Pakistan’s former military ruler General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf, the architect of the Kargil War in 1999, died on Sunday in Dubai after a prolonged illness.
Musharraf, 79, was suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body, according to his family. General (retd) Musharraf died at a hospital in Dubai.
He had been undergoing treatment at the American Hospital Dubai. He had been living in Dubai since 2016.
In a statement issued immediately after Musharraf’s death, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan military, said that Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad and all the services chiefs express their heartfelt condolences.
“May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family,” it said.
Musharraf was the main architect of the Kargil War that took place months after then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed a historic peace accord with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lahore.
After his failed misadventure in Kargil, Musharraf deposed the then Prime Minister Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999 and ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 in various positions – first as the chief executive of Pakistan and later as the President.
The four-star general was ruling Pakistan as a “chief executive” when the 9/11 attacks on the US took place and swiftly aligned with Washington during its military intervention in neighbouring Afghanistan.
After the December 2007 assassination of Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, his allies suffered crushing losses in the 2008 elections, leaving him isolated. Musharraf’s plan to return to power in 2013 was dashed when he was disqualified from running in an election won by Sharif, whom he had deposed in 1999.
In March 2014, Musharraf was indicted for suspending the Constitution on November 3, 2007.
In December 2019, a special court handed Musharraf a death sentence in the high treason case against him.
The former military ruler left the country in March 2016 for Dubai to seek medical treatment.
Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi. His family moved from New Delhi to Karachi in 1947. He joined the Pakistan Army in 1964 and was a graduate of the Army Staff and Command College, Quetta.
(With agency inputs)