Musharraf, the ‘architect’ of Kargil war, dies
ISLAMABAD/DUBAI: Former President Pervez Musharraf died on Sunday following a prolonged illness at a hospital in Dubai, after years in self-imposed exile. Military and the country’s mission in the United Arab Emirates announced the death of the former army chief, 79, who was pushed from power in 2008.
“I can confirm that he passed away this morning,” Shazia Siraj, spokesperson for Pakistan’s consulate in Dubai and embassy in Abu Dhabi, told Reuters.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi and the chiefs of army, navy and air force each expressed condolences on his death.
A special flight will be made to Dubai on Monday to bring Musharraf’s body back to Pakistan for burial, a local TV channel reported.
Pervez Musharraf hospitalised but not on ventilator: family
The former four-star general, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, oversaw rapid economic growth and attempted to usher in socially liberal values in the conservative Muslim country.
Musharraf enjoyed strong support for many years, his greatest threat al Qaeda and other militant Islamists who tried to kill him at least three times.
But his heavy-handed use of the military to quell dissent as well as his continued backing of the United States in its fight against al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban ultimately led to his downfall.
“He is called a military dictator, but there has never been a stronger democratic system than that under him,” said former close Musharraf aide Fawad Chaudhry, a leader of PTI.
“He gave Pakistan a free media and he stressed on diversity of opinion in Pakistan,” Chaudhry said in a video message.
History will always remember him,” he said. “Pervez Musharraf, we will miss you.”
Musharraf joined what Washington called its “war on terror” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Pakistan provided US forces ground and air access to landlocked Afghanistan to chase down the al Qaeda militants identified as being behind the plot.
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