Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: ????? ????) (IPA: /'p??.v?z mu'???.?f/) (born August
11, 1943) is the current President of Pakistan, and former Chief of Army
Staff of the Pakistan Army. He came to power in 1999 by effecting a military
coup d'état and has suspended the constitution of Pakistan twice; since then,
after announcing his intention to combat extremists, Western countries
(including the United States and the United Kingdom) have switched from
sanctions to active support through military and monetary aid. He took power on
October 12, 1999, ousting Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister, dismissed
the national and provincial legislative assemblies, assumed the title of Chief
Executive and became Pakistan's de facto head of government, thereby becoming
the fourth Army chief of Pakistan to have assumed executive control. Later in
2001, Musharraf appointed himself to the office of President of Pakistan.|
On November 3, 2007, only days before a bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
was to decide on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of his
re-election as president in the controversial October 2007 elections, he, as
Chief of Army Staff, suspended the constitution, jailed several justices and
lawyers of the supreme court including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,
ordered the arrest of political dissidents and human rights activists, and shut
down all private television channels. On November 3, 2007, Musharraf declared
a state of emergency in Pakistan which lasted until December 15, 2007. During
this time, the constitution of the country was suspended.
On November 24, 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed his re-election
As of February 18, 2008, news reports indicate that Musharraf's supporting
party, the Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid, and its coalition allies have been
badly defeated in Parliamentary elections. The ruling party of Pakistan's Pervez
Musharraf admitted defeat in parliamentary elections February 19, 2008, and one
senior opposition leader said it was now time for the president to step down.
February 20, 2008, one day after PML(Q) was trounced in parliamentary elections,
Musharraf said he intended to remain in office and work with the new government.
20 June 2001
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
Muhammad Mian Soomro
Preceded by Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Prime Minister of Pakistan
12 October 1999 – 20 June 2001
President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Preceded by Nawaz Sharif
Succeeded by Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Born 11 August 1943 (1943-08-11) (age 64)
Delhi, British India
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
Religion Sunni Islam
Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Nahr wali Haveli, situated in
Kacha Saad Ullah Mohallah, Daryaganj in Delhi, British India. He is from a
family of civil servants. After Musharraf's grandfather, Qazi Mohtashimuddin,
retired as the commissioner of undivided Punjab he bought Neharwali Haveli in
the old walled city of Delhi where Musharraf was born. The haveli, with its high
roofs and arches, is believed to have been the home of a "Wazir" (Minister) in
the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar — the last Mughal emperor of the 18th
century. After partition, Musharraf's family migrated to Pakistan where his
father, Syed Musharraf Uddin — a graduate of Aligarh University — joined the
Pakistan foreign service and later retired as Secretary of foreign affairs.
Musharraf's mother, Zarin, received her master's degree from the University of
Lucknow in 1944. She recently retired from the UNO agency in ISB.
He revealed in his memoirs that he was critically injured after falling from a
mango tree as a teenager, and he considers this his first direct experience with
Musharraf attended Saint Patrick's School, Karachi, graduating in 1958, later
attending Forman Christian College in Lahore. He also participated in a
certificate course for media management from Delhi university.He is said to
have been good in mathematics during his student days.
Musharraf is married to Sehba, who is from Okara. They have a son, Bilal, who
was a graduate student at Stanford University and currently works in the Silicon
Valley, and a daughter, Ayla Raza, who works as an architect in Karachi.
Musharraf and his wife have four grandchildren, two from each child.[citation
Service/branch Pakistan Army (PA – 6920)
Years of service 1964 - 2007
Commands DGMO (Military Operations)
I Corps (Mangla)
Chief of Army Staff
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
In 1961, he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, graduating 11th in
his class. He was commissioned in 1964 in the Artillery Regiment. Later he
joined the Special Services Group and was posted to Field Artillery Regiments. A
graduate of the Command and Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defence
College, Rawalpindi, Musharraf is also a graduate of the Royal College of
Defence Studies of the United Kingdom. Musharraf revealed in his memoirs that in
1965 he was charged with taking unauthorized leave and was about to be
court-martialed for it, but was excused due to the war with India.
Musharraf participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as the 2nd Lieutenant
in the 16 (SP) Field Artillery Regiment. His regiment saw action as part of the
First Armoured Division’s offensive in the Khemkaran sector, as part of a major
offensive against the Indian Army, the Pakistani army advanced 15 miles into
India and it was in the town of Khem Karan that Musharraf wrote his first letter
to his mother during the war "proudly saying that I was writing from India".
