Commandant General Anthony Walker of Britain regarded Pervez Musharraf as one of his finest students he had seen in his entire career. At one point, Walker described Musharraf, A capable, articulate and extremely personable
Commandant General Anthony Walker of Britain regarded Pervez Musharraf as one of his finest students he had seen in his entire career. At one point, Walker described Musharraf, A capable, articulate and extremely personable officer. His country is fortunate to have the services of a man of his undeniable quality.
Same Pervez Musharraf rose to national prominence after being appointed a four-star general in October 1998 by the then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He later served as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until 2008. Prior to that, he was the 13th Chief of Army Staff from October 1998 until November 2007, and was also the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan Armed Forces from 1998 until 2001.
Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943 in Delhi, India. He and his family left for Pakistan on one of the last safe trains in August 1947, a few days before the independence took effect. His father qualified for the Pakistan Civil Services and began to work for the newly formed Pakistan government.
In 1949, Musharraf's family moved to Ankara, when his father became part of a diplomatic deputation from Pakistan to Turkey. He learned to speak Turkish. He often played sports in his youth. In 1956, he left Turkey and returned to Pakistan, where he first attended Saint Patrick's School in Karachi and later was admitted at the Forman Christian College University in Lahore.
In 1961, at the age of 18, Musharraf joined the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. In 1964, Musharraf graduated with a Bachelor's degree in his 29th PMA Long Course. He was commissioned in the artillery regiment as second lieutenant and posted near the Indo-Pakistan border.
His first battlefield experience was with an artillery regiment in the intense fighting for Khemkaran sector in the Second Kashmir War. He also participated in the Lahore and Sialkot war zones during the conflict. During the war, Musharraf developed a reputation for sticking to his post under shellfire. He received the Imtiazi Sanad medal for gallantry.
Soon after the end of 1965 war, Musharraf was selected to join the special force course at the recommendation of his commanding officer in Sialkot. After passing the rigorous examinations and physically tough training, he joined the elite Special Service Group (SSG). He served in the SSG from 1966 to1972. He was promoted to army captain and to major during this period. During the 1971 war with India, he was a company commander of a SSG commando battalion. During the 1971 war, he was scheduled to depart to East-Pakistan to join the army-navy joint military operations, but instead his deployment did not materialize after Indian Army advances towards Southern Pakistan.
Musharraf was a lieutenant colonel in 1974 and a colonel in 1978. As staff officer in the 1980s, he studied political science at NDU, and then briefly tenured as assistant professor of war studies at the Command and Staff College and then assistant professor of political science also at the National Defence University.
In 1987, he became a brigade commander of a new brigade of the SSG near Siachen Glacier. He was personally chosen by the then-President and Chief of Army Staff general Zia-ul-Haq for this assignment due to Musharraf's wide experience in mountain and arctic warfare. In 1990 / 91, he studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies (RCDS) in Britain.
During his course studies, Musharraf performed extremely well as compared to his classmates. He submitted his thesis to Commandant General Anthony Walker who regarded Musharraf as one of his finest students he had seen in his entire career. At one point, Walker described Musharraf, A capable, articulate and extremely personable officer, who made a valuable impact at RCDS. His country is fortunate to have the services of a man of his undeniable quality. He graduated with a master's degree from RCDS and returned to Pakistan soon after.
In 1991 / 93, he secured a two-star promotion, elevating him to the rank of major general and held a command of 40th Army Division as its GOC, stationed in Okara Military District in Punjab Province. In 1993 / 95, Major-General Musharraf worked closely with the Chief of Army Staff as Director-General of Pakistan Army's Directorate General for the Military Operations (DGMO).
His last military field operations posting was in Mangla in 1995 when Benazir Bhutto approved the promotion of Musharraf to the rank of three-star General. Between 1995 and 1998, Lieutenant-General Musharraf was the corps commander (CC-I) of I Strike Corps stationed in Mangla.
