General Musharraf’s Five Years in Power
In the elections of 2002, the General felt that it was important for him to secure a majority in parliament in order to be able to rule effectively and satisfy national and international public opinion, that Pakistan was moving towards a democratic order. In order to acquire the majority, the Inter Service Intelligence Agency (ISI), which over the years, largely by collaboration of political parties, has grown into a powerful parallel government, was used to advise and browbeat politicians to join the King’s Party. In order to keep on the right side of the religious parties, the religious educational qualifications of their candidates for elections were recognized as equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts degree which was a requirement for contesting elections. Moreover, the alliance of religious parties was allowed to keep the ‘Book ‘, (which to the majority of the people symbolized the ‘Quran’) as their election symbol. They were thus helped to secure a large number of assembly seats, particularly in the North West Frontier Province and in Balochistan, which they could otherwise not have done. It was hoped- probably correctly- that they would live up to their past and support the military regime on vital issues.
Selectivity rather than impartiality became the norm in the accountability of politicians. This was done sparingly before the 2002 election and widely before the formation of the elected government. Important principles were sacrificed to secure a majority and known criminals were made ministers. In order to secure majorities in the National and Sindh assemblies, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was inducted into the government in the centre and in Sindh. It is generally believed that its leader Altaf Hussain, who has become a British national and has not visited Pakistan for more than twelve years, advises and influences the central government and the government of Sindh. His nominee, who is allegedly an accused in a murder case, has been made the governor of Sindh.
Corruption has been on the increase and has assumed epidemic proportions. General Pervez Musharraf is not known to be involved in corruption and is generally regarded personally as clean. However, when I said this to someone the other day, he retorted that it is only after they leave that we learn the truth.
Musharraf’s desire to satisfy different political groups that support the King’s Party has led him to form a government of the largest number of ministers in Pakistan’s history. Very soon, everyone in the government party or supporting it, is likely to occupy some ministerial or other position in government. It is an unjustified burden on the country’s finances.
It cannot be expected that a government comprising a large number of corrupt elements who are in politics to serve their personal interests could change the destiny of the country. It is clear that the steps that General Musharraf has taken or the deviations that he has made in his seven points program have been motivated by his desire to stay in power with a facade of democracy.
Courtesy: We’ve Learnt Nothing From History, M. Asghar Khan, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York 2005
Pervez Musharraf in November 2004 پرویز مشرف
Pervez Musharraf born on 11 August 1943 in Delhi (British India) is a Pakistani politician and a retired four-star army general who was the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008.
He grew up in Karachi and Istanbul, and studied mathematics at the Forman Christian College in Lahore, and continued his professional academics at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1991. Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961 and was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964. He went on to play an active role in the Afghan Civil War, and saw actions as a second lieutenant in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. By the 1980s, Musharraf was commanding an artillery brigade. In the 1990s, he was promoted to major general and assigned to an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group. Later he served as deputy military secretary and the director general of military operations.
Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was appointed as four-star general by then-Prime Minister Sharif in October 1998, making him the head of the armed forces. In 1999, he led the Kargil infiltration that brought India and Pakistan to a full-fledged war. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif who unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf from the leadership of the army in retaliation, the army staged a coup d’état in 1999. This allowed Musharraf to take-over Pakistan and he subsequently had Prime Minister Sharif arrested and placed in detention before Sharif’s trial in Adiala Prison.
Musharraf became the head of the military government while remaining the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2001 and the Chief of the Army Staff. He relinquished the position of chairman of joint chiefs in 2001, but remained the Army Chief until retiring in 2007. He became the President of Pakistan on 20 June 2001, and won a controversial referendum on May 1, 2002 which awarded him five years of presidency. In October 2002, he oversaw a general election which gave victory to the army backed PML-Q.
During his presidency, he advocated a third way in the synthesis of conservatism and left wing ideology, and appointed Shaukat Aziz in place of Sharif. He directed polices against terrorism, becoming a key player in the American-led war on terror. Over the next several years, Musharraf survived a number of assassination attempts. He reinstated the constitution in 2002, though it was amended with the Legal Framework Order. He also saw a process of social liberalism under his enlightened moderation program, while also promoting economic liberalization; he banned trade unions. He oversaw a rise in overall gross domestic product of around 50%, however domestic savings declined, and economic inequality grew. Musharraf has been accused of human rights abuses.