However despite the initial success and possessing a quantitative advantage and
significant superiority in armour, the 1st armoured division (labelled
"pride of the Pakistan Army") suffered a "crushing defeat" at Khemkaran, which
became known as "Patton Nagar" or graveyard of Pakistani tanks. By all
accounts the vital advance failed at the Battle of Asal Uttar, as Pakistan lost
a golden opportunity to make major strategic gains, and was a turning point in
the war.. His regiment was later moved to the Lahore front which was
threatened by the Indian Army, according to Musharraf "Having stabilized the
Lahore front, we were ordered to move again to the Sialkot front. This was where
the famous tank battles of Chawinda were fought. At the end of the war this
sector was to become a graveyard of Indian tanks.". During the war Musharraf
was noted for sticking to his post under shellfire, towards the end of the
war an Indian shell hit one of the artillery guns of Musharraf's unit and set it
on fire, according to Musharraf whilst everyone else took cover, he followed by
another soldier "dashed to the blazing gun" and removed the "hot shells" one by
one and "threw them to safety on the ground" - for this he received an award for
gallantry and was promoted to the rank of captain.
Later, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he served as a Company Commander in the
Special Service Group (SSG) Commando Battalion. Originally scheduled to be flown
to East Pakistan along with other SSG troops, he was redeployed in Punjab as war
broke out and all flights over India were cancelled. He later admitted that he
"broke down and wept" when he heard the "disgusting" news of Pakistan's
unconditional surrender to India. Later he commanded Regiments of Artillery,
an Artillery Brigade and then an Infantry Division. In September 1987, he was
instrumental in giving orders to a newly formed SSG at Khapalu base (Kashmir),
which launched an assault and successfully captured two intermediate posts,
Bilafond La in Siachen Glacier, before being pushed back.
On promotion to the rank of Major General on January 15, 1991, he was assigned
the command of an Infantry Division. Later, on promotion to Lieutenant General
on October 21, 1995 he took over command of 1 Corps, the elite strike Corps. In
1998, following the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat, he was personally
promoted over other senior officers by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as an
obedient officer and took over as the Army Chief of Staff and Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Role in Kargil Conflict
From May to July 1999, Pakistan and India were involved in the Kargil Conflict,
an armed conflict between the two countries in the Kargil district of Kashmir.
It was planned and executed during General Musharraf's term as the Pakistani
Army Chief of Staff under Prime Minister Sharif. The conflict sparked tensions
between civic and military branches of government and, ultimately triggered
Sharif's decision to dismiss Musharraf.
Sharif has claimed that Musharraf was solely responsible for the Kargil
attacks. On the other hand, Musharraf claims that the decision was made by
Sharif, who was under United States pressure. Ex-CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni,
and Sharif, have stated that Musharraf requested that the Prime Minister
withdraw Pakistani troops from Kashmir.
Musharraf's role in planning the Kargil attacks was criticized by one British
journalist for showing "a shocking lack of strategy."
Casualties on both sides had been particularly heavy in Kargil. Musharraf
had good relations with Jehangir Karamat from whom he took over the command.
Soon after the coup, one of the first to be appointed as minister was journalist
Maleeha Lodhi who was close to Jehangir Karamat. Also recruited was Shaukat Aziz
(who served as the country's Prime Minister later) who volunteered to improve
the economy. Western banks rescheduled Pakistani loans, which had been subjected
to economic sanctions since Pakistan conducted atomic testing.
Pervez Musharraf resigned from the Army on 28 November 2007 in an attempt to
regularise his position as President.
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
* Pervez Musharraf
* Prime Minister
* Muhammad Mian Soomro
* Chairman of the Senate
* National Assembly
* Deputy Speaker
Supreme Judicial Council
Federal Shariat Court
Provincial High Courts
Islamabad High Court
* Political Parties
Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
Pakistan Peoples Party
* Provincial Governors
* Capital Territory
* Tribal Areas
* Azad Kashmir
* Northern Areas
* Local Government
Other countries · Atlas
Military coup d'état
Musharraf became de facto Head of Government (using the title Chief Executive
and assuming extensive powers) of Pakistan following a bloodless coup d'état on
October 12, 1999. That day, Sharif attempted to dismiss Musharraf and install
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director Khwaja Ziauddin in his place.
Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return
to Pakistan. Senior army generals refused to accept Musharraf's dismissal, which
was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Sharif ordered the Karachi airport closed to prevent the landing of the
airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In the coup, the Generals
ousted Sharif's administration and took over the airport. The plane landed,
allegedly with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed
control of the government. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled,
where he resided until he returned again to Pakistan on November 25, 2007.
He and other leaders have subsequently been prevented from entering Pakistan.
Reportedly, the disagreement between Musharraf and Sharif centred around the
Prime Minister's desire to find a diplomatic resolution to the conflict with
India in the Kashmir region.
The existing President of Pakistan, Rafiq Tarar, remained in office until June
2001. Musharraf formally appointed himself President on June 20, 2001, just days
before his scheduled visit to Agra for talks with India.
Shortly after Musharraf's takeover, several people filed court petitions
challenging his assumption of power. However, he got The Oath of Judges Order
2000 issued. It required the judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing
allegiance to military rule and to state they would make no decisions against
the military. Many judges refused and resigned in protest. On May 12, 2000, the
Supreme Court ordered Musharraf to hold national elections by October 12, 2002;
elections for local governments took place in 2001.
In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the
approaching restoration of democracy, he held a referendum on April 30, 2002 to
extend his term to five years after the October elections. However, the
referendum was boycotted by the majority of Pakistani political groupings, which
later complained that the vote was heavily rigged, and voter turnout was 30
percent or below by most estimates. A few weeks later, Musharraf went on TV and
apologized to the nation for "irregularities" in the referendum.
General elections were held in October 2002 and a plurality of the seats in the
Parliament was won by the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q), a pro-Musharraf
party. It formed a majority coalition with independents and allies such as the
MQM. However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralysed the National
Assembly for over a year. The following month, Musharraf handed over certain
powers to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir
Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister, who in turn appointed his own cabinet.
In December 2003, Musharraf made a deal with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a
six-member coalition of Islamic parties, agreeing to leave the army by December
31, 2004. With that party's support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to
muster the two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment,
which retroactively legalized Musharraf's 1999 coup and many of his decrees. In
late 2004, Musharraf went back on his agreement with the MMA and pro-Musharraf
legislators in the Parliament passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both
Denunciation of extremism
On January 12, 2002, Musharraf gave a landmark speech against Islamic extremism.
He unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to combat Islamic
extremism and lawlessness within Pakistan itself.
He has also used it to ban funding of madrasas and mosques from outside the
country. At the same time as banning foreign funding of Islamic
educational institutions, he made it compulsory for them to teach a whole host
of additional subjects such as computing. This meant that many had to close due
to the halt of funds from Pakistanis working abroad resulting in not being able
to teach the additional subjects that he had made compulsory. Musharraf also
instituted prohibitions on foreign students' access to studying Islam within
Pakistan, an effort which began as an outright ban but was later reduced to
restrictions on obtaining visas.
On September 17, 2005, Musharraf made a historic speech before a broad based
audience of Jewish leadership, sponsored by the American Jewish Congress's
Council for World Jewry, in New York City. In the speech, he
denounced terrorism and opened the door to relationships between Pakistan and
Israel, as well as between the Muslim world and Jews worldwide. He was widely
criticized by Middle Eastern Arab leaders and Muslim clerics, but was met with
some praise among Jewish leadership.
On September 13, 2007, 300 Pakistani troops were captured by Islamic militants.
Terrorists then bombed Musharraf's own SSG unit, killing 16, and launched rocket
attacks in the North-West Frontier province and Tribal areas.
On December 14, 2003, Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a
powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly-guarded convoy crossed a bridge
in Rawalpindi. Musharraf was apparently saved by a jamming device in his
limousine that prevented the remote controlled explosives from blowing up the
bridge as his convoy passed over it. It was the third such
attempt during his four-year rule. On December 25, 2003, two suicide bombers
tried to assassinate Musharraf, but their car bombs failed to kill him; 16
others nearby died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windscreen
on his car. Militant Amjad Farooqi was apparently suspected of being the
mastermind behind these attempts, and was killed by Pakistani forces in 2004
after an extensive manhunt.