Both Nawaz Sharif and general Jehangir Karamat held common beliefs concerning national security but in October 1998, addressing the officers and cadets at the Naval War College, General Karamat stressed the creation of National Security Council which would be backed by a team of civil-military experts for devising policies to seek resolution of any on-going problems relating to the civil-military issues and also recommended a neutral but competent bureaucracy and administration at federal level and the establishment of Local governments in four provinces. This proposal was met with hostility, and led to Nawaz Sharif's dismissal of General Karamat.
There were three lieutenant-generals potentially in line to succeed General Karamat as chief of army staff; Lieutenant general Ali Kuli Khan, lieutenant-general Khalid Nawaz Khan and Lieutenant-General Musharraf. Musharraf was well regarded by the general public and the armed forces. He also had an excellent academic standing from his college and university studies and was strongly favoured by the Prime Ministers colleagues, a straight officer with democratic views. Nisar Ali Khan and Shahbaz Sharif recommended Musharraf and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif personally promoted Musharraf to the rank of four-star general to replace Karamat.
The Pakistan Army originally conceived the Kargil plan after the Siachen conflict but the plan was rebuffed repeatedly by senior civilian and military officials. Musharraf was a leading strategist behind the Kargil Conflict. From March to May 1999, he ordered the secret infiltration of Kashmiri forces in the Kargil district. However, Nawaz Sharif withdrew support of the insurgents in the border conflict in July because of heightened international pressure. Nawaz Sharif's decision antagonized the Pakistan Army and rumours of a possible coup began emerging soon afterward.
Military officials from Musharraf's Joint Staff Headquarters (JS HQ) met with regional corps commanders three times in late September in anticipation of a possible coup. To quieten rumours of a fall out between Musharraf and Sharif, Sharif officially certified Musharraf's remaining two years of his term on 30 September.
Pervez Musharraf left for a weekend trip to take part in Sri Lanka's Army's 50th-anniversary celebrations. While, returning from his official visit to Colombo his flight was denied landing permissions to Karachi International Airport after orders were issued from the Prime Minister's office. Upon hearing the announcement of Nawaz Sharif, replacing Pervez Musharraf by Khwaja Ziauddin, the third replacement of the top military commander of the country in less than two years, local military commanders begun to mobilize troops towards Islamabad from nearby Rawalpindi. The military placed Nawaz Sharif under house arrest, but in a last-ditch effort Sharif privately ordered Karachi air traffic controllers to redirect Musharraf's flight to India. The plan failed after soldiers in Karachi surrounded the airport control tower. On 13 October, Musharraf addressed the nation with a recorded message.
Pervez Musharraf met with President Rafiq Tarar on 13 October to deliberate on legitimising the coup. On 15 October, Musharraf ended emerging hopes of a quick transition to democracy when he declared a state of emergency, suspended the Constitution, and assumed power as Chief Executive. He also quickly purged the government of political enemies, notably Ziauddin and national airline chief Shahid Khaqan Abbassi.
On 17 October, he gave his second national address and established a seven-member military-civilian council to govern the country. He named three retired military officers and a judge as provincial administrators on 21 October. Ultimately, Musharraf held powers of chief executive, but did not obtain the office of Prime minister. There were no organised protests within the country to the coup. The coup was widely criticized by the international community. Consequently, Pakistan was suspended from the Commonwealth. Nawaz Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled to Saudi Arabia on his personal request and under a contract.
Musharraf's first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia on 26 October where he met with King Fahd. After meeting senior Saudi royals, the next day he performed Umrah. On 28 October, he went to United Arab Emirates before returning home. By the end of October, Musharraf appointed many technocrats and bureaucrats in his Cabinet, including former Citibank executive Shaukat Aziz as Finance Minister. In early November, he released details of his assets to the public.
Shortly after Musharraf's takeover, Musharraf issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to military. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court asked Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002. The residing President Rafiq Tarar remained in office until his voluntarily resignation on June 2001. After his resignation, Musharraf formally appointed himself as President on 20 June 2001. In August 2002, he issued the Legal Framework Order No. 2002, which added numerous amendments to the Constitution.