Shaukat Aziz left the job of Prime Minister, and after approval in 2007 of the suspension of judicature branch, Musharraf’s position dramatically weakened in early 2008. Tendering his resignation under threat of potential impeachment led by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in 2008, Musharraf moved to London in self-imposed exile; returning to Pakistan to participate in the general elections held in 2013. While absent from Pakistan, Musharraf engaged in legal battles, and the country’s high courts issued warrants for him and Aziz for their alleged involvement in the assassinations of Benazir and Bugti. Upon his return in April 2013, Musharraf was disqualified from taking part in the elections by High Court judges. On 31st March 2014, Musharraf was booked and charged with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007.
His legacy is mixed; his era saw the emergence of a more assertive middle class, but his disregard for civilian institutions weakened the country.
Early life (British India)
Pervez Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943, to an Urdu-speaking family in Delhi. He is the son of Syed and Zarin Musharraf. His father, Syed Musharraf, graduated from Aligarh Muslim University, in Aligarh, India and was a civil servant of the Government of India. His mother, Zarin, born in the early 1920s, also worked as an academic and graduated from Aligarh Muslim University.
Musharraf’s first childhood home was called ‘neharwali haveli’, literally ‘house by the canal’. Syed Ahmed Khan’s family lived next door indicative of “the family’s western education and social prominence”, 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 independence. His father joined the Pakistan Civil Services; later he joined the Foreign Ministry, taking up an assignment in Turkey. Musharraf’s family moved to Ankara in 1949, when his father became part of a diplomatic deputation 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, he attended Saint Patrick’s School in Karachi. He was accepted at Forman Christian College University in Lahore, where he had major in mathematics and performed extremely well, and developed an interest in economics.
Initial military career
In 1961, at age of 18, Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. During his years at PMA and initial combined military training, Musharraf shared a room with P.Q. Mehdi of PAF and Abdul Aziz Mirza of Navy (both reached four-star assignments and served with Musharraf later on). In 1964, Musharraf graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the 29th PMA Long Course together with Ali Kuli Khan and his lifelong friend Abdul Aziz Mirza. He was commissioned in the artillery regiment as second lieutenant and posted near the Indo-Pakistan border. During this time, he maintained his friendship and contact with Mirza via letter and telephone even in difficult times when Mirza was stationed in East-Pakistan as a military advisor after joining the Navy SSG.
Indo-Pakistani conflicts (1965–1971)
His war experience started with an artillery regiment in the fighting in Khemkaran sector in the Kashmir War of 1965. He also participated in the Lahore and Sialkot zones during the conflict. During the war, Musharraf developed a reputation for sticking to his post under shellfire. He received the Imtiaz-i -Sanad medal for gallantry.
Shortly after the end of the 1965 War, he was selected to join the Special Forces school on the recommendation of his commanding officer in Sialkot. After passing the rigorous exams and tough physical training, he joined the elite Special Service Group (SSG) and trained with then-lieutenant Shahid Karimullah (also later a four-star admiral) for joint operations. He served in the SSG from 1966–1972, and was promoted to captain and major during this period. During the 1971 war with India, he was a company commander of a SSG commando battalion, and was scheduled to join the army-navy joint military operations in East Pakistan; the deployment did not materialize after the Indian Army advanced towards Southern West 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 assistant professor of war studies at the Command and Staff College; then assistant professor of political science at the National Defense University. One of his professors at NDU was General Jehangir Karamat who served as his guidance counselor and instructor and had a significant influence on his philosophy and thought. 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 in the SSG and posted 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 experience in mountain and Arctic warfare. In September 1987, an assault was launched under his command at Bilafond La but it was pushed back.
In 1990–91, he studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies (RCDS) in Britain. His course-mates included Major-Generals B. S. Malik and Ashok Mehta of the Indian Army, and Ali Kuli Khan of Pakistan Army. In his studies, Musharraf performed well and submitted his master’s degree thesis, titled “Impact of Arm Race on the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent”, and earned good remarks. His commandant, General Antony Walker regarded Musharraf as one of the finest students he had seen in his career. Walker described Musharraf as: “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 in the 1980s soon after. Upon returning, he took interest in the emerging popular rock music, and often listened to this music after getting off from duty. Musharraf was reportedly into popular western fashion in the 1980s, which was also popular in the government and public circles in the country at the time. In the Army, he earned the nickname “Cowboy” for his westernized ways and his interest in western clothing.
