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Pervez Musharraf

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Pervez Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf 2004.jpg
Pervez Musharraf
10th President of Pakistan
In office
20 June 2001 – 18 August 2008
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
Shaukat Aziz
Muhammad Mian Soomro
Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Succeeded by Muhammad Mian Soomro (Acting)
Chief Executive of Pakistan
In office
12 October 1999 – 21 November 2002
President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Preceded by Nawaz Sharif (Prime Minister)
Succeeded by Zafarullah Khan Jamali (Prime Minister)
Minister of Defence
In office
12 October 1999 – 23 October 2002
Preceded by Nawaz Sharif
Succeeded by Rao Sikandar Iqbal
Chief of Army Staff
In office
6 October 1998 – 28 November 2007
Preceded by Jehangir Karamat
Succeeded by Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
In office
8 October 1997 – 7 October 2001
Preceded by Jehangir Karamat
Succeeded by Aziz Khan
Personal details
Born (1943-08-11) 11 August 1943
Delhi, British India
(now India)
Political party Pakistan Muslim League-
Quaid (Before 2010)
All Pakistan Muslim League (2010–present)
Spouse(s) Sehba Musharraf
Children Ayla
Residence London, United Kingdom
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alma mater Forman Christian College
Pakistan Military Academy
Command and Staff College
National Defence University
Royal College of Defence Studies
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Nickname(s) Cowboy, Mush
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch   Pakistan Army
Years of service 1964–2007
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Unit Army Regiment of Artillery
Commands I Corps
Special Services Group
XII Corps
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Siachen conflict
Kargil War
Civil war in Afghanistan (1996–2001)
1999 Pakistani coup d'état
2001–2002 India-Pakistan standoff
War in North-West Pakistan
Awards Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz
Medal of Good Conduct Tamgha-e-Basalat.png Tamgha-e-Basalat
Star of Good Conduct Sitara-e-Basalat.png Imtiazi Sanad
Ordine del Re Abd al-Aziz.png Order of al-Saud

Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف‎; born: 11 August 1943) is a retired four-star general and a politician who served as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until 2008. Prior to that, he was the 13th Chief of Army Staff from October 1998 till November 2007, and was also the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan Armed Forces from 1998 until 2001. Commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964, Musharraf rose to national prominence after being appointed to the four-star general in October 1998 by then- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf was the mastermind and strategic field commander behind the highly controversial and internationally condemned Kargil infiltration, which derailed peace negotiations with India. Previously, Musharraf played a vital role in the Afghan civil war, both assisting the peace negotiations and attempting to end the bloodshed in the country. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, Musharraf was brought to power through a military coup d'état in 1999, subsequently placing the Prime minister under a strict house-arrest before moving him to Adiala Jail in Punjab Province.

Restoration of national economy was one of his earliest initiatives. He appointed his close aide, Shaukat Aziz as Finance Minister. He secured the Presidential nomination in June 2001 and succeeded Rafique Tarar as the President of Pakistan. In the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the United States, Musharraf closely allied with the United States and the allied powers in the War on Terror. After accepting the rulings of the Supreme Court, Musharraf became the first president to hold general elections nationwide. Appointing Zafarullah Jamali as Prime minister in 2002, Musharraf accepted his resignation in 2004 and approved the appointment of Shaukat Aziz as Prime minister instead. Voluntarily surrendering the powers of chief executive and the authority to Shaukat Aziz whom Musharraf trusted, their rule was marred by controversies in the last two years, including the armed action in Red Mosque.

With Aziz constitutionally completing his term and the suspension of the Chief Justice in 2007, Musharraf dramatically fell from the presidency in 2008 after voluntarily resigning after facing threat of impeachment led by the elected opposition parties. Musharraf is currently in self-imposed exile in London, but has vowed to return for the next election. In his absence in Pakistan, the country's courts issued arrest warrants for him and Aziz for alleged involvement in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti. Due to his military dictatorship having a thin veneer of democratic governance, historian Ian Kershaw described Musharraf as among the worst modern dictators.