Musharraf called for nationwide political elections in the country after accepting the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Musharraf was the first military president to accept the rulings of the Supreme Court and holding free and fair elections in 2002 in his vision to return the democracy in the country. In October 2002, Pakistan held general elections which the pro-Musharraf PML-Q won wide margins, although it had failed to gain absolute majority. The PML-Q formed government with far-right religious parties, coalition, the MMA and the liberals MQM; the coalition legitimised Musharraf's rule.
After elections, the PML-Q nominated Zafarullah Khan Jamali for the office of Prime minister which Musharraf also approved. After first session at the Parliament, Musharraf voluntarily transferred the powers of chief executive to Prime minister of Pakistan Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Musharraf succeeded to pass the XVII amendment which grants powers to dissolve the parliament however approval requires from the Supreme Court. Within two years, Jamali proved to be an ineffective prime minister to forcefully implement his policies in the country and mounted problems with elite business class of Pakistan.
Musharraf accepted the resignation of Jamali and asked his close colleague Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to appoint a new prime minister in place. Hussain nominated Finance minister Shaukat Aziz, who had been impressive due to his performance as finance minister in 1999. Musharraf regarded Aziz as his right hand and preferable choice for the office of Prime minister. With Aziz appointed as Prime minister, Musharraf transferred all executive powers to Aziz as he eye-blindly trusted Shaukat Aziz.
Aziz proved to be extremely capable while running the government and under his government economic growth reached to a maximum level which further stabilised Musharraf's presidency. Aziz swiftly, quietly and more quickly undermined the elements seeking to undermine Musharraf which became a factor that Musharraf had eye-blindly trusted Aziz. During 2004 to 07, Aziz approved many projects that did not required permission of Musharraf.
The presidency of Pervez Musharraf helped bringing the liberal forces at the national level and prominence, for the first time in the history of Pakistan. He issued a national amnesty to the political workers of the liberal party, MQM, and PML (Q), and provided his notable support for MQM to become a central player in the government. Musharraf disbanded the cultural policies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and quickly adopted Benazir Bhutto's cultural policies after disbanding the Indian channels in the country.
His cultural policies liberalize the Pakistan's media, and issued many television licenses to private-sector to open television centers and media houses. The television dramas, film industry, theatre, music and literature activities, were personally encouraged by Pervez Musharraf. In 2001, Musharraf got on stage with the rock music band, Junoon, and sang national song with the band. President Musharraf stood clapping his hands right next to us as we sang Azadi and Jazba, and moved to the beat with us. It was such a relief to have a coolest leader in the office, said Junoon later.
Musharraf allied with the United States against the Afghan mujahideen in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. The Afghan mujahideen, al-Qaeda operatives, and other fundamentalist groups had been long consolidated and endorsed by the United States backed President General Zia-ul-Haq, and the initial financial funding and consolidation was also endorsed by the United States against the Soviet Union in 1980s.
After the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, Musharraf expressed his sympathies to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and sent a plane load of relief supplies to India. In the 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
In 2006, King Abdullah visited Pakistan for the first time as King. Musharraf honoured King Abdullah with the Nishan-e-Pakistan. Musharraf received the King Abdul-Aziz Medallion in 2007.
The National Assembly voted in favour of the Women's Protection Bill on 15 November 2006 and the Senate approved it on 23 November 2006. President General Pervez Musharraf signed into law the 'Women's Protection Bill', on 1 December 2006. The bill places rape laws under the penal code and allegedly does away with harsh conditions that previously required victims to produce four male witnesses and exposed the victims to prosecution for adultery, if they were unable to prove the crime.
His government increased reserved seats for women in assemblies, to increase women's representation and make their presence more effective. Compared with 1988 seats in the National Assembly were increased from 20 to 60. In provincial assemblies 128 seats were reserved for women. This situation has brought out increase participation of women for 1988 and 2008 elections.
On 9 March 2007, Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on corruption charges and replaced him with ally Acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal. Musharraf's this move sparked protests among lawyers. On 12 March 2007, lawyers started a campaign called Judicial Activism across Pakistan and began boycotting all court procedures in protest against the suspension. In Islamabad, as well as other cities such as Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta hundreds of lawyers dressed in black suits attended rallies, condemning the suspension as unconstitutional. Slowly the expressions of support for the ousted Chief Justice gathered momentum and by May, protesters and opposition parties took out huge rallies against Musharraf and his tenure as army chief was also challenged in the courts.