Command and staff appointments (1991–1995)
- In 1988-89, Brigadier Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan.
- In 1991–93, he was promoted to major general and commanded the 40th Army Division stationed in Okara Military District in Punjab
- In 1993–95, he 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 came 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 agreed with her on military policy issues with India.
From 1993 to 1995, Musharraf visited the United States as part of Benazir Bhutto’s delegation. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and got it approved by her, which led to his appointment in her key staff. In 1993, Musharraf assisted the prime minister during a secret meeting at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. with officials from Mossad and special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin. It was during this time that Musharraf developed a cordial relationship with Shaukat Aziz, who at the time was serving as Citibank’s executive president of global financial services.
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 issues, Musharraf befriended senior justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Rafiq Tarar (later president) and shared beliefs with the latter.
His last operational posting was in the Mangla region of Kashmir in 1995 when Benazir Bhutto approved his promotion to Lieutenant-General. Between 1995 and 1998, he was the corps commander (CC-I) of I Strike Corps stationed in Mangla Military District.
Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs (1998-2007)
In October 1998, Nawaz Sharif and General Jehangir Karamat shared common beliefs concerning national security, but problems arose between the Prime Minister vs. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and General Jehangir Karamat. 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 to ongoing problems relating to the civil-military issues; and recommended a “neutral but competent bureaucracy and administration at federal level; the establishment of local governments in the four provinces.” This proposal was met with hostility, and led to the dismissal of General Karamat. This reduced Nawaz’s stature in public circles, and led to criticism from the Leader of the Opposition, Benazir Bhutto.
There were three lieutenant-generals in line to succeed General Karamat as chief of army staff. Lieutenant-General Ali Kuli Khan, a graduate of PMA and RMA, Sandhurst, was an extremely capable staff officer and well liked in public circles, but was seen as close to the former chief of army staff General (retired) Abdul Waheed; and was not promoted. Second in line was Lieutenant-General Khalid Nawaz Khan who was known for his ruthlessness in the army; particularly for his unforgiving attitude to junior officers. He was known for his anti-muhajir sentiment, and was a hardliner against the MQM.
Musharraf was in third-in line, and was well regarded by the general public and the armed forces. He also had an excellent academic standing from his college and university studies. Musharraf was strongly favoured by the Prime Ministers colleagues: a straight officer with democratic views; Nisar Ali Khan and Shahbaz Sharif recommended Musharraf and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif personally promoted him to the rank of four-star general to replace Karamat.
After the Kargil incident, Musharraf did not wish to continue as Chairman of Joint Chiefs. He favoured Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Bokhari to take on the role, and said, “He did not care.” Prime Minister Sharif was displeased by this suggestion, due to his negative relationship with the Admiral. Musharraf further exacerbated his divide with Nawaz Sharif after recommending the forced retirement of senior officers close to the prime minister, including Lieutenant-General Tariq Pervez (or TP), commander of XII Corps, who was a brother-in-law of a high profile cabinet minister. According to Musharraf, Lieutenant-General TP was an ill-mannered, foul-mouthed, ill-disciplined officer who caused a great deal of dissent within the armed forces. Nawaz Sharif’s announcement of General Musharraf’s the promotion as Chairman Joint Chiefs caused an escalation of tensions with Admiral Bokhari, who upon hearing the news, launched a strong protest with the Prime minister; he relieved him of his duties the next morning. It was during this period as Chairman of Joint Chiefs that Musharraf began to build friendly relations with the United States Army establishment, including General Anthony Zinni, USMC, General Tommy Franks, General John Abizaid, and General Colin Powell, all of whom were four-star generals in the military.
The Pakistan Army conceived the Kargil plan after the Siachen conflict but the plan was rebuffed repeatedly by senior civilian and military officials. Musharraf was a leading planner 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 to the insurgents in July because of heightened international pressure. His decision antagonized the Pakistan Army and rumors of a possible coup began emerging soon afterwards about Sharif and Musharraf’s dispute; responsibility for the Kargil conflict and Pakistan’s withdrawal.
This military operation was met with great hostility in the public, and wide scale disapproval in the media. Musharraf had a confrontation and became involved in serious altercations with his senior officers; Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.Q. Mehdi and Lieutenant-General Ali Kuli Khan. Admiral Bokhari demanded a joint-service court martial against General Musharraf, while on the other hand General Ali 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 soldiers.” Problems with his lifelong friend, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Pervez Mehdi also arose when the air chief refrained to authorize any air strike to support the army operations in the Kargil region.
