Pervez Musharraf

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Pervez Musharraf
پرويز مشرف
Pervez Musharraf

Assumed office 
October 11, 1999
Preceded by Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Succeeded by Incumbent

Born August 10, 1943
Delhi, British India
Political party None
Spouse Begum Sehba Musharraf

(PA – 6920) Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرويز مشرف); born August 11, 1943) is the President of Pakistan, the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army and the fourth serving General to lead Pakistan. He took power on October 12, 1999 after a reactionary coup d'état ousting Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister, assuming the title of Chief Executive. He was declared the President of Pakistan on June 20, 2001 after winning the electoral college majority.


[edit] Family background

Pervez Musharraf, the second of three brothers, was born in Nahr wali Haveli Daryaganj in Delhi, British India on August 11, 1943. He belongs to a family of Meo Rajput . After the Partition of India, his parents immigrated to Pakistan and chose to settle in Karachi. He comes from a middle class family, his father having worked for the foreign ministry as a clerk in the Pakistan embassy in Turkey. He spent his early years in Turkey, from 1949 to 1956. Musharraf is married to Begum Sehba, who is from Okara; they have one son, Bilal Musharraf, and a daughter, Ayla, and have four grandchildren, two from each child. Bilal is settled in the United States.

[edit] Early life

Musharraf attended Saint Patrick's High School, Karachi, graduating in 1958 before going on to attend Forman Christian College in Lahore. For seven years his family lived in Turkey as his father got a job in Ankara. He reveals in his memoirs that he was in a critical condition after falling from a mango tree as a teenager, and he treats this as his first direct experience with death.[1]

[edit] Military career

In 1961, he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, graduated 11th in his class and was later commissioned into the Artillery Regiment(36 Light Ack Ack Regiment - Now 36 Light Air Defence Regiment). Later he joined Special Services Group and then was posted to Field Artillery Regiments. A graduate of the 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. In 1965, Musharraf reveals in his memoirs that he was charged with taking unauthorized leave and was about to be court-martialed for it, but was let off due to the war with India.[1]

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 area. His regiment was later moved to the Lahore front where it saw heavy fighting. Later on it was sent to take part in the major battles around Chawinda. As a result he saw action in three of the four main battles of the 1965 war missing only the Battle of Chamb.

Later, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he served as a Company Commander in the 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"[1] when he heard the "disgusting" news of Pakistan's unconditional surrender to India.[2] Later he commanded Regiments of Artillery, there after an Artillery Brigade and then went on to command an Infantry Division. In September 1987, heading a newly formed SSG at Khapalu base (Kashmir), he launched an unsuccessful assault to capture the Indian held posts of Bilafond La in Siachen Glacier.[3]

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 the I 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 General and took over as the Chief of Army Staff. In 1999, he led the Pakistan Army during the Kargil Conflict.=

Role in Kargil Conflict
Main article: Kargil War

From April to June 1999, Pakistan and India were involved in the Kargil Conflict which was planned and executed while General Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan's Army chief. Ex-CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni, and ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, state that it was the General who requested Sharif to withdraw the Pakistani troops, whereas Musharraf claims that the decision was made by Sharif, who was under United States pressure.[4][5] Sharif placed the onus of the Kargil attacks squarely on the army chief Pervez Musharraf.

This conflict resulted in eventual mistrust between civil and military leaderships and this division ultimately led to Sharif's decision to dismiss Musharraf.

[edit] 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 12 October 1999. That day, the constitutional Prime Minister Nawaz 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 with allegedly only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed control of the government. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled. He and other leaders have subsequently been prevented from entering Pakistan. Reportedly, the disagreement between Musharraf and Sharif centered around the Prime Minister's desire to find a diplomatic resolution to the conflict.[6]

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.

[edit] Presidential elections

Shortly after Musharraf's takeover, several people filed court petitions challenging his assumption of power. On May 12, 2000, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Musharraf to hold general elections by October 12, 2002. 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 presidential 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 elections were heavily rigged, and voter turnout was 30% 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 PML-Q, a pro-Musharraf party. However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralysed the National Assembly for over a year.

The deadlock ended in December 2003, when Musharraf made a deal with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal party, a six-member coalition of Islamic parties, agreeing to leave the army by December 31, 2004. He subsequently refused to keep his promise. 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 an interview in March 2007, Musharraf said that he intends to stay in the ofice for another five years. The leader of the pro-Musharraf party has also said that Musharraf would be re-elected from the current assemblies and not after the 2007 elections. [7] [8]

[edit] Electoral College vote

In a vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, Musharraf won 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, was "deemed to be elected" to the office of President until October 2007.

[edit] Role after 9/11

[edit] Support for the War on Terror

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, Musharraf sided with the United States against the Taliban government in Afghanistan after an ultimatum by the United States. 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. Musharraf's reversal of policy and help to the U.S. military was necessary in the U.S. bombing that rapidly overcame the Taliban regime. On September 19, 2001, Musharraf addressed the people of Pakistan and stated while he supported the Taliban, unless Pakistan reversed its support, Pakistan risked being endangered by an alliance of India and the USA.[9]. In 2006, Musharraf testified that this stance was pressured by threats from the U.S.[10]

[edit] Relations with India

Musharraf was Chief of Army Staff at the time of Pakistani incursions into the Indian-held Kashmir, in the summer of 1999. After suffering many reverses, the Pakistani Army was ordered to retreat. Some reports suggest that Musharraf retreated after huge pressure from the former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from the American President Bill Clinton, who feared the conflict could turn into a nuclear catastrophe.

