Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan martial ruler in 9/11 wars, dies


ISLAMABAD — Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who seized energy in a cold coup and later led a reluctant Pakistan into aiding the U.S. warfare in Afghanistan in opposition to the Taliban, has died, officers mentioned Sunday. He was 79.

Musharraf, a former particular forces commando, turned president via the final of a string of navy coups that roiled Pakistan since its founding amid the bloody 1947 partition of India. He dominated the nuclear-armed state after his 1999 coup via tensions with India, an atomic proliferation scandal and an Islamic extremist insurgency. He stepped down in 2008 whereas going through doable impeachment.

Later in life, Musharraf lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai to keep away from prison expenses, regardless of trying a political comeback in 2012. However it wasn’t to be as his poor well being plagued his final years. He maintained a soldier’s fatalism after avoiding a violent dying that all the time appeared to be stalking him as Islamic militants twice focused him for assassination.

“I’ve confronted dying and defied it a number of instances previously as a result of future and destiny have all the time smiled on me,” Musharraf as soon as wrote. “I solely pray that I’ve greater than the proverbial 9 lives of a cat.”

Musharraf’s household introduced in June 2022 that he had been hospitalized for weeks in Dubai whereas affected by amyloidosis, an incurable situation that sees proteins construct up within the physique’s organs.

“Going via a tough stage the place restoration is just not doable and organs are malfunctioning,” the household mentioned. They later mentioned he additionally wanted entry to the drug daratumumab, which is used to deal with a number of myeloma. That bone marrow most cancers may cause amyloidosis.

Shazia Siraj, a spokeswoman for the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai, confirmed his dying and mentioned diplomats have been offering help to his household. The Pakistani navy additionally supplied its condolences.

“Could Allah bless the departed soul and provides power to bereaved household,” a navy assertion mentioned.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif equally supplied his condolences in a brief assertion.

“Could God give his household the braveness to bear this loss,” Sharif mentioned.

Pakistan, a nation almost twice the dimensions of California alongside the Arabian Sea, is now residence to 220 million folks. However it might be its border with Afghanistan that might quickly draw the U.S.′s consideration and dominate Musharraf’s life slightly below two years after he seized energy.

Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden launched the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults from Afghanistan, sheltered by the nation’s Taliban rulers. Musharraf knew what would come subsequent.

“America was positive to react violently, like a wounded bear,” he wrote in his autobiography. “If the perpetrator turned out to be al-Qaida, then that wounded bear would come charging straight towards us.”

By Sept. 12, then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell instructed Musharraf that Pakistan would both be “with us or in opposition to us.” Musharraf mentioned one other American official threatened to bomb Pakistan ”again into the Stone Age” if it selected the latter.

Musharraf selected the previous. A month later, he stood by then-President George W. Bush on the Waldorf Astoria in New York to declare Pakistan’s unwavering help to battle with the US in opposition to “terrorism in all its kinds wherever it exists.”

Pakistan turned a vital transit level for NATO provides headed to landlocked Afghanistan. That was the case though Pakistan’s highly effective Inter-Companies Intelligence company had backed the Taliban after it swept into energy in Afghanistan in 1994. Previous to that, the CIA and others funneled cash and arms via the ISI to Islamic fighters battling the Eighties Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan noticed Taliban fighters flee over the border again into Pakistan, together with bin Laden, whom the U.S. would kill in 2011 at a compound in Abbottabad. They regrouped and the offshoot Pakistani Taliban emerged, starting a yearslong insurgency within the mountainous border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The CIA started flying armed Predator drones from Pakistan with Musharraf’s blessing, utilizing an airstrip constructed by the founding president of the United Arab Emirates for falconing in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. This system helped beat again the militants however noticed over 400 strikes in Pakistan alone kill at the very least 2,366 folks — together with 245 civilians, in accordance with the Washington-based New America Basis suppose tank.

Although Pakistan below Musharraf launched these operations, the militants nonetheless thrived as billions of American {dollars} flowed into the nation. That led to suspicion that also plagues the U.S. relationship with Pakistan.

“After 9/11, then President Musharraf made a strategic shift to desert the Taliban and help the U.S. within the warfare on terror, however neither facet believes the opposite has lived as much as expectations flowing from that call,” a 2009 U.S. cable from then-Ambassador Anne Patterson revealed by WikiLeaks mentioned, describing what had turn into the diplomatic equal of a loveless marriage.

“The connection is one in all co-dependency we grudgingly admit — Pakistan is aware of the U.S. can not afford to stroll away; the U.S. is aware of Pakistan can not survive with out our help.”

However it might be Musharraf’s life on the road. Militants tried to assassinate him twice in 2003 by concentrating on his convoy, first with a bomb planted on a bridge after which with automobile bombs. That second assault noticed Musharraf’s car lifted into the air by the blast earlier than touching the bottom once more. It raced to security on simply its rims, Musharraf pulling a Glock pistol in case he wanted to battle his manner out.