During a last meeting with the Prime minister, Musharraf faced criticism on the results of the Kargil infiltration by the military intelligence (MI) director, Lieutenant-General Jamshed Gulzar Kiani who maintained in the meeting: “(…) whatever has been written this is against logic. If you catch your enemy by the jugular vein he will react with full force…. If you cut enemy supply lines, the only option for him will be to ensure supplies by air… (sic).. . and 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….”
Nawaz Sharif has maintained that the Operation was conducted without his knowledge. However, details of the briefing given by the military before and after the Kargil operation became public. Between January and March before the operation, Sharif was briefed in three separate meetings:
- In January, the army briefed him about the Indian troop movement along the LOC in Skardu on 29 January 1999,
- On 5 February at Kel,
- On 12 March at the GHQ and
- Finally on 17 May at the ISI headquarters.
During the end of the June DCC meeting, a tense Sharif turned to the army chief and said “you should have told me earlier“, Musharraf pulled out his notebook and repeated the dates and contents of around seven briefings he had given him since beginning of January.
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 quell rumours of fallout between Musharraf and Sharif, Sharif officially certified Musharraf’s remaining two years of his term on 30 September.
Musharraf left for a weekend trip to take part in Sri Lanka’s Army’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. When he was returning from this official visit to Colombo, his flight was denied landing permission at Karachi International Airport on orders from the Prime Minister’s office. On hearing the announcement of the replacement of Pervez Musharraf with Khwaja Ziauddin, the third replacement of the top military commander of the country in less than two years, local military commanders began 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.
- On 13 October, Musharraf met with President Rafiq Tarar to deliberate on legitimizing the coup.
- On 15 October, Musharraf terminated 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 Abbasi.
- On 17 October, he gave his second national address and established a seven-member military-civilian council to govern the country.
- On 21 October, he named three retired military officers and a judge as provincial administrators.
- Finally, Musharraf assumed executive powers. He did not assume the office of Prime minister and the secretariat (official residence of Prime Minister of Pakistan) was closed by the military police and staff was dismissed immediately.
There were no organised protests within the country to the coup which was widely criticized by the international community. 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.
The senior military appointments in the inter-services were important for Musharraf to keep the legitimacy and support for his coup in the services. In the PAF, Musharraf pressured President Tarar to appoint the junior most air marshal to four-star rank, particularly someone with whom Musharraf had experience of working during the inter-services operations. Once Air-Chief Marshal Pervez Mehdi was retired, Air Marshal Mushaf 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 important appointments made by Musharraf in the Navy. Admiral Aziz Mirza, a lifelong friend of Musharraf who was appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was retained. Mirza remained extremely supportive of Musharraf’s coup and was also his close friend since 1971 when both had participated in a joint operation against the Indian Army. After Mirza’s retirement, Musharraf appointed Admiral Shahid Karimullah, with whom he had trained in Special Forces school in the 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 King Fahd. After meeting senior Saudi royals, the next day he went to Medina and also performed Umrah in Mecca. On 28 October, he went to United Arab Emirates enroute to 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 dealt with his first international crisis when India accused Pakistan of involvement in the Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijacking. Though President Bill Clinton of the United States pressured Musharraf to ban the alleged group behind the hijacking — Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Pakistani officials refused because of fears of reprisals from political parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami.
In March 2000, Musharraf banned political rallies. In a television interview given in 2001, Musharraf openly spoke about the negative role of a few high-ranking officers in the Pakistan Armed Forces in state’s affairs. Musharraf labelled many of his senior professors at NDU as “pseudo-intellectuals”, including the NDU’s notable professors, General Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat under whom Musharraf studied and served well.
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 is designed for speedy trials. He testified Musharraf had begun preparations for a coup after the Kargil conflict.
Sharif was placed in Adiala Jail, notorious for the 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 not providing their lawyers with adequate protection. The court proceedings were widely accused of being a farce. Sources from Pakistan claimed that Musharraf and his military government’s officers were in full mood to exercise tough conditions on Sharif, and intended to send him to gallows to face a similar fate as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. It was pressure on Musharraf exerted by Saudi Arabia and the United States to exile Sharif after it became clear that the court would convict Nawaz Sharif on the charges, and sentence him to death. Sharif signed an agreement with Musharraf and his military government and his family was exiled to Saudi Arabia in December 2000.