On July 6, 2007, there was another attempted assassination, when an unknown
group fired a 7.62 submachine gun at Musharraf's plane as it took off from a
runway in Rawalpindi. Security also recovered 2 anti-aircraft guns, from which
no shots had been fired. On July 17, 2007, Pakistani police detained 39
people in relation to the attempted assassination of Musharraf. They were
detained at an undisclosed location by a joint team of Punjab Police, the
Federal Investigation Agency and other Pakistani intelligence agencies.
2004 confidence vote and resignation of Jamali
On January 1, 2004 Musharraf won a confidence vote in the Electoral College of
Pakistan, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial
assemblies. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56 percent majority, but
many opposition and Islamic members of parliament walked out to protest the
vote. As a result of this vote, according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution
of Pakistan, Musharraf was "deemed to be elected" to the office of President.
His term now extends to 2007.
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigned on June 26, 2004, after losing
the support of the PML(Q). His resignation was at least partly due to his public
differences with the party chairman Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and was rumoured
to have happened at Musharraf's command, although neither man has confirmed
this. Jamali had been appointed with the support of Musharraf's and the
pro-Musharraf PML(Q). Most PML(Q) parliamentarians formerly belonged to the
Pakistan Muslim League party led by Sharif, and most ministers of the cabinet
were formerly senior members of other parties, joining the PML(Q) after the
elections upon being offered powerful offices. It is believed that Musharraf
replaced Jamali due to his poor performance and in his place Musharraf nominated
Shaukat Aziz, the minister for finance and a former employee of Citibank and
head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister.
After nuclear tests were carried out in 1998, during the Sharif government, the
United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization imposed economic
sanctions on Pakistan. When Musharraf came to power in the coup d'etat the
following year Pakistan was expelled from the Commonwealth. This initially
compounded the economic problems, and many experts claimed Pakistan was a failed
state, as it was close to bankruptcy and investor confidence was at an all-time
low. After Musharraf promised support in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,
international sanctions were lifted.
Musharraf then appointed Shaukat Aziz, a former Citibank executive, as finance
minister. World powers weighed in for debt rescheduling to
reward Pakistan due to the "war on terrorism", which helped in saving hundreds
millions of dollars, in addition to securing new loans. As a result, foreign
exchange reserves increased exceeding $16 billion in 2006, but at the same time
foreign debt hit an all time high topping $40 billion. Critics claim that
national institutions have been privatized at throwaway prices through bogus
bids, but the government claims that the economy has grown in
several sectors and that per capita income of Pakistan has more than doubled in
the last seven years.
Upon assuming power, Musharraf made promises to alleviate poverty, according to
the President of Pakistan's website.
“ The overall macro-economic indicators from 1999 – 2004 have seen vast
improvement with fiscal deficit, expenditures, and foreign debts having been
reduced; and earnings, foreign exchange reserves, exports and revenue collection
having increased. ”
Critics point to the fact that Pakistan has recently witnessed the worst of its
wheat crises, and high inflation,. Despite producing what
reports call "a bumper crop of 23.5 million tons" of wheat, the country suffered
the worst shortages of wheat in the summer of 2007, with the prices of flour
rising by more than 20 percent.
When Musharraf came to power, he claimed that the corruption in the government
bureaucracy would be cleaned up. However, as many analysts have noted, his
regime has done little to quash corruption, even years into his
According to a survey by Transparency International, Pakistani public opinion
perceived the first and second terms of Musharraf's administration as
respectively more corrupt than the first and second terms of previous
administrations led by Bhutto and Sharif, respectively. However, that
survey also indicates that public opinion perceived the second terms of all
three leaders as being more corrupt than their first terms, respectively.
And, furthermore, any one of those leader's second terms was perceived as being
more corrupt than any of those leaders first terms. In fact, Bhutto's second
term was perceived as being the second most corrupt according to those sampled
by the survey. Musharraf's second term was perceived as being the most corrupt
term of office among the those of the three leaders.
According to a combined poll by Dawn News, Indian Express and CNN-IBN, a
majority believe that corruption during this administration has
increased. An Asian Development Bank report on the state of the country
during the 60th year of Independence describes it as a country with "poor
governance, endemic corruption and social indicators that are among the worst in
There have also been allegations that corrupt servicemen aren't being prosecuted
because of the junta's clout. Pakistani media too have alleged that
individual corruption of the previous government was replaced by
institutionalised corruption of the Pakistan Army, awarding land deeds and a
life of luxury to its officers.