It wasn’t till his spouse, Sehba, noticed the automobile coated in gore that the dimensions of the assault dawned on him.

“She is all the time calm within the face of hazard,” he recounted. However then, “she was screaming uncontrollably, hysterically.”

Born Aug. 11, 1943, in New Delhi, India, Musharraf was the center son of a diplomat. His household joined tens of millions of different Muslims in fleeing westward when predominantly Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan break up throughout independence from Britain in 1947. The partition noticed lots of of hundreds of individuals killed in riots and preventing.

Musharraf entered the Pakistani military at age 18 and made his profession there as Islamabad fought three wars in opposition to India. He’d launch his personal try at seizing territory within the disputed Himalayan area of Kashmir in 1999 simply earlier than seizing energy from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif had ordered Musharraf’s dismissal as the military chief flew residence from a go to to Sri Lanka and denied his aircraft touchdown rights in Pakistan, even because it ran low on gasoline. On the bottom, the military seized management and after he landed Musharraf took cost.

But as ruler, Musharraf almost reached a take care of India on Kashmir, in accordance with U.S. diplomats on the time. He additionally labored towards a rapprochement with Pakistan’s longtime rival.

One other main scandal emerged below his rule when the world found that famed Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, lengthy related to the nation’s atomic bomb, had been promoting centrifuge designs and different secrets and techniques to nations together with Iran, Libya and North Korea, making tens of tens of millions of {dollars}. These designs helped Pyongyang to arm itself with a nuclear weapon, whereas centrifuges from Khan’s designs nonetheless spin in Iran amid the collapse of Tehran’s nuclear take care of world powers.

Musharraf mentioned he suspected Khan nevertheless it wasn’t till 2003 when then-CIA director George Tenet confirmed him detailed plans for a Pakistani centrifuge that the scientist had been promoting that he realized the severity of what occurred.

Khan would confess on state tv in 2004 and Musharraf would pardon him, although he’d be confined to deal with arrest after that.

“For years, A.Q.’s lavish life-style and tales of his wealth, properties, corrupt practices and monetary magnanimity at state expense have been usually all too well-known in Islamabad’s social and authorities circles,” Musharraf later wrote. “Nevertheless, these have been largely ignored. … In hindsight that neglect was apparently a critical mistake.”

Musharraf’s home help ultimately eroded. He held flawed elections in late 2002 — solely after altering the structure to offer himself sweeping powers to sack the prime minister and parliament. He then reneged on a promise to face down as military chief by the tip of 2004.

Militant anger towards Musharraf elevated in 2007 when he ordered a raid in opposition to the Pink Mosque in downtown Islamabad. It had turn into a sanctuary for militants against Pakistan’s help of the Afghan warfare. The weeklong operation killed over 100 folks.

The incident severely broken Musharraf’s fame amongst on a regular basis residents and earned him the timeless hatred of militants who launched a sequence of punishing assaults following the raid.

Fearing the judiciary would block his continued rule, Musharraf fired the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Courtroom. That triggered mass demonstrations.

Beneath stress at residence and overseas to revive civilian rule, Musharraf stepped down as military chief. Although he gained one other five-year presidential time period, Musharraf confronted a serious disaster following former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in December 2007 at a marketing campaign rally as she sought to turn into prime minister for the third time.

The general public suspected Musharraf’s hand within the killing, which he denied. A later United Nations report acknowledged the Pakistani Taliban was a fundamental suspect in her slaying however warned that components of Pakistan’s intelligence providers might have been concerned.

Musharraf resigned as president in August 2008 after ruling coalition officers threatened to have him impeached for imposing emergency rule and firing judges.

“I hope the nation and the folks will forgive my errors,” Musharraf, struggling together with his feelings, mentioned in an hourlong televised handle.

Afterward, he lived overseas in Dubai and London, trying a political comeback in 2012. However Pakistan as a substitute arrested the previous normal and put him below home arrest. He confronted treason allegations over the Supreme Courtroom debacle and different expenses stemming from the Pink Mosque raid and Bhutto’s assassination.

The picture of Musharraf being handled as a prison suspect shocked Pakistan, the place navy generals lengthy have been thought of above the legislation. Pakistan allowed him to go away the nation on bail to Dubai in 2016 for medical therapy and he remained there after going through a later-overturned dying sentence.

However it instructed Pakistan could also be prepared to show a nook in its historical past of navy rule.

“Musharraf’s resignation is a tragic but acquainted story of hubris, this time in a soldier who by no means turned an excellent politician,” wrote Patterson, the U.S. ambassador, on the time.

“The excellent news is that the demonstrated power of establishments that introduced Musharraf down — the media, free elections and civil society — additionally present some hope for Pakistan’s future. It was these establishments that sarcastically turned a lot stronger below his authorities.”

Related Press author Rebecca Santana contributed to this report. Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Comply with Jon Gambrell and Munir Ahmed on Twitter at and

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