Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف Parvez Muśarraf; born 11 August 1943) is a Pakistanipolitician and a retired four-star army general who was the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008.
Born in Delhi during British Raj, Musharraf was raised in Karachi and Istanbul. He went on to study math at the Forman Christian College in Lahore and would later study at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1991. Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961 and was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964 and went on to play an active role in the Afghan civil war. Musharraf saw action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a second lieutenant, by the 1980s, Musharraf was commanding an artillery brigade. In the 1990s, he was promoted to major general and assigned an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group. Later he served as deputy military secretary and the director general of military operation.
Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was elevated to a four-star general, appointed by then-Prime MinisterSharif in October 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces. He led the Kargil infiltration that almost brought India and Pakistan to a full-fledged war in 1999. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf from the army's leadership. In retaliation, the army staged a coup d'état in 1999 which allowed Musharraf to take-over Pakistan and subsequently placed Prime Minister Sharif under a strict house-arrest before moving towards a trial against Sharif in Adiala Prison.
Musharraf became the head of the military government while remaining the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2001 and the Chief of the Army Staff. Although, Musharraf relinquished the position of chairman of joint chiefs in 2001, he remained the Army Chief until retiring from the army in 2007. He became the President of Pakistan on 20 June 2001, only to win a controversial referendum on 1 May 2002 which awarded him five years of presidency. In October the same year, he oversaw a general election in which the army backed PML-Q was successful.
During his presidency, he advocated for a third way for varying synthesis of conservatism and left wing ideas, he appointed Shaukat Aziz in place of Sharif and directed polices against terrorism, becoming a key player in the American-led war on terror. Over the next several years, Musharraf survived a number of assassination attempts. He reinstated the constitution in 2002, though it was heavily amended with the Legal Framework Order. He also saw a process of social liberalism under his enlightened moderation program, while also promoting economic liberalisation and banning trade unions. He oversaw a rise of in overall gross domestic product at around 50%, however domestic savings declined and saw a rapid rise in economic inequality. More importantly, Musharraf has been accused of human right's abuses.
As Shaukat Aziz departed as Prime Minister, and after approving the suspension of the judicature branch in 2007, Musharraf's position was dramatically weakened in early 2008. Tendering his resignation in a threat to face potential impeachment movement led by the ruling Pakistan People's Party in 2008, Musharraf moved to London in self-imposed exile after returning to Pakistan to participate in the general elections held in 2013. While absent from Pakistan, Musharraf engaged in legal battles after the country's high courts issued warrants for him and Aziz for their alleged involvement in the assassinations of Benazir and Bugti. Upon his return, Musharraf was disqualified from taking part in the elections by High Court judges in April 2013. On 31 March 2014, Musharraf was booked and charged with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007. On 31 August 2017, he was declared an "absconder" by Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court in verdict of Benazir Bhutto murder case. His legacy is mixed; his era saw the emergence of a more assertive middle class, but his disregard for civilian institutions weakened the state of Pakistan.
Pervez Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943 to an Urdu-speaking family in Delhi, British India, the son of Syed Musharrafuddin and his wife Begum Zarin Musharraf. At the time of his birth his family lived at a large home that belonged to his father's family for many years called Nehar Wali Haveli, which means "House Next to the Canal". His family were affluent, elite, educated Sunni Muslims who were also Sayyids, claiming descent from prophet Muhammad. Syed Musharraf graduated from Aligarh Muslim University and entered the civil service, which was an extremely prestigious career under British rule. He came from a long line of government officials as his great-grandfather was a tax collector while his maternal grandfather was a qazi (judge). Musharraf's mother Zarin, born in the early 1920s, grew up in Lucknow and received her schooling there, after which she graduated from Indraprastha College in Delhi University, taking a bachelor's degree in English literature. She then got married and devoted herself to raising a family. His father, Syed, was an accountant who worked at the foreign office in the British Indian government and eventually became a accounting director.