Early life


He was born on 11 August 1943 to an Urdu-speaking family in Delhi, India, four years before the partition of India. He is the son of Syed and Zarin Musharraf. Syed graduated from Aligarh Muslim University and was a civil servant for the British. Zarin was born in the early 1920s.

Musharraf's first childhood home was called neharwali haveli, literally "mansion by the canal". The house, located at the epicenter of India's ruling Mughal elite, is so large that in 2001 it housed eight different families. Syed Ahmed Khan's family lived adjacent to the home. The home's title deeds were written entirely in Urdu except for his father's English signature.

Pakistan and Turkey

Musharraf and his family left for Pakistan on one of the last safe trains in August 1947, a few days before the partition of India took effect. His father began to work for the new Pakistani government and eventually joined the Foreign Ministry. 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 often played sports in his youth. In 1956 he left Turkey and returned to Pakistan in 1957 where 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 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 in PMA and initial joint military testings, Musharraf shared a room with PQ Mehdi of PAF and Abdul Aziz Mirza of Navy (both reached to 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 thay 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 life-long 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 his 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. 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 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 professor 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 Mehta of the Indian Army, and Ali Kuli Khan of Pakistan Army. In his course studies, Musharraf performed extremely well as compared to his classmates, and submit his master's degree thesis, entitling "Impact of Arm Race in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent", and earned well remarks. He submitted his thesis to Commandant General Anthony 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. While in the Army, he earned the nickname "Cowboy" for his westernized ways.

Command and staff appointments (1991–1995)

Earlier in 1988–89, (as Brigadier) Musharraf proposed a Kargil infiltration to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan. In 1991–93, he secured a two-star promotion, elevating to a 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 1993–95, Musharraf repeatedly visited the United States as part of the delegation of Benazir Bhutto. 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 matter issues, Musharraf befriended with 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 at 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 uniform, PA

Although both Nawaz Sharif and general Jehangir Karamat were educated and hold common beliefs concerning the national security, but problems arose with chairman joint chiefs and chief of army staff general Karamat on 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 it succeeded all in accomplishing was pricking the Prime minister's highly inflated altered ego. Nawaz Sharif's dismissal of general Karamat, plummeted his mandate in the public circles and criticism he received from Leader of the Opposition Benazir Bhutto was rogue.

There were three lieutenant-general officers in the line of promotion to four-star rank and chief of army staff. First officer being lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan, a graduate of PMA and RMA, Sandhurst. Lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan was an extremely capable staff officer and had prestige in the public circles, but was close to former chief of army staff general (retired) Abdul Vaheed; therefore he was ignored for the promotion. Second in line was lieutenant-general Khalid Nawaz Khan who was popularly knew for his ruthless leadership in the army; unforgiven to his junior subordinated officers if failing to meet task. Lieutenant-general Nawaz Khan was knew in public for his opposition and anti-muhajir sentiment, particularly his hardline against the MQM.

Musharraf was in third-in line, and had a good reputation in public circles, armed forces and high academic standings in his college and university studies. Musharraf had a good image in Prime minister's circles and a straight officer with democratic views. Nisar Ali Khan and Shahbaz Sharif recommended Musharraf during the meeting and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif personally promoted Musharraf as four-star general to replace Karamat. Musharraf superseded Lieutenant General Khalid Nawaz Khan and Lieutenant-General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak who were much senior to him.

After the Kargil, Musharraf did not wished to be the Chairman Joint Chiefs but, in clear terms, he mentioned to Shahbaz Sharif that he would not agree to relieved from the post of chief of army staff and promoted to chairman joint chiefs before his term was up. Musharraf favoured the chief of naval staff Admiral Bokhari to be elevated as chairman joint chiefs, and claimed that: "he did not care" Prime minister was already facing cold war with the Admiral in sometime between 1999 and Musharraf cemented problems with Nawaz Sharif after recommending the force retirement of senior officer close to the Prime minister. Lieutenant-General Tariq Pervez (or TP) was a corps commander of XII Corps, who was a brother-in-law of Prime minister's one of high profile cabinet minister. According to Musharraf, lieutenant-general TP was an ill-mannered, foul-mouth, ill-disciplined officer and was responsible to cause dissension in the armed forces, an information Musharraf reported claimed to have credible and authentic. In a dinner with Admiral Bokhari, Nawaz Sharif announced to promote General Musharraf as chairman joint chiefs while willingly approved the retirement papers of TP. When Admiral Bokhari heard the news, a strong and powerful protest was launched against the Prime minister and the silent cold war with the admiral came to end with Prime minister approving the relieving papers of Admiral Bokhari the next morning. It was during this time as chairman joint chiefs, when Musharraf built extremely close cordial and 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 four-star premier 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 involve in serious altercations with his senior officers, chief of naval staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari, chief of air staff, air chief marshal PQ Mehdi and senior lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan. Admiral Bokhari ultimately demanded a full-fledged joint-service court martial against General Musharraf, while on 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 soldier. Problems with his life long friend, chief of air staff air chief marshal Pervez Mehdi also risen 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 principle 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...".

