DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf passed away on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the age of 79. Though the cause of death has not been officially announced, President Pervez Musharraf was hospitalized prior to his death.
Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in Delhi, India, and was a former four-star general in the Pakistan Army. He served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army from 1998 to 2007 and was the President of Pakistan from 2001 until 2008. He came to power in 1999 after leading a military coup that overthrew the elected government.
During his presidency, Musharraf was credited with efforts to bring about economic stability, but he was also criticized for his handling of human rights and civil liberties. Musharraf implemented economic reforms during his presidency aimed at modernizing the economy of Pakistan, including promoting private sector growth, liberalizing trade policies, attracting foreign investment, improving the business environment, and reducing bureaucracy and corruption. These measures helped stabilize the economy but faced criticism from some quarters, particularly with regards to their impact on workers and the poor.
Pervez Musharraf also had a complex stance on terrorism during his presidency. He was seen as a key ally in the fight against terrorism, particularly in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and worked closely with the United States and other Western countries. However, he was also criticized for not doing enough to combat terrorism within Pakistan. Despite his allyship, the U.S. had a mixed view of his stance, praising him for his efforts to crack down on extremism and supporting US-led operations, but also expressing concerns about his handling of terrorism within Pakistan and his restrictions on civil liberties.
After leaving office, Pervez Musharraf faced several challenges in Pakistan, including treason charges, related to his suspension of the constitution and imposition of emergency rule in 2007. He was also facing other legal challenges, including allegations of murder in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. These charges led to Musharraf's decision to go into self-exile in Dubai in 2016, where he lived until his death this year.
The news of Musharraf's death has been met with a mixture of sadness and reflection, as people remember his contributions to the country and the complexities of his legacy. His passing has generated widespread condolences and tributes globally from leaders and politicians, Many reflected on his legacy and the role he played in shaping the recent history of Pakistan.
"I offer my condolences to the family of General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf. May [his] departed soul rest in peace!" wrote the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif on his Twitter account.
His body was flown back to Pakistan on a special flight after his family applied to do so. He was buried at the Army Graveyard in Karachi, Pakistan. Musharraf’s family have not yet made any public statements about his death.
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