SSG) and then trained together with then-lieutenant Shahid Karimullah (also a four-star admiral) for the joint operations. He served in the SSG from 1966–1972. He was promoted to army captain and to major during this period.During the 1971 war with India, he was a company commander of a SSG commando battalion. During the 1971 war, he was scheduled to depart to East-Pakistan to join the army-navy joint military operations, but instead his deployment did not materialize after Indian Army advances towards Southern Pakistan.

Professorship and military assignments (1972–1990)

Musharraf was a lieutenant colonel in 1974;and a colonel in 1978.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.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 1979–89 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.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, an assault was launched under the command of Musharraf at Bilafond La before being pushed back. In 1990–91, he studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies (RCDS) in Britain.

His course-mate included Major-generals B. S. Malik and Ashok Mehtaof the Indian Army, and Ali Kuli Khan of Pakistan Army.In his course studies, Musharraf performed extremely well as compared 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 interest the emerging rock music genre, and often listened to rock music after getting off from duty.The 1980s, regarded as birth of Pakistan’s rock music genre, Musharraf was reportedly into the popular Western fashion in the 1980s, which was very popular at the government and public circles, in the country at that time.While in the Army, he earned the nickname “Cowboy” for his westernized ways and his fashion interest in Western clothing.

Command and staff appointments (1991–1995)

Earlier in 1988–89, (as Brigadier) Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan.In 1991–93, he secured a two-star promotion, elevating him to the rank of major general and held a 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 closed 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. It was Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman who lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently getting the 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 in a Pakistan Embassy at the Washington, D.C. with officials from Mossad and special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin.It was during these times when Musharraf build extremely cordial relationships 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 government.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 (CC-I) of I Strike Corps stationed in Mangla, Mangla Military District.

Four-star appointments (1998–2007)

Chief of army staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs

Musharraf in four-star army uniform, PA, ca. 2007.

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 stressed the creation of 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 hardline 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 favoured by the Prime Ministers 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 favoured 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, USMC, 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.

Kargil Conflict

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 marshalPQ 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”,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 life long 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 a 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 beginning of January.

Chief Executive

1999 coup

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.To quieten rumours of a fallout between Musharraf and Sharif, Sharif officially certified Musharraf’s remaining two years of his term on 30 September.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf speaks during a press conference at the Pakistan Air Force base in Chaklala Pakistan.

Musharraf had left for a weekend trip to take part in Sri Lanka’s Army’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.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.The military placed Sharif under house arrest,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.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.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 Prime minister. The Prime minister secretariat (official residence of Prime minister of Pakistan) was closed by the military police and the staff was deposed by Musharraf immediately.

There were no organised protests within the country to the coup.The coup 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.

First days

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 was trained together in special forces schools in 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 Medinaand performed Umrah in Mecca.On 28 October, he went to United Arab Emirates before returning home.

By the end of October, Musharraf appointed many technocrats and bureaucrats in his Cabinet, including former Citibank executive Shaukat Aziz as Finance Ministerand 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.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 guesthouseand opened his Lahore home to the public in late October 1999.He was formally indicted in Novemberon charges of hijacking, kidnapping, attempted murder, and treason for preventing Musharraf’s flight from landing at Karachi airport on the day of the coup. 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. 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.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 Navaz Sharif to gallows to face similar fate as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. It was the pressure on Musharraf exerted by Saudi Arabia and the United States to exile Sharif after it became authenticated that the court is near to place her verdict on Navaz Sharif on his charges, and the court will sentenced Sharif to death. Sharif signed an agreement with Musharraf and his military government and his family was exiled to Saudi Arabia in December 2000.

Constitutional changes

Shortly after Musharraf’s takeover, Musharraf issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to the military. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court asked Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002. The residing President Rafiq Tarar remained in office until his voluntary resignation in June 2001. After his 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 in his vision to return the democracy in the country. In October 2002, Pakistan held general elections, which the pro-Musharraf PML-Q won wide margins, although it had failed to gain absolute majority. The PML-Q formed government with far-right religious parties coalition, the MMA and the liberals MQM; the coalition legitimised Musharraf’s rule.

After 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 of Pakistan 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 to forcefully implement his policies in the country and mounted problems with elite business class of Pakistan. 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 while running the government and under Aziz’s government economic growth reached to a maximum level, which further stabilised Musharraf’s presidency.Aziz swiftly, quietly and more quickly undermined the elements seeking to undermine Musharraf, which became a factor that Musharraf had trusted Aziz. During 2004–07, Aziz approved many projects that did not required permission of Musharraf.

In 2010, all constitutionals changes carried out by Musharraf and Aziz’s policies were reverted by the 18th Amendment, and put the country back to its initial position and gave powers to Prime minister to its actual constitutional status.