After Prime minister Nawaz went to the United States on emergency situation, an impression was attempted to create in the print media that Prime minister was at fault to surrender there. Lieutenant-General Kiani maintained that "this impression was created by General Pervez Musharraf which was totally wrong..".

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 begun 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 to executive powers and held powers of chief executive, but did not obtained 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 life-long friend of Musharraf, he shared a dorm with the admiral in the1960s 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, whom Musharraf was trained together in special forces schools in 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 Medina and 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 Minister and Abdul Sattar as Foreign Minister. In early November, he released details of his assets to the public.

In late December 1999, Musharraf's 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.

Sharif trial and exile

The Military police held former prime minister Sharif under house arrest at a government guesthouse and opened his Lahore home to the public in late October 1999. He was formally indicted in November on 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 are 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, was intended to sent Navaz Sharif to gallows to face similar fate as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. It was the pressure on Musharraf exerted by Saudia 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, Musharaf issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to 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 voluntarily resignation on 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 however approval requires 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 eye-blindly 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 eye-blindly 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 back by the 18th Amendment, and put the country back to its initial position and gave powers to Prime minister to its actual constitutional status.


Support for the War on Terror

U.S. President George W. Bush with Musharraf in September 2006

Musharraf allied with the United States against the Taliban government in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. He claims in his 2006 memoirs he was given an ultimatum after military threats "to go back to the Stone Age" by U.S. President George W. Bush through Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Bush and Armitage denied it. Musharraf agreed to give the United States the use of three airbases for Operation Enduring Freedom. In return for his support on the War on Terror Musharraf was among the 194 candidates nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. However, there are controversies that Musharraf's played a double game with the US in the war on terror, and undermined US efforts to curb the Taliban and the extremist militants by funding and aiding several of the Al Qaeda leaders.

A few months after the September 11 attacks, Musharraf gave a speech against Islamic extremism. He instituted prohibitions on foreign students' access to studying Islam within Pakistan, an effort which 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. In the speech, he denounced terrorism and opened the door to relationships between Pakistan and Israel. 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 mid-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 army, his presidency suffered with highly controversial atomic scandals than any other government in the history of the country. These scandals had badly affected his authoritative legitimacy in the country and in the international community. On October 2001, Musharraf authorised a sting operation led by FIA to arrest two physicists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, in an amid 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 scientists were not 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 the 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— an insanely popular and famed national scientist in the country. Earlier in 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 Qadeer Khan from his post and initially denied knowledge of government's and the armed force's role in nuclear proliferation, despite Qadeer Khan urging that Musharraf was the "'Big Boss'" of the proliferation ring. Following this, Musharraf authorized a national security hearings of Qadeer Khan which would be continued until his resignation from the army in 2007. According to Zahid Malik, Musharraf and the military establishment at that time, were in full mood to exercise rough actions against 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 brutally 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 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 "don’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 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 Qadeer Khan due to their strategic calculations. While 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 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 Qadeer Khan and spoke highly of him in public in 2007; personally, "thanking" Qadeer Khan, and quoting: "The services of Dr. Qadeer Khan are unforgettable for the country."