Later in 2007, his government cost national exchequer hundreds of millions of
rupees to hire teams of expensive lawyers to represent his government in courts.
In one such case regarding the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills
Corporation, whose worth was stated to be Rupees 600 billion, and which was sold
out for mere Rupees 20.6 billions, the government had spent Rupees 90
million (£900.000), with Sharifuddin Pirzada alone getting away with 6.6 million
Suspension and reinstatement of the Chief Justice
On March 9, 2007, Musharraf suspended the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. In an interview about the matter given to Geo TV,
Musharraf stated that Chaudhry himself wished to meet with him and Musharraf
then presented him with evidence related to charges made against Chaudhry for
abuse of office. Other sources maintain that Chaudhry was summoned by the
General at his Army residence in Rawalpindi and asked to explain his position on
a list of charges brought against him from several quarters. Chaudhry was
demanded to resign, but he refused and was detained. While this was not
confirmed by the Affidavit presented by him in Supreme Court, While affidavits
by other people in same case has said that it was not true and he (Chief
Justice) has asked to meet the President and was not asked to resign. Meanwhile,
another senior judge, Justice Javaid Iqbal, was appointed as the acting Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court.
Musharraf's moves sparked protests among Pakistani lawyers. On March 12, 2007,
lawyers across Pakistan 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. More than 20 lawyers were injured
in clashes with police during the demonstrations in Lahore. On
March 16, demonstrations became more widespread, and included protesters outside
the legal community. 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. Rallies held by the MQM and other
political parties left more than 40 people dead in firefights in the streets of
Karachi, and the offices of AAJ TV were caught in the crossfire and sustained
damage. Opposition parties have accused the government and Rangers of not doing
enough to stop the violence.
On July 20, the Supreme Court reinstated Chaudhry. It also dismissed misconduct
charges that Musharraf filed against him.
Lal Masjid siege
Main article: Lal Masjid siege
The standoff between the Pakistani government and the clerics of the Lal Masjid
in Islamabad finally broke down on the morning of July 8, 2007, when the
official government delegation led by Shujaat Hussain declared that the
negotiations with the militants holed up in the mosque have reached an
agreement. However the clerics refused to release the hostages as promised by
them in the agreement. Musharraf therefore gave the militants half an hour to
abide by the agreement or face the operation.
In addition to militants, there were several hundred students held hostages,
many of who were minor girls, whom were being used as human shields.
After the negotiations failed the troops were given the go ahead to storm the
complex, which they did. Codenamed "Operation Silence", the objective was to
capture or kill the militants if they resisted - as well as rescuing all the
students kept as hostages. Musharraf had been criticised for some for his
inaction against the Lal Masjid.
August state of emergency rumours
On August 8, 2007 a rumour spread across Pakistan that a State of emergency was
going to be enforced across the country. The rumour was picked up by the
electronic media. Government Ministers confirmed that the option of enforcing
emergency was being considered due to “internal and external threats” that the
country was facing. Prompted by the news reports, U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice made a 17-minute telephone call to Musharraf. A senior western
diplomat noted that it is likely that Rice persuaded Musharraf to not impose
such an emergency. On August 9, 2007, Musharraf confirmed that he would not
be imposing emergency in Pakistan. This was followed by a clarification from
U.S. President George W. Bush that the imposition of emergency in Pakistan was
not a reality. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, President of Pakistan Muslim League
(PML) admitted that he had suggested the imposition of “partial emergency” in
the country. He also said that the government is still considering the
imposition of emergency. However, the Karachi Stock Exchange fell after the
rumour spread that the government is imposing emergency in Pakistan. The Karachi
Stock Exchange 100 Index fell 382.61, or 2.8 percent, to close at 13,181.94, the
largest fluctuation among markets included in global benchmarks.
Relations with Benazir Bhutto
Also on August 8, Benazir Bhutto spoke about her secret meeting with Musharraf
on July 27, in an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
On September 14, 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: "Nawaz Sharif's case was
different. He went back to Saudi Arabia because of an undertaking he had with
the Saudi government; She (Bhutto) was always allowed to come back." Pakistan
People's Party Farhatullah Babar said that Benazir Bhutto will forthwith declare
the exact date of her return: "We are announcing the date of the return for
Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan at 5:00 p.m. (1200 GMT)" (Makhdoom Amin Fahim will
publish it at a news conference in Islamabad." Musharraf faced a rising militant
violence, with a suicide bombing killing 15 elite commandos on September 13.