Musharraf was the second of three children, all boys. His elder brother, Dr. Javed Musharraf, based in Rome, is an economist and is one of the Directors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. His younger brother, Dr. Naved Musharraf, is an anaestheologist based in Illinois, USA.
Musharraf's first childhood home in Delhi was called 'Neharwali Haveli', literally 'canal-side house'. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's family lived next door. It is indicative of "the family's western education and social prominence" that the house's title deeds, although written entirely in Urdu, were signed by Musharraf's father in English.
Pakistan and Turkey
Musharraf was four years old when India achieved independence and Pakistan was created as the homeland for India's Muslims. His family left for Pakistan in August 1947, a few days before independence. His father joined the Pakistan Civil Services and began to work for the Pakistani government; later, his father joined the Foreign Ministry, taking up an assignment in Turkey. In his autobiography In the Line of Fire: A Memoir, Musharraf elaborates on his first experience with death, after falling off a mango tree.
Musharraf's family moved to Ankara in 1949, when his father became part of a diplomatic deputation from Pakistan to Turkey. He learned to speak Turkish. He had a dog named Whiskey that gave him a "lifelong love for dogs". He played sports in his youth. In 1956, he left Turkey and returned to Pakistan in 1957 where he attended Saint Patrick's School in Karachi and was accepted at the Forman Christian College University in Lahore. At Forman, Musharraf declared his major in mathematics and performed extremely well in his collegiate mathematics, but later developed an interest in economics.
Initial military career
In 1961, at age of 18, Musharraf entered the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. During his college years at PMA and initial joint military testings, Musharraf shared a room with PQ Mehdi of PAF and Abdul Aziz Mirza of Navy (both reached four-star assignments and served with Musharraf later on) and after giving the exams and entrance interviews, all three cadets went to watch a world-acclaimed Urdu film, Savera (lit. Dawn), with his inter-services and college friends, Musharraf recalls, In the Line of Fire, published in 2006. With his friends, Musharraf passed the standardise, physical, psychological, and officer-training exams, he also took discussions involving the socioeconomics issues; all three were interviewed by joint military officers who were designated as Commandants. The next day, Musharraf along with PQ Mehdi and Mirza, reported to PMA and they were selected for their respective training in their arms of commission.
Finally in 1964, Musharraf graduated with a Bachelor's degree in his class of 29th PMA Long Course together with Ali Kuli Khan and his lifelong friend Abdul Aziz Mirza. He was commissioned in the artillery regiment as second lieutenant and posted near the Indo-Pakistan border. During this time in the artillery regiment, Musharraf maintained his close friendship and contact with Mirza through letters and telephones even in difficult times when Mirza, after joining the Navy Special Service Group, was stationed in East-Pakistan as a military advisor to East Pakistan Army.
Indo-Pakistani conflicts (1965–1971)
Further information: Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts
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.
Shortly after the end of the War of 1965, he was selected to join the special force school by recommendation of his commanding officer in Sialkot. After passing the rigorous exams and physically tough training, he joined the elite Special Service Group (SSG) and then trained together with then-lieutenantShahid Karimullah (also a four-star admiral) for the joint operations. He served in the SSG from 1966–1972. 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 commandobattalion. 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.
Professorship and military assignments (1972–1990)
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 Defense University. One of his professors at NDU was general Jehangir Karamat who served Musharraf's guidance counselor and instructor who had significant influence on Musharraf's philosophy and critical thinking. He did not play any significant role in Pakistan's proxy war in the 1979–89 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1987, he became a brigade commander of a new brigade of the SSG near Siachen Glacier. He was personally chosen by 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 September 1987, an assault was launched under the command of Musharraf at Bilafond La before being pushed back. In 1990–91, he studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies (RCDS) in Britain.
