Pervez Musharraf Biography

(10th President of Pakistan Who Served from 2001 to 2008)

Birthday: August 11, 1943 (Leo)

Born In: Daryaganj, New Delhi

Pervez Musharraf was one of the most controversial political figures of Pakistan. He usurped the power through a coup wherein he dethroned the elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Known as the hard taskmaster, his rule quite often has earned mixed reviews from the public. He revived the country’s economy, reduced the foreign debt and drastically brought down the poverty levels taking the country on road to prosperity and growth. He also gave freedom to the broadcast and digital media which witnessed immense growth and evolution. However, these policies did not go well with the fundamentalists who criticized his rule. Also, it was his alleged involvement in the Kargil war, Lal Masjid attack and assassination of former PPP leader Benazir Bhutto that attracted immense criticism and disapproval. What is interesting to note is that this four star general and politician made his way to the top position of the country by being a military leader. Starting off as a second lieutenant, he worked his way up the ladder through hard work and perseverance. In 1998, he was appointed as the Chief of Army. Following year, through a military coup d’e’tat, he positioned himself as the President of Pakistan.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Cowboy, Mush

Died At Age: 79


Spouse/Ex-: Sehba Musharraf (m. 1968)

father: Syed

mother: Zarin Musharraf

children: Ayla Musharraf, Bilal Musharraf

Born Country: Pakistan

Dictators Presidents

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

political ideology: Pakistan Muslim League

Died on: February 5, 2023

place of death: Dubai

More Facts

education: Saint Patrick's High School Karachi, Pakistan Military Academy, National Defence University Islamabad, Forman Christian College

  • 1

    What charges were brought against Pervez Musharraf?

    Pervez Musharraf faced charges of high treason and subverting the constitution of Pakistan.

  • 2

    Why did Pervez Musharraf resign as President of Pakistan?

    Pervez Musharraf resigned as President of Pakistan in 2008 amidst mounting pressure and the threat of impeachment by the government.

  • 3

    Did Pervez Musharraf have any influence on Pakistan's foreign policy?

    Yes, Pervez Musharraf played a significant role in shaping Pakistan's foreign policy, especially in relation to the United States and the war on terror.

  • 4

    What role did Pervez Musharraf play in the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan?

    Pervez Musharraf was the Chief of Army Staff during the Kargil conflict in 1999 and played a key role in planning and executing the operation.

  • 5

    How did Pervez Musharraf come to power in Pakistan?

    Pervez Musharraf came to power in Pakistan through a military coup in 1999, overthrowing the democratically elected government.

Childhood & Early Life

Pervez Musharraf was born to Syed and Zarin Musharraf in British-ruled India. Four years later, he along with his family relocated to Pakistan, due to the impending partition of India.

His father who was employed with the Government of India, started working for the then newly formed Pakistan government and joined the Foreign Ministry. His first posting was in Turkey and he along with his family moved to Ankara, Turkey, in 1949.

Upon returning to Pakistan in 1957, Pervez Musharraf was enrolled at Saint Patrick’s School in Karachi, later graduating from Forman Christian College University in Lahore.

In 1961, he joined the Pakistan Military Academy and graduated from the same in 1964 with a Bachelor’s degree.

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His first appointment was as second lieutenant in the artillery regiment near Indo-Pak border. He first saw battlefield action during the 1965 Indo-Pak War. His unabated courage, determination and gallantry helped him bag a seat at the Special Force School.

He joined Special Service Group (SSG) in 1966 and served the same until 1972. During his stint with Special Service Group, he was promoted to the rank of Army Captain and then a Major. Meanwhile, in the 1971 war against India, he served as the company commander of a SSG commando battalion.

In 1974, he became Lieutenant Colonel and in four years duration was appointed Colonel. In the 80s, he enrolled himself at the National Defense University (NDU) to study political science. He later served as the professor at the Command and Staff College and NDU.

His experience in mountain and arctic warfare helped him attain the position of a Brigade Commander in 1987 for a new brigade of SSG near Siachen glacier.

Later in 1990-91, he moved to Britain to study at the Royal College of Defense Studies.

Upon returning to Pakistan, he was promoted as a Major General. He closely worked with the top officials and soon became a key staff of Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto had a powerful political influence over him and even mentored him.