Bhutto declared her return from eight years exile on October 18. Makhdoom Amin
Faheem, vice chair of Pakistan Peoples Party said that "Benazir Bhutto will be
landing in Karachi on October 18."
On September 17, 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf 's allies of pushing Pakistan to
crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed
stated that officials had agreed to grant Benazir Bhutto amnesty in pending
Musharraf called for a three day mourning period after Bhutto's assassination on
December 27, 2007
Resignation from the Army
The Associated Press reported on August 29, 2007 that Musharraf had agreed to
step down as army chief. However, Musharraf confirmed within 24
hours of the report that he was to do no such thing and that he does not accept
On October 2, 2007, Musharraf named Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani as vice chief of the
army starting October 8. When Musharraf resigned from military on 28 November
2007, Kayani became Chief of Army Staff.
Return of Nawaz Sharif
Sharif returned to Pakistan in September 2007, and was immediately arrested and
taken into custody at the airport. Sharif initially refused to hand over his
passport to immigration officials on the plane. Finally, the plane carrying
Sharif left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia. "He has been sent back," a senior
security official told AFP, as local television showed a Pakistan International
Airlines airplane carried deported Sharif from Islamabad airport.
Sharif returned to Jeddah, where he was met by Saudi intelligence chief Prince
Miqren bin Abdul Aziz. Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz-ul Haq stated
that "He has not only embarrassed Pakistan but also the leadership of Saudi
Arabia by violating the agreement." The European Union asked the Pakistani
government to respect the court ruling, while the U.S. government said that the
deportation was an "internal matter" but said that elections should be "free and
fair". Human Rights Watch accused Musharraf of violating international law, and
Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party condemned the deportation by filing
a contempt suit in the Supreme Court.
Main article: Pakistani presidential election, 2007
In an interview in March 2007, Musharraf said that he intends to stay in the
office for another five years.
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. Attorney-general
Malik Mohammed Qayyum stated that, pendente lite, the Election Commission was
"reluctant" to announce the schedule for the presidential vote. Bhutto's party
Farhatullah Babar stated that the Constitution could bar Musharraf from being
elected again because he holds the army chief's post. "As Gen. Musharraf is
disqualified from contesting for President, he has prevailed upon the Election
Commission to arbitrarily and illegally tamper with the Constitution of
On September 24, 2007, the president of the Supreme Court bar association, Munir
Malik, announced that former Supreme Court judge Wajihuddin Ahmed would
challenge Musharraf in Pakistan's October presidential election. Ahmad had
little chance of defeating Musharraf (since the president is elected by
parliament and provincial assemblies). Also, 24 persons were detained due to
protest outside the court in Islamabad. On September 28, 2007, in a 6-3
vote, the court presided by Judge Rana Bhagwandas ruled: "These petitions are
held to be non-maintainable." The judgment removed obstacles to Musharraf's
On October 2, 2007, 85 Pakistani opposition lawmakers resigned from the
country's parliament to derail Musharraf's reelection bid. National Assembly
Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain stated that the resignations would not affect the
presidential election. Under Pakistani law, the national parliament and
provincial assemblies choose the president. The current parliament is expected
to elect a president before October 15, with the new five-year term starting on
On October 6, 2007, Musharraf won a vote to be re-elected Pakistan's president.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that no winner would be proclaimed until it
decides on the legality issue.
Emergency declared in Pakistan
On November 3, 2007 Musharraf declared emergency rule across Pakistan. He
suspended the Constitution, imposed State of Emergency, and fired the chief
justice of the Supreme Court. While addressing the nation on State
Television, Musharraf declared that the state of emergency was imposed in the
country to safeguard the national interests and counter growing terrorism and
the downward trend of economy. In Islamabad, troops entered the Supreme Court
building, arrested the judges and kept them under detention in their homes.
Troops have been deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while
independent channels have gone off air. Land and mobile telephone lines are down
in Islamabad. The court was to decide whether Musharraf was eligible to run for
election last month while remaining army chief.
