Pervez Musharraf, a retired General, held the mantle of Pakistan’s fourth military ruler, securing a grip on power for a period of nine years. This came as a result of a non-violent coup in 1999, in which he overthrew an elected government.
Despite no longer being in power, Musharraf faced serious legal troubles later in his life. In 2014, he was charged with high treason by a court, and eventually, in 2019, he was sentenced to death in absentia. However, the high court overturned this verdict in 2020, offering a reprieve to the former military ruler.
1943 – Born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi, British India to Urdu speaking parents who later migrated to Pakistan.
1961 – Enrolls at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, starting his military career.
1998 – Advances to the rank of General and is appointed as the Chief of Army Staff by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
1999 – Overthrows Sharif’s government in a bloodless coup, declaring a state of emergency and suspending the constitution. During his time as the de facto ruler of Pakistan, Musharraf announces a number of reforms aimed at modernizing the country and improving the economy.
2001 – Declares himself President of Pakistan, taking over the country’s political leadership.
2002 – Reinstates the constitution while adding a provision that gives him legal cover to remain in power for an additional five years. A controversial parliamentary election is held in the same year, leading to accusations of rigged results and human rights violations.
2003 – Survives two separate assassination attempts by terrorists, both aimed at ending his rule.
2007 – Dismisses the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, sparking a nationwide protest movement. Musharraf’s rivals, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, return from exile to contest the scheduled election, leading to Musharraf imposing a state of emergency and suspending the constitution once again.
2008 – Loses parliamentary support and resigns as President to avoid impeachment. Leaves for the United Kingdom.
2010 – Launches his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, with the aim of contesting future elections.
2013 – Returns to Pakistan to contest the general election, however, his political ambitions are marred by legal and health issues.
2014 – Charged with high treason for his role in the 1999 coup and for violating the constitution.
2016 – Allowed to travel to Dubai for medical treatment and remains in self-exile.
2019 – Found guilty of high treason by a special court and sentenced to death in absentia.
2020 – The death sentence is overturned by a high court.
2022 – Reports circulate of his death, which are later denied by his political party. Confirmed to be receiving treatment for amyloidosis.
February 5, 2023 – Passes away at the age of 79 in Dubai.
Throughout his life and career, Pervez Musharraf is remembered as a controversial figure in Pakistani politics, known for his role in the 1999 coup and his tenure as military ruler and President.