His course-mate included Major-generals B. S. Malik and Ashok Mehta of the Indian Army, and Ali Kuli Khan of Pakistan Army. In his course studies, Musharraf performed extremely well as compared to his classmates, submitted his master's degree thesis, titled "Impact of Arm Race in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent", and earned good remarks. He submitted his thesis to Commandant General Antony 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. Upon returning in the 1980s, Musharraf took his interest in populous, emerging rock music genre, and often listened to rock music after getting off from the duty. The 1980s, regarded as birth of Pakistan's rock music genre, Musharraf was reportedly into the popular Western fashion in the 1980s, which was very popular at the government and public circles, in the country at that time. While in the Army, he earned the nickname "Cowboy" for his westernized ways and his fashion interest in Western clothing.
Command and staff appointments (1991–1995)
Earlier in 1988–89, (as Brigadier) Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan. 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). During this time, Musharraf became close to engineering officer and director-general of ISI lieutenant-general Javed Nasir and had worked with him while directing operations in Bosnian war. His political philosophy was influenced by Benazir Bhutto who mentored him on various occasions, and Musharraf generally closed to Benazir Bhutto on military policy issues on India. From 1993 to 1995, Musharraf repeatedly visited the United States as part of the delegation of Benazir Bhutto. It was Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman who lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently getting the Musharraf's promotion papers approved by Benazir Bhutto, which eventually led to his appointment in Benazir Bhutto's key staff. In 1993, Musharraf personally assisted Benazir Bhutto to have a secret meeting in a Pakistan Embassy at the Washington, D.C. with officials from Mossad and special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin. It was during these times when Musharraf build extremely cordial relationships with Shaukat Aziz who, at that time, was serving as the executive president of global financial services of the Citibank.
After the collapse of the fractious Afghan government, Musharraf assisted General Babar and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in devising a policy of supporting the newly formed Taliban in the Afghan civil war against the Northern Alliance government. On policy issues, Musharraf befriended senior justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Rafiq Tarar (later president) and held common beliefs with the latter.
His last military field operations posting was in the Mangla region of the Kashmir Province in 1995 when Benazir Bhutto approved the promotion of Musharraf to three-star rank, Lieutenant-General. Between 1995 and 1998, Lieutenant-General Musharraf was the corps commander (CC-I) of I Strike Corps stationed in Mangla, Mangla Military District.
Four-star appointments (1998–2007)
Chief of army staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs
Main article: Resignation of Jehangir Karamat
Although both Nawaz Sharif and general Jehangir Karamat were educated, and held common beliefs concerning national security, problems arose with chairman of the joint chiefs and chief of army staff General Karamat in October 1998. While 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 ongoing problems relating the civil-military issues; also recommended a "neutral but competent bureaucracy and administration of 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. In turn, this reduced Nawaz's mandate in public circles, and led to much criticism from Leader of the Opposition Benazir Bhutto.
There were three lieutenant-general officers potentially in line to succeed General Karamat as four-star rank and chief of army staff. Lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan, a graduate of PMA and RMA, Sandhurst, was an extremely capable staff officer and well liked in public circles, but was seen as close to the former chief of army staff general (retired) Abdul Vaheed; and was not promoted. Second in line was lieutenant-general Khalid Nawaz Khan who was popularly known for his ruthless leadership in the army; particularly for his unforgiving attitude to his junior officers. Lieutenant-general Nawaz Khan was known for his opposition and anti-muhajir sentiment, and was particularly hardline against the MQM.
Musharraf was in third-in line, and was well regarded by the general public and the armed forces. He also had an excellent academic standing from his college and university studies. Musharraf 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.
