“Bulletin to Al-Qaeda” Death of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, US ally
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has died in Dubai at the age of 79 following a long illness, the Pakistani army announced on Sunday.
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has died in Dubai aged 79 after a long illness, the army said on Sunday. Senior military officials “express their sincere condolences on the death of General Pervez Musharraf,” said a brief statement issued by the army press service. “May Allah bless the soul of the deceased and give strength to the bereaved family.”
Pakistan’s last military leader, former president and general Pervez Musharraf, had made his country a key ally of the United States in its “war on terrorism” following the September 11 attacks. Came to power in a coup in 1999 and remained at the head of Pakistan until 2008, Pervez Musharraf died following a long illness in Dubai, where he was hospitalized.
Straight shoulders, graying mustache and irremovable glasses, this admirer of Napoleon and Richard Nixon overthrew Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif without violence, assuming the title of President of the Republic in 2001. After the invasion of Afghanistan by the United United, in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, he aligned his country with Washington’s positions.
Bulwark against Al-Qaeda
Pervez Musharraf then presented himself as a regional bulwark against Al-Qaeda, whose leaders, allies of the Taliban, had found refuge in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. He survived at least three Al-Qaeda assassination attempts. During its nine years in power, Pakistan has seen its economic growth take off, its middle class grow, the media liberalize and the army play the appeasement card against rival India.
But his opponents have repeatedly denounced his stranglehold on power, the “illegal” dismissal of Supreme Court justices, the imposition of a state of emergency and the bloody assault on heavily armed Islamist refugees. in the Red Mosque in Islamabad in the summer of 2007.
Self-proclaimed President in 2001
This former elite commando, born in Delhi on August 11, 1943, four years before the partition of Pakistan, was chief of the army staff when he overthrew the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif in October 1999, without bloodshed. . Pervez Musharraf declared himself president in June 2001, before winning a controversial referendum in April 2002.
In this Muslim country, this cigar smoker and whiskey drinker was initially perceived as a moderate, before taking exceptional measures to seek to maintain power. His declaration that “the Constitution is just a piece of paper to be thrown away” and his legacy have continued to divide opinion, in a nation that has seen several military coups since its founding in 1947.
General Musharraf had faced little opposition until he attempted to remove the Chief Justice in March 2007, sparking nationwide protests and months of unrest that culminated in the imposition of the state of emergency. After the assassination of the leader of the opposition, Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007, he experienced a rout in the elections the following year and found himself isolated.
At the height of his unpopularity, under pressure from justice and the victorious coalition at the polls, ready to launch impeachment proceedings against him, he was forced to resign in August 2008.
He then began a luxurious voluntary exile between London and Dubai, financed in part by generous payments for his conferences around the world. In March 2013, he ended his years of exile in order to participate in the Pakistani elections and “save” the country from economic slump and Taliban peril.
But his ambitions to return to politics had been greeted with disdain by the Pakistanis and quickly shattered by multiple legal proceedings. He was finally not allowed to stand in the legislative elections, won by Nawaz Sharif, the man he had deposed 14 years earlier.
In August 2017, Pakistani justice declared him a “fugitive” in the trial for the murder of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman of the modern era to have led a Muslim country. He is suspected of having taken part in a vast conspiracy to kill his rival before the elections, which he has always denied.
In December 2019, a special court sentenced Pervez Musharraf to death in absentia for “high treason”, for having introduced a state of emergency in 2007. But his sentence was quashed shortly after.
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