Shortly after Musharraf’s takeover, he issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to the 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 voluntary resignation in 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 elections in the country after accepting the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He was the first military president to accept the rulings of the Supreme Court and the holding of free and fair elections in 2002 in accordance with his vision to return democracy to the country. In October 2002, Pakistan held general elections, which the pro-Musharraf PML-Q won by a wide margin, though it had failed to gain absolute majority. The PML-Q, formed the government with far-right religious parties coalition, the MMA and the liberal, 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 in passing the XVII amendment, which granted powers to dissolve the parliament, with approval required from the Supreme Court. Within two years, Jamali proved to be an ineffective prime minister to implement his policies in the country and problems with business class of Pakistan surfaced. 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 who proved capable in running the government and the economic growth reached a maximum level, which stabilised Musharraf’s presidency. Aziz quietly undermined the elements seeking to negate Musharraf. During 2004–07, Aziz approved many projects that did not required permission from Musharraf, who trusted Shaukat Aziz
In 2010, all constitutionals changes carried out by Musharraf and Aziz’s policies were reverted by the 18th Amendment, which put the country back to its initial position and gave powers to Prime minister according to the constitution.
The presidency of Pervez Musharraf helped bring the liberal forces at the national level and into prominence, for the first time in the history of Pakistan. He granted national amnesty to the political workers of the liberal parties like MQM and PML (Q), and supported MQM in becoming a central player in the government. Musharraf disbanded the cultural policies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and quickly adopted those of Benazir Bhutto after disbanding the Indian media channels in the country.
His cultural policies liberalized the Pakistan’s media, and many television licenses were issued to the private-sector to open television centers and media houses. The television dramas, film industry, theatre, music and literature activities, were personally encouraged by Pervez Musharraf. Under his policies, the rock music bands gained approval in the country and many concerts were held each week. The cultural policies promoted the national spirit in the country. In 2001, Musharraf got on stage with the rock music band, Junoon, and sang national song with the band.
On political front, Musharraf faced fierce opposition from the ultraconservative alliance, the MMA, led by clergyman Maulana Noorani. In Pakistan, Maulana Noorani was remembered as a mystic religious leader who had preached the spiritual aspects of Islam all over the world as part of the World Islamic Mission. Although, the political deadlock posed by Maulana Noorani was neutralized after his death, Musharraf continued to face the opposition from ARD led by Benazir Bhutto of the PPP.
Support for the War on Terror
Musharraf allied with the United States against the Afghan Mujahideen in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. The Afghan Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda operatives, and other fundamentalist groups had been consolidated and endorsed by the U.S.-backed President General Zia-ul-Haq, and initial financial funding was endorsed by the United States against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
A few months after the September 11 attacks, Musharraf gave a speech against extremism. He instituted prohibitions on foreign students’ access to the study of Islam within Pakistan, an effort that 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 Islamic ideology and opened the door to relationships between his secular ideology and Israel. He was widely criticised by Middle Eastern leaders, but was met with some praise within the 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 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, and Musharraf honoured him with the Nishan-e-Pakistan. Musharraf received the King Abdul-Aziz Medallion in 2007.
From September 2001 until his resignation in 2007 from the military, his presidency suffered controversial atomic scandals than any other government in the history of the country. These scandals badly affected his authority legitimacy in the country and in the international community. In October 2001, Musharraf authorised a sting operation led by FIA to arrest two physicists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed due to their alleged connection with Taliban after they secretly visited Taliban government in 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 interest in building a radiological weapon.”Later, it was revealed that neither of the scientists was capable of building designs of the bomb and lacked scientific knowledge of such weapons. The credibility of these two scientists was put in doubt of their role in country’s atomic bomb program. In December 2001, he authorized the security hearings of the two scientists who were taken in the custody by the JAG Branch (JAG) and the hearings continued until early 2002.
Another controversial scandal during Musharraf’s presidency arose as a consequence of the disclosure of atomic proliferation by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. On 27 February 2001, Musharraf spoke highly of Abdul Qadeer Khan in a farewell state dinner in Islamabad; personally approving of his appointment as Science Advisor to the Government.