Lal Masjid had a religious school for women and the Jamia Hafsa madrassa, which was attached to the mosque. A male madrassa was only a few minutes, drive away. The mosque was often attended by prominent politicians. In April 2007, the mosque administration started to encourage attacks on local video shops, alleging that they were selling porn films, and massage parlours which were alleged to be used as brothels. These attacks were often carried out by the mosque's female students.
In July 2007, a confrontation occurred when government authorities made a decision to stop the student violence and sent police officers to arrest the responsible individuals and the madrassa administration. This development led to a standoff between police forces and armed students. Mosque leaders and students refused to surrender and kept firing on police from inside the mosque building. Both sides suffered casualties.
On 8 August 2007, Benazir Bhutto spoke about her secret meeting with Musharraf on 27 July, in an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. On 14 September 2007, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim stated that Bhutto won't be deported, but must face corruption suits against her. He clarified Sharif's and Bhutto's right to return to Pakistan. Bhutto returned from eight years exile on 18 October. On 17 September 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf's allies of pushing Pakistan to crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. Musharraf called for a three-day mourning period after Bhutto's assassination on 27 December 2007.
Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan in September 2007, and was immediately arrested and taken into custody at the airport. He was sent back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi intelligence chief Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Lebanese politician Saad Hariri arrived separately in Islamabad on 8 September 2007, the former with a message from Saudi King Abdullah and the latter after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in London. After meeting President General Pervez Musharraf for two-and-a-half hours discussing Nawaz Sharif's possible return.
On arrival in Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif was received by Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz, the Saudi intelligence chief, who had met Musharraf in Islamabad the previous day. That meeting had been followed by a rare press conference, at which he had warned that Sharif should not violate the terms of King Abdullah's agreement of staying out of politics for 10 years.
On 2 October 2007, Musharraf appointed General Tariq Majid as Chairman Joint Chiefs Committee and approved General Ashfaq Kayani as vice chief of the army starting 8 October. When Musharraf resigned from military on 28 November 2007, Kayani became Chief of Army Staff.
A nine-member panel of Supreme Court judges deliberated on six petitions (including Jamaat-e-Islami's, Pakistan's largest Islamic group) for disqualification of Musharraf as presidential candidate. Bhutto stated that her party may join other opposition groups, including Sharif's. On 28 September 2007, in a 6 / 3 vote, Judge Rana Bhagwandas's court removed obstacles to Musharraf's election bid.
On 3 November 2007 Musharraf declared emergency rule across Pakistan. He suspended the Constitution, imposed State of Emergency, and fired the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court again.
General elections were held on 18 February 2008, in which the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) polled the highest votes and won the most seats. On 23 March 2008, President Musharraf said an era of democracy had begun in Pakistan and that he had put the country on the track of development and progress. On 22 March, the PPP named former parliament speaker Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani as its candidate for the country's next prime minister, to lead a coalition government united against him.
On 7 August 2008, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he step down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharraf refused to step down. A charge-sheet had been drafted, and was to be presented to parliament. It included Mr Musharraf's first seizure of power in 1999 at the expense of Nawaz Sharif, the PML(N)'s leader, whom Mr Musharraf imprisoned and exiled and his second last November, when he declared an emergency as a means to get re-elected president.
Musharraf delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics, by a day. On 11 August, the government summoned the national assembly. On 18 August 2008, Musharraf announced his resignation. On the following day, he defended his nine-year rule in an hour-long televised speech. On 23 November 2008 he left for exile in London.
After his resignation, Musharraf went to perform a holy pilgrimage to Makkah. He then went on a speaking and lectureship tour through the Middle East, Europe, and United States. Chicago-based Embark LLC was one of the international public-relations firms trying to land Musharraf as a highly paid keynote speaker. According to Embark President David B. Wheeler, the speaking fee for Musharraf would be in the $150,000 / 200,000 range for a day plus jet and other VIP arrangements on the ground. In 2011, he also lectured at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on politics and racism where he also authored and published a paper with George Perkvich.