Support for the War on Terrorism
President Musharraf with President Bush
President Musharraf with President Bush
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Musharraf sided with the United States
against the Taliban government in Afghanistan after an ultimatum by U.S.
President George W. Bush. Musharraf agreed to give the United States the use of
three airbases for Operation Enduring Freedom. Secretary of State Colin Powell
and other administration officials met with Musharraf. On September 19, 2001,
Musharraf addressed the people of Pakistan and stated that, while he opposed
military tactics against the Taliban, Pakistan risked being endangered by an
alliance of India and the U.S. if it did not cooperate. In 2006, Musharraf
testified that this stance was pressured by threats from the U.S., and revealed
in his memoirs that he had "war-gamed" the United States as an adversary and
decided that it would end in Pakistan losing such a conflict, especially since
archrival India would also join in such an attack.
Relations with India
Musharraf was Chief of Army Staff at the time of Mujahideen incursions into
India from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the summer of 1999. Although
Pakistan claimed that these were Kashmiri freedom fighters based in
Indian-controlled Kashmir, later developments showed that they were Pakistani
paramilitary soldiers backing up the separatists on the mountain top. After
fierce fighting, Pakistani soldiers were pulled back due to pressure from the
international community. Some reports suggest that Musharraf retreated after
huge pressure on Sharif from the then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, who feared
the conflict could turn into a nuclear catastrophe.
However, in Battle Ready, a book co-authored by ex-CENTCOM Commander in Chief
Anthony Zinni and novelist Tom Clancy, the former alleges that Musharraf was the
one who pushed Sharif to withdraw the Pakistani troops after being caught in a
losing scenario. According to an ex-official of the Musharraf government,
Hassan Abbas, Musharraf planned the whole operation and sold the idea to
Sharif. The view that Musharraf wanted to attempt the Kargil infiltrations
much earlier was also revealed by Bhutto in an interview with a leading daily
newspaper, where he had supposedly boasted that "he would hoist the flag of
Pakistan atop the Srinagar Assembly" if his plan was executed. Pakistan
Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N)), a leading Pakistan party added that Musharraf
had planned the Kargil intrusions but panicked when the conflict broke out with
India and decided to alert Sharif. Since the Kargil incident occurred just
after the Lahore Peace Summit earlier that year, Musharraf is often regarded
with scepticism in India.
In the middle of 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to solve the
Kashmir dispute. Both leaders also discussed the following issues: Wullar
Barrage and Kishangaga power project, Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River being
built by India in Jammu and Kashmir, disputed Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of
the Rann of Kutch, Siachin glacier, issues of Gurdaspur and Ferozepur's status,
Hindu-Muslim relations, autonomy for the Sikhs in Indian Punjab, minority
rights, Indian contentions that Pakistan is sponsoring "cross-border" terrorism.
In 2007, Musharraf stated, after a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, that the current push to normalize relations between the two states is
Government financing of Al Qaeda
On July 22, 2004, The Guardian reported that Omar Sheikh, a British-born
Islamist, had, on the instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmad, the then head of
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired $100,000 before the 9/11
attacks to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker. When Ahmed was exposed by the Wall
Street Journal as having sent the money to the hijackers, Musharraf forced him
to retire. The 9/11 commission did not investigate this funding out of lack
In September 2007, in the aftermath of the Lal Masjid incident, al Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden urged his followers to fight a holy war against Musharraf and
the Pakistani army.
Richard Armitage comments
During a September 24, 2006 interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, Musharraf
said that then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had called
Musharraf's intelligence director shortly following the 9/11 attacks and
threatened military action if Pakistan did not support the U.S.-led "war on
terror". According to Musharraf, Armitage warned: "Be prepared to be bombed. Be
prepared to go back to the Stone Age." Furthermore, during an interview with
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on September 26, 2006, Musharraf stated that
then-Secretary of State Colin Powell also contacted him with a similar message:
"You are with us or against us." Musharraf refused to elaborate further, citing
the then-upcoming release of his book, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (ISBN
0-7432-8344-9). Armitage has, however, categorically denied that the U.S. used
such harsh words to threaten Pakistan, whereas President Bush has refrained from
publicly acknowledging the possibility of the exact wordings being used.