In 2004, Musharraf relieved Qadeer Khan from his post and initially denied knowledge of government’s and the armed forces role in nuclear proliferation; in spite of Qadeer Khan maintaining that Musharraf was the “Big Boss” of the proliferation ring. Following this, Musharraf authorized national security hearings of Qadeer Khan, which continued until his resignation from the army in 2007. According to Zahid Malik, Musharraf and the military establishment at the time exercised abuse in actions against Qadeer Khan to prove their loyalty to the United States and Western world.
The investigations back fired on Musharraf and 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 the issue politically to malign Musharraf and to bring down his presidency.
In the public circles, the interrogation of Abdul Qadeer Khan had severely damaged Musharraf’s 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 of Musharraf’s role. In an interview with Daily Times, Benazir Bhutto maintained that Abdul Qadeer Khan was made “scapegoat” in this nuclear proliferation scandal and she didn’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 public criticism of Musharraf over his handling of Qadeer Khan. The ARD movement and the political parties further politicized this issue after tapping public anger and mass demonstrations all over the country against Musharraf took place. The credibility of the United States was also badly damaged over this issue; the United States refrained from pressuring Musharraf to take further actions against Qadeer Khan due to their calculations. While Qadeer Khan remained popular in the country, on the other hand, Musharraf could not sustain the political pressure and his presidency was weakened, being harassed by Benazir Bhutto over this issue. In a quick move, Musharraf quickly pardoned Qadeer Khan in exchange for cooperation and issued confinement orders against him 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 Tariq Majid terminated all further debriefings of Abdul Qadeer Khan. A complicating factor is that, few believed that Qadeer Khan acted alone and the affair gravely damaged 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.
When Musharraf came to power in 1999, he promised that the corruption in the government bureaucracy would be cleaned up. However, some claimed that the level of corruption did not diminish throughout Musharraf’s time.
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 majority 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 in protest . 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 directive. Jamali had been appointed with the support of Musharraf 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.
President Musharraf is greeted by President Bush in Washington in September 2006.
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 an 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, who worked on a government gas plant in the remote Balochistan 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 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.
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 assassination attempt, 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. 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 the presidency
By August 2007, polls showed 64 percent of Pakistanis did not want another Musharraf term. Controversies involving the atomic issues, Lal Masjid incident, unpopular operation in West, suspension of popular Chief Justice, and widely circulated criticisms from rivals, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, had scarred 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 sustain his presidency any longer and dramatically fell from it within a matter of eight months, after popular and mass public movements successfully called for his impeachment for actions taken during his term.
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 was often attended by prominent politicians including prime ministers, army chiefs, and presidents.
In April 2007, the mosque administration started to encourage attacks on local video shops, alleging that they were selling porn films, and massage parlours, which were alleged to be used as brothels. These attacks were often carried out by the mosque’s female students. In July 2007, a confrontation occurred when government authorities made a decision to stop the student violence and send police officers to arrest the responsible individuals and the madrassa administration.
This development led to a standoff between police forces and armed students. Mosque leaders and students refused to surrender and kept firing on police from inside the mosque building. Both sides suffered casualties.
Return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif
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 refusing 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. They met President General Pervez Musharraf for two-and-a-half hours and discussed 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. This meeting was 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 Military
On 2 October 2007, Musharraf appointed General Tariq Majid as Chairman Joint Chiefs Committee and approved General 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 presidential elections
In a March 2007 interview, Musharraf said that he intended to stay in 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.
2007 state of emergency
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 general 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.
Pervez Musharraf led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008. On 18 August 2008, Musharraf announced his resignation. On the following day, he defended his nine-year rule in an hour-long televised speech. On 23 November 2008 he left for exile in London where he arrived the following day.
Academia and lectureship
After his resignation, Musharraf went to perform holy pilgrimage to Mecca. He then went on a 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 and formation of All Pakistan Muslim League
Since quitting politics in 2008, Musharraf has been in London since 24 November 2008in self-imposed exile. Musharraf launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in June 2010.
Legal threats and actions
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. Although the constitution of Pakistan, Article 232 and Article 236, provides for emergencies, and on 15 February 2008, the interim Pakistan Supreme Court attempted to validated the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, after the Supreme Court judges were restored to the bench, on 31 July 2009, they ruled that Musharraf had violated the constitution when he declared emergency rule in 2007.
