Pakistan former president Pervez Musharraf passes away in Dubai at 79 - GulfToday

Pakistan former president Pervez Musharraf passes away in Dubai at 79


Pervez Musharraf prays after arriving at the Karachi International Airport from a foreign country on March 24, 2013. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf passed away on Sunday in a Dubai hospital, his family sources confirmed.

Shazia Siraj, a spokeswoman for the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai, confirmed his death and said diplomats were providing support to his family.

The former military ruler was undergoing treatment for an ailment at American Hospital Dubai, Geo News reported. Musharraf, 79, was suffering from a rare disease amyloidosis, Dawn News reported.

He left his widow, a son, and a daughter to mourn. His body will be brought to Pakistan for burial, his family has confirmed.

According to sources, a specially chartered plane will reach Dubai from Islamabad on Monday to carry the deceased home alongside his family members.

Musharraf-death-news People watch a news report about the death of Pervez Musharraf at a TV shop in Karachi on Sunday. AP

The Pakistani military offered its condolences as did Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of the prime minister Musharraf overthrew in 1999. "May God give his family the courage to bear this loss,” Shahbaz said.


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Musharraf in Dubai hospital after reaction from a rare disease

Musharraf had been suffering from a rare disease known as Amyloidosis and last summer his family said he had no prospect of recovery.

Senior military chiefs "express heartfelt condolences on sad demise of General Pervez Musharraf," a brief statement released by the military's media wing said.

Musharraf-guard Pervez Musharraf walks down after taking the oath as a civilian president in Islamabad. File / AFP

The four-star general died in a hospital in Dubai on Sunday morning, according to media reports and a senior security official who spoke to AFP. "I can confirm that the late general breathed his last in Dubai this morning ... He is no more," the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

A Pakistan air force source told AFP that Musharraf's body would be flown back to Pakistan on Monday, aboard a civilian liner or UAE air force jet.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nearly nine years, starting when then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif attempted to remove him as army chief.

Many Pakistanis handed out sweets to celebrate his 1999 coup, which ended a corrupt and economically disastrous administration, and soon turned on the tap of foreign aid.

Musharraf-Bush Pervez Musharraf with George Bush in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. File / Reuters

He maintained a soldier’s fatalism after avoiding a violent death that always seemed to be stalking him as Islamic militants twice targeted him for assassination.

"I have confronted death and defied it several times in the past because destiny and fate have always smiled on me,” Musharraf once wrote. "I only pray that I have more than the proverbial nine lives of a cat.”

Musharraf’s family announced in June 2022 that he had been hospitalized for weeks in Dubai while suffering from amyloidosis, an incurable condition that sees proteins build up in the body’s organs.

They later said he also needed access to the drug daratumumab, which is used to treat multiple myeloma. That bone marrow cancer can cause amyloidosis.

Musharraf-Dhoni Pervez Musharraf shakes hands with Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni at the end of the final of the Asia Cup in Karachi. File / AFP

"Pakistan's decision under Musharraf to join the war against terror turned out to be a boon," analyst Hasan Askari told AFP. However, it also brought the conflict to Pakistan's doorstep, with an explosion in militancy in the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan.

"He was neither a good man nor a bad man," said 45-year-old gem merchant Muhammad Ayaz in the northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar.

"Thousands died in terrorist attacks but business boomed during his tenure. He made graveyards and at the same time built housing developments."

Fall from favour

But his easygoing persona failed to mask the blurring of the division between the state and army, and Musharraf fell out of favour after trying to sack the chief justice and failing to control an unravelling economy.

He famously said the constitution "is just a piece of paper to be thrown in the dustbin" — and implemented emergency rule when a bid to sack the country's chief justice sparked months of protests.

After the December 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, the national mood soured even more and crushing losses suffered by his allies in the 2008 elections left him isolated. He resigned that same year and was forced into exile.

Musharraf's plan to return to power in 2013 was dashed when he was disqualified from running in an election won by Nawaz Sharif — the man he deposed in 1999.

He was charged over the slaying of Benazir and placed under house arrest as a series of cases against him were brought before the courts.

In 2013 Human Rights Watch urged the government of the day to hold him accountable for "widespread and serious human rights violations" during his rule. In 2016 a travel ban was lifted and Musharraf flew to Dubai to seek medical treatment.

Three years later, he was sentenced to death in absentia for treason, related to his 2007 decision to impose emergency rule. However, a court later nullified the ruling.

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