On 4 July 2008, in an interview, 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 Qadeer Khan's activities were government-sanctioned. After Musharraf's resignation, 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 successive 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 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 claimed that the corruption in the government bureaucracy would be cleaned up. According to a survey conducted by Transparency International Pakistan ranked in 2001 as the world's 11th most corrupt nation. In 2007 Pakistan ranked as the 41st most corrupt nation.

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

Women's rights

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 Baluchistan 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 bombs failed 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 Presidency

By August 2007, polls showed 64 percent of Pakistanis did not want another Musharraf term. Controversies involving the atomic issues, Lal Masjid incident, unsuccessful 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 often attended by prominent politicians including prime ministers, army chiefs, and presidents.

The Lal Masjid administration had been in an escalating conflict with government authorities since January 2007. Government officials accused the mosque leadership of organising a vigilante "vice-squad" which conducted raids against brothels, kidnappings of corrupt police officers, and suspected prostitutes. In early 2007 students at the Red Mosque's two affiliated seminaries launched a campaign for Shari'a, occupying a nearby children's library and embarking on vigilante raids through the capital to stop what they called "un-Islamic activities," such as DVD vendors, barber shops and a Chinese-run massage parlor that they accused of being a brothel.

In April 2007, the mosque administration set up its own Islamic court in violation of government sanctions. In July 2007, a confrontation occurred when government authorities sent officers for demolition of the mosque under the pretense that it was created illegally.

This development led to a standoff between police forces and students (mostly female). Mosque leaders and students refused to leave the mosque and the children's library. They remained within the mosque to prevent the demolition. The situation was only defused after the authorities backed down and offered talks.

But government forces did not back down. Pakistani troops stormed the building which led to a bloody siege that ended with the deaths of more than 100 people.

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 Army

On 2 October 2007, Musharraf named Lt. Gen. 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 Elections

In a March 2007 interview, Musharraf said that he intended to stay in the 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.

Emergency rule

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 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.

On 18 August 2008, Musharraf resigned. On 19 August, he defended his nine-year rule in an hour-long speech.


Pervez Musharraf led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008.

Academia and lectureship

After his resignation, Musharraf went to perform a holy pilgrimage to Mecca. He then went on a lucrative 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 in the $150,000–200,000 range 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

Since quitting politics in 2008, Musharraf has been in London since 24 November 2008 in self-imposed exile. Musharraf launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in June 2010.

On 1 October 2010, Musharraf officially launched his political party as a President of the party, All Pakistan Muslim League.

Since the start of 2011, news has been circulating that Musharraf will return to Pakistan before the next national elections. He himself has 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.

Legal problems

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. Meanwhile, Proclamation of Emergency and Revocation is the constitutional right of the President of Pakistan, according to the constitution of Pakistan, Article 232 and Article 236. On 15 February 2008, the Supreme Court has delivered detailed judgement to validate the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007. Saudi Arabia has agreements in place to stop any article 6 trial in Pakistan in relation to Pervez Musharraf due to Saudi Arabia's long standing friendship with all of the political parties in Pakistan. Sharif is under tremendous pressure from Saudi Arabia to shun his demand for Musharraf’s trial under the Article Six of the Constitution

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.


Regarding the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan players, Musharraf criticised 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."

Regarding Blasphemy law in Pakistan, Musharraf cited that Pakistani nation is sensitive to religious issues and the Blasphemy law should stay.

He also warned of a new military coup and said the military must play a bigger role in order to gain stability in Pakistan.

Personal life

Musharraf is the second son with two brothers – Javed and Naved. Javed retired as a high grade officer in Pakistan's civil service. Naved is an anaesthetist who has lived in Chicago since his medical residency at Cook County Hospital in 1956. Naved is married to Salma Shuja and has two sons.

Musharraf married Sehba on 28 December 1968. Sehba is from Karachi. They have a daughter, Ayla, and a son, Bilal. He named Bilal after a close friend that died in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Bilal trained as an actuary in Boston and subsequently went into the education sector after completing his MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University. Bilal is married to Irum Aftab and has a son and daughter. Ayla is an architect married to film director Asim Raza and has two daughters Mariam and Zainab.

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

As President, he had two Pekingese pet dogs. He enjoys listening to Pakistani classical music.


  • Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (2006)
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