One of the most widely-reported controversies during Musharraf's administration
arose as a consequence of the disclosure of nuclear proliferation by Dr. Abdul
Qadeer Khan, the metallurgist known as the father of Pakistan's bomb. Musharraf
has denied knowledge of or participation by Pakistan's government or army in
this proliferation and has faced bitter domestic criticism for singularly
vilifying Khan, a former national hero. Khan has been pardoned in exchange for
cooperation in the investigation, but is still under house arrest.
On January 21, 2008, Musharraf started his 8-day visit to Europe, to meet EU
leaders regarding democracy and terror. As charm offensive, he will arrive in
Brussels, then proceed to UK, France and the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland. He will meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Nato secretary
general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and will address the foreign affairs committee of
the European Parliament. Musharraf is further set to meet Nicolas Sarkozy,
Gordon Brown, Condoleezza Rice, Hamid Karzai, and Nuri al-Maliki, in Davos.
By August 2007 Musharraf had become increasingly unpopular in Pakistan with his
ambitions for another term as president. An International Republican Institute
survey showed that 64 percent of the population did not want another term to be
granted to Musharraf as the president of Pakistan. The Economist reported
that the country was in a mess even by the nation's own standards.
Journalist Ayaz Amir stated that Musharraf was “the author of his own
misfortune”. The article stated that unlike "other dictators", Musharraf has an
easy exit that should be heeded to.
Musharraf admitted that his popularity was on a decline. Dawn, a leading
newspaper, conducted a survey showed that about 54.5 percent of urban Pakistanis
believe that military should have no role in politics while 65.2 percent want
Musharraf to step down. The Economist also stated that the General was
destabilizing Pakistan by imposing ?emergency. The paper also suggested that it
was time that the general exit government ?and allow the democratic process to
be completed. ???
However, more recent surveys shows that Musharraf's popularity has further
decreased. A survey conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow shows that Osama Bin Laden
is more popular in Pakistan than Musharraf. According to poll results, Bin Laden
has a 46 percent approval rating.
In an effort to boost his falling popularity ratings in an election year,
Musharraf will be a regular guest star on a state-sponsored Q&A show titled From
the President's House. The show will be aired weekly on PTV and partly or
wholly on some private channels.
State of Emergency 2007
On November 3, 2007, Musharraf declared a State of emergency in Pakistan to
postpone the ongoing case of his re-election, of which impact is most likely to
decline his already low popularity even further. By suspending the constitution
and sacking many judges including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and
welcomed the returns of fomer Pakistani Prime Minsters Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz
Sharif on December 15, 2007 Musharraf ended the state of emergency restoring the
country's constitution, the move has been welcomed by Pakistan's western allies
United States and the UK which have providing Pakistan with money to put into
its industry and economy. The move came just in time for the January 8 elections
featuring Ms Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party and Mr Sharif's PML(N) and Mr
Musharraf's party. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the move was a
significant step towards the return of full constitutional order and said that
January's elections must be free, fair and transparent. However, following the
December 27 assassination of Bhutto, this temporary stability has been severely
Musharraf characterizes himself as a moderate leader with liberal, progressive
ideas, and has expressed admiration for Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish
His government maintains that Pakistan is prospering due to his economic and
social reforms. Statements issued by the government suggest significant
improvement in the economy. Some, however, are cautious about any optimism,
since the steep rise in GDP is attributed to rebasing done in 2004. External
debt, on the other hand, has for the first time hit $40 billion mark.
His government claims to champion freedom of the press.
However, following the media coverage of the riots in Karachi on May 12, 2007,
Musharraf attempted to curb that freedom by decree. The measure backfired with a
severe backlash, and was eventually withdrawn. In order to counter rapidly
growing anger among the masses against his policies, state owned television PTV
has decided to air weekly shows involving him to bolster his approval ratings.
The recent closing of independent news and radio channels after imposing a state
of emergency on the country by the President, expresses another example on the
lack of freedom of the press.
On September 29, 2007, state troops baton charged journalists who had gathered
on Constitutional Avenue to report a story. 34 journalists were severely
Musharraf has expressed admiration for the right-wing General Rahimuddin Khan,
the authoritarian martial law administrator of Balochistan throughout the 1980s.
He was severely criticized by human rights organizations following his comments
in response to the rape of Mukhtar Mai. On September 23, 2005, during a
tape-recorded interview, Musharraf had suggested that rape was becoming a
"moneymaking concern" in Pakistan.