General Musharraf dies in Dubai

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf passed away in a Dubai hospital at the age of 79 after a prolonged illness, his family confirmed on Sunday.

The former military ruler had been undergoing treatment for amyloidosis at the American Hospital, Dubai. He left Pakistan on March 18, 2016, for medical treatment after a travel ban on him was lifted.

A special jet will fly to Dubai on Monday morning from the Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi to bring Musharraf’s mortal remains back to Pakistan.

Last year, reports circulated of Musharraf’s death but they were rubbished by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), which was the political party established by the former ruler.

The party had refuted the news related to him being in critical condition or on a ventilator. It added that Musharraf was being treated for amyloidosis at his home and his condition was stable.

Amyloidosis is a condition which is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein in organs and tissues that prevents them from working properly.

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

Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that they are facilitating the transportation of the mortal remains of former army chief.

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

Reacting to the news, President Dr Arif Alvi prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also offered his condolences on the former army chief’s demise.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Sahir Shamshad and tri-services chiefs also expressed heartfelt condolences on Musharraf’s death.

“CJCSC and services chiefs express heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of General Pervez Musharraf, former president, CJCSC and chief of army staff. May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family,” the military’s media wing said.

PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif also expressed his sentiments over Musharraf’s death. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry offered his condolences, saying: “Musharraf was a great person […], ‘Pakistan first’ was his theory and vision.”

Former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, while sending condolence, said that Musharraf’s services to the Pakistan Army and the country cannot be forgotten.

Expressing deep sorrow over the former president’s death, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said that he shares his grief with the bereaved family.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP) Convener Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, in his statement, expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise of former President Pervez Musharraf.

Siddiqui said that Musharraf has rendered valuable services for Pakistan. The nation pays tribute to him for his services. He was a professional soldier and a true sympathiser of the country and nation.

Former foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri also expressed profound grief over the death of Musharraf.

Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in Delhi, British India. He got his commission from the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul on April 19, 1961.

Upon getting his commission, the former military ruler joined the Special Services Group. The military ruler also took part in the 1965 and 1971 wars.

He was promoted to the rank of general in 1998 and took over as the chief of army staff (COAS) post that he held till 2007. A year later on October 12, 1999, Gen (retd) Musharraf usurped power in a coup d’etat and declared himself the chief executive of the country.

Musharraf remained the longest-serving president of Pakistan as he took over the country’s reins. He was elected as the president through a referendum in 2002 and remained in office till 2008.

During his tenure, the military leader accepted the US proposal for Pakistan to become a front-line ally after the 9/11 incident.

Later in 2004, he was elected as the president in uniform for five years via the 17th Amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Musharraf is also known for the anti-constitutional measures he took to depose the judges of the Supreme Court in November 2007, which marked the beginning of the Lawyers Movement — also known as the Movement for the Restoration of Judiciary.

Following a movement led by the political parties, Musharraf resigned as the president on August 18, 2008.

The former military ruler was sentenced to death by a special court on December 17, 2019 under Article 6 of the Constitution. A case of high treason was filed against him during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PMLN) tenure. Musharraf was present in the court on March 31, 2016, when he was indicted on the charges.

Later, he flew out of the country due to his illness. He did not return to Pakistan after leaving the country.

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