Former Pakistani President Musharraf Dies in Exile at 79
The former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has died at the age of 79. Musharraf died in a hospital in Dubai, where he had been living in a self-imposed exile, following what is being described as a prolonged illness, the Pakistani military announced on Sunday.
Musharraf, who was a four-star general in Pakistan’s military, seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999 and attempted to bring liberal reforms to the conservative Muslim country. He was opposed in his efforts by al-Qaida and other Islamist organizations.
Under his leadership, during which he attempted to quash the growth of Islamism, the Islamist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Pakistani Taliban, was founded. He supported the United States in its fights against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, including hosting secret US bases on Pakistani soil. His planned reforms of the country brought in a great deal of foreign investment.
Musharraf led Pakistan until he was deposed in 2008 in the country’s first democratic elections in 11 years. Musharraf’s party lost, leading him to resign as president and flee to London. He returned to Pakistan in 2013 to run for a seat in parliament but his campaign was disqualified and in 2016 he left for Dubai.
In 2019, Musharraf was sentenced to death in absentia for the 2007 imposition of emergency rule in the country following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, which led to violence across the country and delayed elections that had been scheduled for that year. The verdict was later overturned.