Presidency

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-sectorto open television centers and media houses.The television dramas, film industry, theatre, music and literature activities, were personally encouraged by Pervez Musharraf.Under his policies, the rock music bands gained a lot appraisal in the country and many concerts in the country were held each week.His cultural policies, the film, theatre, rock and folk music, and television programmes 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 national song with the band.

On political fronts, Mushrraf faced fierce opposition from the ultraconservative 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 in 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, Mushrraf 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 in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.

A few months after the September 11 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 Jewish leadership, sponsored by the American Jewish Congress’s Council for World Jewry, in New York City. He was widely criticised by Middle Eastern 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 the 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Relations with Saudi Arabia

In 2006, King Abdullah 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.

Nuclear scandals

Since September 2001 until his resignation in 2007 from the military, his presidency suffered more highly controversial atomic scandals than any other government in the history of the country.These scandals badly affected his authoritative legitimacy in the country and in the international community.In October 2001, Musharraf authorised a sting operation led by FIA to arrest two physicists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, due to their supposed connection with Taliban after they secretly visited Taliban government led Afghanistan in 2000.The local Pakistani media widely circulated the reports that “Mahmood had a meeting with Osama bin Laden where Bin Laden had shown the interests of building a radiological weapon.” Later, it was revealed that neither scientist was able to build such designs of the bomb and had lacked scientific knowledge of such weapons. The credibility of these two scientists were put in great doubts about their role in country’s atomic bomb program.In December 2001, he authorized the security hearings of these two scientists and were taken into the custody of the JAG Branch (JAG) where the security hearings continued until early 2002.

Another widely controversial scandal during Musharraf’s presidency arose as a consequence of the disclosure of atomic proliferation by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Earlier on 27 February 2001, Musharraf spoke highly of Abdul Qadeer Khan in a farewell state dinner in Islamabad.Personally approving the appointment Science Advisor to the Government to Abdul Qadeer Khan, also in 2001. In 2004, Musharraf relieved Abdul Qadeer Khan from his post and initially denied knowledge of government’s and the armed force’s role in nuclear proliferation, despite Abdul Qadeer Khan urging that Musharraf was the “Big Boss” of the proliferation ring. Following this, Musharraf authorized a national security hearings of Abdul Qadeer Khan, which continued until his resignation from the army in 2007. According to Zahid Malik, Musharraf and the military establishment at that time, were exercised rough actions against Abdul Qadeer Khan to prove the loyalty of Pakistan to the United States and Western world.

US president George W. Bush and his counterpart President Pervez Musharraf address the media in Cross Hall.

The investigations back fired on Musharraf and a wide scale public opinion turned against him soon after.The massive and populist ARD movement, containing the major political parties especially the rivals PML and the PPP, used that issue politically to malign Musharraf and to bring down his presidency alone.

At the public circles, the debriefings of Abdul Qadeer Khan had severely damaged Musharraf’s own public image and his political prestige in the country. Musharraf faced bitter domestic criticism for singularly attempting to vilify Abdul Qadeer Khan, specifically from opposition leader Benazir Bhutto who issued harassing statements towards Musharraf’s role. In an interview to Daily Times, Benazir Bhutto maintained that Abdul Qadeer Khan was made “scapegoat” in this nuclear proliferation scandal and she didn’t “believe that such a big scandal could have taken place under the nose of General Musharraf”.The long standing ally of Musharraf, the MQM, gave bitter and a public acrimonious criticism to Musharraf over his handling of Abdul Qadeer Khan. The ARD movement and the political parties further politicized this issue after tapping a public anger and mass demonstration all over the country against Musharraf. The credibility of the United States was also badly damaged over this issue;the United States refrained itself from pressuring Musharraf to take further actions against Abdul Qadeer Khan due to their strategic calculations.While Abdul Qadeer Khan remained insanely popular in the country,on the other hand, Musharraf could not sustained to this political pressure and his presidency was further weakened after being harassed by Benazir Bhutto over this issue.In a quick move, Musharraf quickly pardoned Abdul Qadeer Khan in exchange for cooperation and issue confinement orders against Khan that limited Khan’s movement. Musharraf wasted no time to hand over the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan into the hands of Prime minister Aziz who had been supportive towards Abdul Qadeer Khan and spoke highly of him in public in 2007; personally, “thanking” Abdul Qadeer Khan, and quoting: “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. Abdul Qadeer 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 ISIS agrees that Abdul Qadeer Khan’s activities were government-sanctioned.After Musharraf’s resignation, Abdul Qadeer Khan was finally released from house arrest by the executive order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. After Musharraf departed from the country, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tärik Majid terminated all further debriefings of Abdul Qadeer Khan. A complicating factor is that, few believed that Abdul Qadeer Khan acted alone and the affair risks 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.

Corruption issues

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.