After the Kargil incident, Musharraf did not wish to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: Musharraf favoured the chief of naval staff Admiral Bokhari to take on this role, and claimed that: "he did not care" Prime minister Sharif was displeased by this suggestion, due to the hostile nature of his relationship with the Admiral. Musharraf further exacerbated his divide with Nawaz Sharif after recommending the forced retirement of senior officers close to the Prime minister, including Lieutenant-General Tariq Pervez (or TP), commander of XII Corps, who was a brother-in-law of a high profile cabinet minister. According to Musharraf, lieutenant-general TP was an ill-mannered, foul-mouthed, ill-disciplined officer who caused a great deal of dissent within the armed forces. Nawaz Sharif announcement of the promotion of General Musharraf to chairman joint chiefs caused an escalation of the tensions with Admiral Bokhari: upon hearing the news, he launched a strong protest against the Prime minister The next morning, the Prime minister relieved Admiral Bokhari of his duties. It was during his time as chairman of the joint chiefs that Musharraf began to build friendly relations with the United States Army establishment, including General Anthony Zinni, USMC, General Tommy Franks, General John Abizaid, and General Colin Powell of the US Army, all of whom were premier four-star generals in the military history of the United States.
Main article: Kargil Conflict
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. After India discovered the infiltration, a fierce Indian offensive nearly led to a full-scale war. However, Sharif withdrew support of the insurgents in the border conflict in July because of heightened international pressure. Sharif's decision antagonized the Pakistan Army and rumors of a possible coup began emerging soon afterward. Sharif and Musharraf dispute on who was responsible for the Kargil conflict and Pakistan's withdrawal.
This strategic operation met with great hostility in the public circles and wide scale disapproval in the media who roundly criticised this operation. Musharraf had severe confrontation and became involved in serious altercations with his senior officers, chief of naval staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari, chief of air staff, air chief marshal PQ Mehdi and senior lieutenant-general Ali Kuli Khan. Admiral Bokhari ultimately demanded a full-fledged joint-service court martial against General Musharraf, while on the other hand General Kuli Khan lambasted the war as "a disaster bigger than the East-Pakistan tragedy", adding that the plan was "flawed in terms of its conception, tactical planning and execution" that ended in "sacrificing so many soldiers." Problems with his life long friend, chief of air staff air chief marshal Pervez Mehdi also arose when air chief refrained to participate or authorise any air strike to support the elements of army operations in the Kargil region.
During the last meeting with the Prime minister, Musharraf faced a grave criticism on results produced by Kargil infiltration by the principle military intelligence (MI) director lieutenant-general Jamshed Gulzar Kiani who maintained in the meeting: "(...) whatever has been written there is against logic. If you catch your enemy by the jugular vein he would react with full force.... If you cut enemy supply lines, the only option for him will be to ensure supplies by air... (sic).. at that situation the Indian Army was unlikely to confront and it had to come up to the occasion. It is against wisdom that you dictate to the enemy to keep the war limited to a certain front...."
Nawaz Sharif has maintained that the Operation was conducted without his knowledge. However, details of the briefing he got from the military before and after the Kargil operation have become public. Before the operation, between January and March, Sharif was briefed about the operation in three separate meetings. In January, the army briefed him about the Indian troop movement along the LOC in Skardu on 29 January 1999, on 5 February at Kel, on 12 March at the GHQ and finally on 17 May at the ISI headquarters. During the end of the June DCC meeting, a tense Sharif turned to the army chief and said "you should have told me earlier", Musharraf pulled out his notebook and repeated the dates and contents of around seven briefings he had given him since beginning of January.
Main article: 1999 Pakistani coup d'état
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 fallout between Musharraf and Sharif, Sharif officially certified Musharraf's remaining two years of his term on 30 September.
Musharraf had left for a weekend trip to take part in Sri Lanka's Army's 50th-anniversary celebrations. When Pervez Musharraf was returning from an 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 began to mobilize troops towards Islamabad from nearby Rawalpindi. The military placed 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. At 2:50 am on 13 October, Musharraf addressed the nation with a recorded message.
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 after 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 assumed executive powers but did not obtain the office of Prime minister. The Prime minister secretariat (official residence of Prime minister of Pakistan) was closed by the military police and the staff was deposed by Musharraf immediately.