After quitting politics, Musharraf has been in London since 24 November 2008 in self-imposed exile. Musharraf launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in June 2010. On 1 October 2010, Musharraf officially launched him as a President of the party, All Pakistan Muslim League.
The PML-N has tried to get Pervez Musharraf to stand trial in an article 6 trial for treason in relation to the emergency on 3 November 2007. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has said a consensus resolution is required in national assembly for an article 6 trial, of Pervez Musharraf 'I have no love lost for Musharraf, if parliament decides to try him, I will be with parliament. Article 6 cannot be applied to one individual, those who supported him are today in my cabinet and some of them have also joined the PML-N, the MMA, the MQM and the PML-Q supported him, this is why I have said that it is not doable, said the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Proclamation of Emergency and Revocation is the constitutional right of the President of Pakistan, according to the constitution of Pakistan, Article 232 and Article 236. On 15 February 2008, the Supreme Court has delivered detailed judgement to validate the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007.
Abbottabad's district and session judge in a missing person's case passed judgment asking the authorities to declare Pervez Musharraf a proclaimed offender. On 11 February 2011 the Anti-Terrorism Court, issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf and charged him with conspiracy to commit murder of Benazir Bhutto. On 8 March 2011, the Sindh High Court registered treason charges against him.
Regarding the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan players, Musharraf criticized the police commandos' inability to kill any of the gunmen, saying, If this was the elite force I would expect them to have shot down those people who attacked them, the reaction, their training should be on a level that if anyone shoots toward the company they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down.
Regarding the Blasphemy laws in Pakistan, Musharraf said that Pakistan is sensitive to religious issues and that the blasphemy law should stay.
Since the start of 2011, news had circulated that Musharraf would return to Pakistan before the 2013 general election. He himself vowed this in several interviews. On Piers Morgan Tonight, Musharraf announced his plans to return to Pakistan on 23 March 2012 in order to seek the Presidency in 2013. The Taliban and Talal Bugti threatened to kill him should he return.
On 24 March 2013, after a four-year self-imposed exile, he returned to Pakistan. He landed at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, via a chartered Emirates flight with Pakistani journalists and foreign news correspondents. Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML were at Karachi airport to welcome him. He also delivered a short public speech outside the airport lounge.
On 16 April 2013, an electoral tribunal in Chitral declared Musharraf disqualified from candidacy there, effectively quashing his political ambitions as several other constituencies had previously rejected Musharraf's nominations. A spokesperson for Musharraf's party said the ruling was "biased" and they would appeal the decision.
While Musharraf had technically been on bail since his return to the country, on 18 April 2013 The Islamabad High Court ordered the arrest of Musharraf on charges relating to the 2007 arrests of judges. Musharraf escaped from court with the aide of his security personnel, and went to his farm-house mansion. The following day Musharraf was under house arrest but was later transferred to police headquarters in Islamabad. Musharraf characterized his arrest as politically motivated and his legal team has declared their intention to fight the charges in the Supreme Court. Further to the charges of this arrest, the Senate also passed a resolution petitioning that Musharraf be charged with high treason in relation to the events of 2007.
On Friday 26 April 2013 the court ordered house arrest for Musharraf in connection with the death of Benazir Bhutto. On 20 May, court granted bail to Musharraf.
On 25 June 2013, Musharraf was named as prime suspect in two separate cases, first Benazir Bhutto's assassination and second being Akbar Bugti case by Federal Investigation Agency for masterminding a conspiracy to assassinations of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti.
On 20 August 2013, court indicted Musharraf in the assassination of Bhutto. On 2 September 2013, a FIR was registered against Pervez Musharraf for his role in Lal Masjid Operation 2007. The FIR was lodged after the son of slain hard line cleric Abdul Rahid Ghazi, who was killed during the operation asked authorities to include Musharraf in the FIR.
Pervez Musharraf was charged on 31 March 2014 with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007.