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From military ruler to politician: The life of Pervez Musharraf

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan’s fourth military ruler, who stayed in power for nine years after overthrowing an elected government in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Later, when out of power, Musharraf was charged with high treason by a court in 2014 and sentenced to death in absentia in 2019. The death sentence was overturned by a high court in 2020. provides a timeline of the highlights of his life.

1943 – Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in Delhi, British India, to Urdu speaking parents who later migrated to Pakistan.

1961 – He joined the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.

1998 – The soldier was promoted to general and appointed the chief of army staff by then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif (left) and Pervez Musharraf can be seen at Keil sector near Rawalakot on the Line of Control in this file photo from February 1999. — AFP

1999 – Musharraf removed Sharif’s government in a bloodless coup, before announcing a state of emergency and suspending the constitution.

2001 – The army chief declared himself the president of Pakistan.

2002 – Musharraf reinstated the constitution but added a provision that gave him legal cover to stay president for another five years. The same year, a controversial parliamentary election was held in Pakistan under Musharraf’s military rule.

2003 – General (retd) Musharraf survived two separate assassination attempts by terrorists.

2007 – He sacked the then-chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, initiating a country-wide protest movement. The same year, Musharraf’s rivals, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, returned from exile to contest the scheduled election. Musharraf imposed a state of emergency and suspended the constitution once again.

In this photo taken on June 12, 2004, Musharraf laughs while responding to a question during an interview in Rawalpindi. — AFP

2008 – Musharraf’s parliamentary party lost the national polls, forcing him to resign to avoid impeachment. He then left the country for the United Kingdom.

2010 – He launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League.

2013 – The retired general returned to Pakistan to contest the general election.

2014 – He was charged with high treason.

2016 – Musharraf was allowed to travel to Dubai in order to seek medical attention overseas. He never returned to Pakistan.

2019 – A special court found Musharraf guilty of high treason and sentenced him in absentia to death.

2020 – A high court suspended the sentence awarded to Musharraf.

2022 – Reports were circulated of his death, however, they were denied by his party APML. The party had confirmed that he was being treated for amyloidosis.

February 5, 2023 – Musharraf passed away at the age of 79 in Dubai.

Former army chief Pervez Musharraf lies on a hospital bed in this undated photo. — Twitter/File


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