Former Pakistani President Musharraf dies in Dubai

Former President Pervez Musharraf, a military-turned-politician who ruled Pakistan in the early and mid-2000s, passed away on the 5th (local time). He is 79 years old.

Pervez Musharraf, then Army Chief of Staff, gives a press conference in 2000. /AP Yonhap News

According to Pakistani media, including Geo News, on this day, former President Musharraf passed away at a hospital in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he was receiving treatment for a chronic disease.

Former President Musharraf staged a coup in 1999 while serving as Army Chief of Staff, overthrowing then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and instituting a military government. He was inaugurated as president in 2001, after which he ran for president and remained in power until 2008. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, he actively cooperated with the United States to suppress the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Musharraf faced a national backlash in 2007 when he declared a state of emergency and fired and imprisoned Supreme Court justices in an attempt to extend his power. In December of the same year, suspicions were raised that he was involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, then leader of the opposition party. After losing the 2008 general election, Musharraf stepped down from the presidency in August of that year after the National Assembly pushed for his impeachment.

Musharraf was later charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Bhutto, conspiracy to commit murder and treason. While undergoing trial, he left for Dubai in 2016 for treatment of spinal disease and has stayed there ever since. In December 2019, he was sentenced to death by the Special Anti-Terrorism Court for treason. However, the High Court overturned the death sentence in January 2020, saying that the process, such as the formation of a special court, was unconstitutional.

Musharraf’s family said in June of last year that “Musharraf was hospitalized due to amyloidosis, incurable and his organs not functioning.” Amyloidosis is a disease in which amyloid, a protein aggregate, accumulates in various tissues or organs.