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 of Nations. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled to Saudi Arabia on his personal request and under a contract.
The senior military appointments in the inter-services were extremely important and crucial for Musharraf to keep the legitimacy and the support for his coup in the joint inter-services. Starting with the PAF, Musharraf pressured President Tarar to appoint most-junior air marshal to four-star rank, particularly someone with Musharraf had experienced working during the inter-services operations. Once Air-chief Marshal Pervez Kureshi was retired, the most junior air marshal Muschaf Mir (who worked with Musharraf in 1996 to assist ISI in Taliban matters) was appointed to four-star rank as well as elevated as Chief of Air Staff. There were two extremely important military appointments made by Musharraf in the Navy. Although Admiral Aziz Mirza (a lifelong friend of Musharraf, he shared a dorm with the admiral in the 1960s and they graduated together from the academy) was appointed by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Mirza remained extremely supportive of Musharraf's coup and was also a close friend of Musharraf since 1971 when both participated in a joint operation against the Indian Army. After Mirza's retirement, Musharraf appointed Admiral Shahid Karimullah, with whom Musharraf was trained together in special forces schools in the 1960s, to four-star rank and chief of naval staff.
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 went to Medina and performed Umrah in Mecca. 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 and Abdul Sattar as Foreign Minister. In early November, he released details of his assets to the public.
In late December 1999, Musharraf dealt with his first international crisis when India accused Pakistan's involvement in the Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijacking. Though United States PresidentBill Clinton pressured Musharraf to ban the alleged group behind the hijacking — Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Pakistani officials refused because of fears of reprisal from political parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami.
In March 2000, Musharraf banned political rallies. In a television interview given in 2001, Musharraf openly spoke about the negative role of a few high-ranking officers in the Pakistan Armed Forces in state's affairs. Musharraf labelled many of his senior professors at NDU as "pseudo-intellectuals", including the NDU's notable professors, General Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat under whom Musharraf studied and served well.
Sharif trial and exile
The Military Police held former prime minister Sharif under house arrest at a government guesthouse and opened his Lahore home to the public in late October 1999.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has held former military dictator Pervez Musharraf personally responsible for the murder of his mother, Benazir Bhutto, as the country observed her 10th death anniversary on Wednesday.
Bhutto, the PPP chief and a two-time Prime Minister, was killed along with 21 people in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh during an election campaign rally on December 27, 2007.
In an interview to the BBC, Bilawal Bhutto said: “Musharraf exploited this entire situation to assassinate my mother. He purposely sabotaged her security so that she would be assassinated and taken off the scene.”
He said that he doesn’t hold the man who fired the bullet at his late mother responsible for her murder.
Bilawal Bhutto said that Musharraf, who is in self-imposed exile in Dubai, had directly threatened Bhutto and told her that her security was based on the state of relationship with him. He claimed that on the day of her assassination, the security cordon was taken off from her by the former military ruler.
The PPP chairman said that he personally holds the former President responsible for the murder and as he doesn’t have any details of him giving directions on a call or holding a meeting to convey any secret message, he will not unnecessarily blame any state institution.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in its judgment on August 31 had declared Musharraf an absconder in the assassination case and acquitted five alleged operatives of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid -- due to lack of evidence.
Two police officers were jailed for 17 years each for negligence vis-a-vis Bhutto’s security. The court also ordered confiscation of Musharraf’s properties.
Bilawal Bhutto added that the ATC hearing Bhutto’s case ignored the UN investigation report, ignored the government’s investigation, ignored phone call recordings and did not take into account DNA evidence.
He said the court gave a clean chit to the terrorists, awarded punishments to the police officials involved in washing the crime scene but also immediately approved their bail.
He also dismissed the claims that his father Asif Ali Zardari was responsible for Bhutto’s assassination. “This assumption is like calling an innocent an oppressor.”
Bilawal Bhutto and his father will address a PPP rally at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh later in the day. More than a million party supporters and workers are expected to be present.