Domestic politics

In December 2003, Musharraf made a deal with MMA, a six-member coalition of far-right Islamic 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. In late 2004, Musharraf went back on his agreement with the MMA and pro-Musharraf legislators in the Parliament passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both offices. Constitution Article 63 clause (1) paragraph (d), read with proviso to Article 41 clause (7) paragraph (b), allows the President to hold dual office.

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 the 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 Citibankand head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister.

Women’s rights

President Musharraf is greeted by President Bush in Washington in September 2006.

The National Assembly voted in favour 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 criticised 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, to increase women’s representation and make their presence more effective. Compared with 1988 seats in the National Assembly were increased from 20 to 60. In provincial assemblies 128 seats were reserved for women. This situation has brought out increase participation of women for 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. Following the rape, riots erupted in the local Bugti clan of the province, where the rape took place. They saw a rape in their heartland as being a breach of their code of honour and attacked the gas plant. In an uncompromising response Musharraf sent tanks, helicopters and an extra 4,500 soldiers to guard the installation. If the tribesmen failed to stop shooting, he warned on television, “they will not know what hit them.” Shazia was later forced and threatened by the government to leave the country.

In an interview to The Washington Post in September 2005 Musharraf said that Pakistani women, who were 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 Washington 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.

Assassination attempts

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 bombsfailed to kill him; 16 others died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windshield on his car. Amjad Farooqi 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 in Rawalpindi. 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.

On 8 October 2007, a military helicopter escorting President Musharraf, on his visit to the earthquake-affected areas on its second anniversary, crashed near Muzaffarabad, killing four people, including a brigadier. The Puma helicopter crashed at Majohi near Garhi Dupatta in Azad Kashmir at 11:15 am due to technical fault. Those killed included Brigadier Zahoor Ahmed, Naik Ajmal, Sepoy Rashid and PTV cameraman Muhammad Farooq, while President’s Media Advisor Maj Gen (R) Rashid Qureshi sustained injuries. Twelve people were on board the helicopter.

Fall from the presidency

By August 2007, polls showed 64 percent of Pakistanis did not want another Musharraf term.Controversies involving the atomic issues, Lal Masjid incident, unpopular operation in West, suspension of famed Chief Justice, 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 successfully called for his impeachment for the actions taken during his presidency.

Suspension and reinstatement 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 ally 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. The mosque was often attended by prominent politicians including prime ministers, army chiefs, and presidents.

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 kept firing on police from inside the mosque building. Both sides suffered casualties.

Return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif

Also on 8 August 2007, Benazir Bhutto spoke about her secret meeting with Musharraf on 27 July, in an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

On 14 September 2007, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim stated that Bhutto won’t be deported, but must face corruption suits against her. He clarified Sharif’s and Bhutto’s right to return to Pakistan.Bhutto returned from eight years exile on 18 October. On 17 September 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf’s allies of pushing Pakistan to crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. 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 as Chairman 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.

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 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 across Pakistan. He suspended the Constitution, imposed 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 under detention in their homes. Troops were deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels went off air. Public protests 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.

Impeachment movement and resignation

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 last November, when he declared an emergency as a means to get re-elected 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.

Exile

Speaking at Chatham House in London in 2010

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.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.

Return to politics and formation of All Pakistan Muslim League

Since quitting politics in 2008, Musharraf has lived in London since 24 November 2008in self-imposed exile.

Musharraf launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in June 2010.

Legal threats and actions

Pervez Musharraf speaking at the WEF.

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.

Views on Pakistani police commandos

Regarding the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan 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.”

Views on the blasphemy laws in Pakistan

Regarding the Blasphemy laws in Pakistan, 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 Talibanand 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.

Electoral disqualification

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 at around 12:40 PM PST. Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML were at Karachi airport to welcome him. He also delivered a short public speech outside the airport lounge.

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.

House arrest

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 arrestbut 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 abroad.

Murder cases investigations

On 25 June 2013, Musharraf was named as prime suspect in two separate cases, first Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and second being Akbar Bugti case by Federal Investigation Agency for masterminding a conspiracy to assassinations of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti.

On 20 August 2013, a Pakistani court indicted Musharraf in the assassination of Bhutto.

On 2 September 2013, a FIR was registered against Pervez Musharraf for his role in the Lal Masjid Operation 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 Dubaiin self-imposed exile, but has vowed to return to the country. Musharraf appears 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 convicted him an “absconder” in Bhutto’s murder case. The court also ordered that his property and bank account in Pakistan be seized.

Personal life

Musharraf is the second son of his parents and has two brothers—Javed and Naved. 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 on 28 December 1968.Sehba is from Karachi. They have a daughter, Ayla, an architect married to film director Asim Raza,and a son, Bilal.

Musharraf published his autobiography—In the Line of Fire: A Memoir—in 2006.

In March 2019 it was revealed that Musharraf is undergoing treatment for amyloidosis.