Saudi Arabia exerted its influence to attempt to prevent treason charges, under Article 6 of the constitution, from being brought against Musharraf, citing existing agreements between the states, as well as pressuring Sharif directly. As it turned out, it was not Sharif’s decision to make.
Abbottabad 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.
Views on Pakistani police commandos
Regarding the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan players, Musharraf criticized 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 and 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.”
Views on the blasphemy laws in Pakistan
Regarding the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, Musharraf said that Pakistan is sensitive to religious issues and that the blasphemy law should stay.
Return to Pakistan
Since the start of 2011, news had circulated that Musharraf would return to Pakistan before the 2013 general election. He himself 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. The Taliban and Talal Bugti threatened to kill him should he return. On 3 April 2014, Musharraf escaped the fourth assassination attempt, resulting in an injury of a woman, according to Pakistani news.
On 24 March 2013, after a four-year self-imposed exile, he returned to Pakistan. He landed at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, via a chartered Emirates flight with Pakistani journalists and foreign news correspondents at around 12:40 PM PST. Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML were at Karachi airport to welcome him. He also delivered a short public speech outside the airport lounge.
On 16 April 2013, an electoral tribunal in Chitral declared Musharraf disqualified from candidacy there, effectively quashing his political ambitions (several other constituencies had previously rejected Musharraf’s nominations). A spokesperson for Musharraf’s party said the ruling was “biased” and they would appeal the decision.
While Musharraf had technically been on bail since his return to the country, on 18 April 2013 The Islamabad High Court ordered the arrest of Musharraf on charges relating to the 2007 arrests of judges. Musharraf escaped from court with the aid of his security personnel, and went to his farm-house mansion. The following day Musharraf was under house arrest but was later transferred to police headquarters in Islamabad. Musharraf characterized his arrest as “politically motivated “and his legal team has declared their intention to fight the charges in the Supreme Court. Further to the charges of this arrest, the Senate also passed a resolution petitioning that Musharraf be charged with high treason in relation to the events of 2007.
Court arrest orders
On Friday 26 April 2013 the court ordered house arrest for Musharraf in connection with the death of Benazir Bhutto. On 20 May, a Pakistani court granted bail to Musharraf. On 12 June 2014 Sindh High Court allowed him to travel abroad.
Murder cases investigations
On 25 June 2013, Musharraf was named as prime suspect in two separate cases, first Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and second being Akbar Bugti case by Federal Investigation Agency for masterminding the assassinations of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti. On 20 August 2013, a Pakistani court indicted Musharraf in the assassination of Bhutto. On 2 September 2013, a FIR was registered against Pervez Musharraf for his role in the Lal Masjid Operation 2007. The FIR was lodged after the son of slain hard line cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi (who was killed during the operation) asked authorities to bring charges against Musharraf.
Musharraf in four-star army uniform
- 10th President of Pakistan: 20 June 2001 – 18 August 2008
- Chief Executive of Pakistan: 12 October 1999 – 21 November 2002
- Minister of Defence: 12 October 1999 – 23 October 2002
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee: 8 October 1998 – 7 October 2001
- Chief of Army Staff: 6 October 1998 – 28 November 2007
- Born: 11 August 1943 (age 73), in Delhi, British India
- Nationality: Pakistani
- Musharraf is the second son with two brothers, Javed and Naved. Javed retired as a high-level official in Pakistan’s Civil Service. Naved is an anesthesiologist who has lived in Chicago since completing his residency training at Loyola University Medical Center in 1979.
- Spouse: Musharraf married Sehba from Karachi on 28 December 1968. They have a daughter, Ayla, an architect married to film director Asim Raza, and a son, Bilal.
- Religion: Islam
- Political party: All Pakistan Muslim League
- Other political affiliations: Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
- Musharraf published his autobiography — In the Line of Fire: A Memoir in 2006.
- Forman Christian College
- Command and Staff College
- National Defence University
- Royal College of Defense
- 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
- Spange des König-Abdulaziz-Ordens.png Order of al-Saud
- Allegiance: Pakistan
- Service/branch : Pakistan Army
- Years of service: 1964–2007
- Rank; OF-9 Pakistan Army.svg; US-O10 insignia.svg General
- Unit: Regiment of Artillery
- I Corps
- XII Corps
- Special Services Group
- DG Military operations
- 40th Army Division, Okara
- 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 Pakist
By courtesy Wikipedia.org