He last served in military field operation in Mangla before being appointed to three-star rank, Lieutenant-General in 1995. As his rank scaled upwards, his involvement in politics also grew.

In 1998, he was personally selected by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the Army Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, thus moving to the four-star rank.

Year 1999 blotched his scaling career graph with a permanent stain due to the Kargil War. The operation planned by him under PM Nawaz Sharif drew immense disapproval, criticism and hostility from public and nations around the world. The war was a total embarrassment for Pakistan and led to the loss of prestige and morale.

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On October 12, 1999 when Musharraf was returning back from an official visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nawaz Sharif replaced him with Khwaja Ziauddin. The move backfired and Musharraf dethroned Nawaz Sharif from power through a coup. Sharif was later exiled to Saudi Arabia.

On October 15, 1999, he declared a state of emergency and assumed power as the Chief Executive. Rafiq Tarar, then President remained in office until 2001 after which he formally appointed himself as the President.

Shortly after assuming power, he issued Oath of Judges Order No. 2000, which required judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to military.

Upon taking up the chair of the President, he allied with America in the war against terror. However, this move was ridiculed by Islamic fundamentalists.

As per direction of the Supreme Court, he called for national elections in 2002. In the elections pro-Musharraf party PML-Q won large number of seats athough it didn't get clear majority. The PML-Q formed coalition government with the MMA and MQM

Zafarullah Khan Jamali was chosen for the office of the Prime Minister. However, Jamali’s incompetency led to the appointment of Shaukat Aziz. Since Musharraf trusted Aziz, he gave the latter with executive powers. Under Aziz’s leadership, Pakistan economy boosted which proved to be fruitful for both.

In 2004, his legislators passed a Bill according to which he held powers both as the Chief of the Army and Head of the State.

In 2006, he passed the Women Protection Bill under which rape victims were given greater benefit than the former law which required them to produce eye witness for the crime or face adultery. However, his comments on the 2005 rape case of a Pakistani physician, Dr. Shazia Khalid exposed his double-dealing nature.

It was under his presidency that the country suffered from highly controversial atomic scandals. First, was the links of top nuclear scientists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed with Taliban and second was the role of Abdul Qadeer Khan in nuclear proliferation.

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Facing immense domestic criticism and public anger, his popularity declined as people looked forward to an end of his term of presidency. As such despite his re-election in 2007 and subsequent holding of the army chief and head of the state position, people from the elite class objected to his enthronement.

He declared a state of emergency suspending the constitution and shutting down all private media channels which spoke against his governance. However, in a quest to lessen the mounting pressure and criticism, he resigned from the military on November 28, 2007.

On appointment of Syed Yusaf Raza Gillani as the Prime Ministerial candidate by PPP, and the threat to undergo impeachment, under which he would face corruption and murder charges, he finally stepped down from his Presidential post on August 18, 2008. Following month, he left for a self-imposed exile to London.

In 2010, he formed his own party, All Pakistan Muslim League and declared himself as the party President. He voiced his opinion of actively taking part in Pakistan’s politics sometime in the future.

On March 24, 2013, he returned to Pakistan after four years to take part in the 2013 general elections. However, the election tribunal disqualified him from the candidacy. Furthermore, he was put under house arrest. Also, he faced allegations for being actively involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Lal Masjid Operation.

In 2016, he was allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment. Thereafter, Musharraf lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai.

In 2019, Pervez Musharraf was declared a traitor and sentenced in absentia to death by a special court for abrogating and suspending the constitution in November 2007.

Personal Life & Legacy

Pervez Musharraf tied the nuptial knot with Sehba on December 28, 1968. The couple was blessed with two children, Ayla and Bilal.

He published an autobiography in 2006, titled, ‘In the Line of Fire’.

Pervez Musharraf died on 5 February 2023, at the age of 79, due to amyloidosis.

Facts About Pervez Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf was known for his love of fast cars and motorcycles and was seen participating in high-speed races and rallies.

He was an avid sports enthusiast, particularly enjoying playing squash and golf in his spare time.

Musharraf had a passion for poetry and was known to recite verses from famous Urdu poets during public speeches.

He had a strong interest in history and was known to be well-read on various historical events and figures.

Despite his busy schedule, Musharraf made time to practice meditation and yoga to maintain his mental and physical well-being.

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