DUBAI — Former Pakistan President and Army chief Pervez Musharraf passed away on February 5 after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Dubai.
The former military dictator was reportedly in critical condition at American Hospital in Dubai with no possibility of recovery.
Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss”, his office said in a statement.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan after a 1999 bloodless coup
Musharraf, 79, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, was charged with high treason and given a death sentence in 2019 for suspending the Constitution. His death sentence was later suspended.
Musharraf seized power in a 1999 bloodless coup and was acting simultaneously as Pakistan’s Army Chief, Chief Executive, and President.
The General twice suspended the Constitution and was accused of rigging a referendum shoring up his power, as well as rampant rights abuses including rounding up opponents.
Suffered rare illness
He was said to be hospitalized due to a complication of his ailment amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein builds up in organs and interferes with normal function.
He was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease in 2018 in the UAE. Musharraf left for Dubai in March 2016 for medical treatment. He was declared a fugitive in the assassination case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the Red Mosque cleric killing case.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nearly nine years, starting when then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempted to remove him as Army Chief.
Many Pakistanis handed out sweets to celebrate his 1999 coup, which ended a corrupt and economically disastrous administration. But his easygoing persona failed to mask the blurring of the division between the state and army, and Musharraf fell out of favour after trying to sack the chief justice and failing to control an unravelling economy.
After the December 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, the national mood soured even more and crushing losses suffered by his allies in the 2008 elections left him isolated. He resigned that same year and was forced into exile.