Musharraf with Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India at the Agra Summit during 2001
Musharraf with Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India at the Agra Summit during 2001

However, in Battle Ready, a recent 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.[11] According to an ex-official of the Musharraf government, Hassan Abbas, it was Musharraf who planned the whole operative and sold the idea to Nawaz Sharif.[12] The view that Musharraf wanted to attempt the Kargil infiltrations much earlier was also revealed by Former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto in an interview to 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[13] 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 brief then Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif.[14] As the Kargil incident came just after the Lahore Peace Summit earlier that year, Musharraf was viewed with mistrust in India.

On December 13, 2001, a group of militants attacked India's Parliament with bombs and guns. India, who blamed Pakistan for the attack, mobilized for a potential war. Musharraf denied any Pakistani involvement with the attacks. Intense pressure from Washington followed. The Washington Post (Jim Hoagland, January 17) said that "the United States extracted promises from Gen. Musharraf that Pakistan's intelligence service and army will cease giving food, weapons and other logistical help to infiltrators who carry out raids into India and Indian-controlled Kashmir. The army will no longer provide mortar fire to cover the militants, who have been cut adrift by Musharraf".

In the middle of 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to solve the Kashmir dispute. Both India and Pakistan have the tactical capability to launch nuclear strikes on every city within each others' borders. The two countries are continuing to aggressively increase their nuclear capabilities by actively producing even more nuclear weapons and perfecting their missile technologies by routinely conducting tests of ever more sophisticated missiles.

As well as discussing the Kashmir dispute, both leaders 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.

[edit] Denouncing extremism

On January 12, 2002, Musharraf gave a landmark speech against Islamic extremism. He unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism, including those carried out in the name of freeing Kashmir's Muslim majority from Indian rule. He also 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.[citation needed] 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.

[edit] Assassination attempts

On December 14, 2003, General 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. Eleven days later, on December 25, 2003, two suicide bombers tried to assassinate Musharraf, but their car bombs failed to kill the president; 16 others nearby died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windscreen on his car. Militant Amjad Farooqi was apparently suspected as being the mastermind behind these attempts, and was killed by Pakistani forces in 2004 after an extensive manhunt.

[edit] Suspension of Chief Justice

On March 9, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf suspended the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Mr. 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.[15] Chaudhry was demanded to resign, but he refused and was detained. 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 12 March 2007, lawyers across Pakistan began boycotting all court procedures in protest against the suspension. In the capital Islamabad, and in other cities such as Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, hundreds of lawyers dressed in black suits attended rallies, condemning the suspension as unconstitutional. More than twenty lawyers were injured in clashes with police during the demonstrations in Lahore. On 16 March, demonstrations became more widespread, and included protesters outside the legal community.

[edit] Richard Armitage comments controversy

Cover of the UK edition of In the Line of Fire: A Memoir
Cover of the UK edition of In the Line of Fire: A Memoir

During a September 24, 2006 interview with CBS News's 60 Minutes program (interviewed by Steve Kroft), Musharraf described how then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had called Musharraf's intelligence director shortly following the September 11, 2001 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."[10] 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 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. However, according to the press statement he said that "I was taken aback".[citation needed]

[edit] Dual-office controversy

A pro-Musharraf party, the PML-Q, won a plurality in the elections of October 2002, and formed a majority coalition with independents and allies such as the MQM. Nevertheless, the opposition parties effectively deadlocked the National Assembly, refusing to accept the legitimacy of Musharraf's authority. In December 2003, as part of a compromise with the main Islamist opposition group, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of Islamic parties, General Musharraf said he would step down as Army Chief by January 1, 2005. In return, the MMA agreed to support a constitutional amendment that would retroactively legalize Musharraf's coup, and restore some formal checks and balances to Pakistan's system of government. 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 offices.

[edit] Corruption

One of the expectations when Musharraf came to power was that the rampant corruption existing in government machinery would be cleaned up. Musharraf himself stated that a crackdown on corruption would be initiated but years into his administration, many neutral analysts have noted that the military regime is letting the corrupt go free.[16] In fact, according to a survey by Transparency International, Musharraf's regime is now perceived by many Pakistanis to be more corrupt than the previous democratic governments led by Ms. Bhutto and Sharif.[17][18] Critics of his administration point to the fact that Pakistan, which was placed at 79 in the ranking 5 years back[19] is now ranked at 142[20] putting them at one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Columnists like Irfan Hussain state that the present regime is more corrupt than the one it replaced, which was accused of corruption, and that "crooks are flourishing more than ever before".[21] There have also been allegations that corrupt servicemen aren't being prosecuted because of the Military Junta's clout.[22] 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.[23] During his trip to the US to promote his book, he was accused by many back in Pakistan to have cost the government exchequer up to $1 million, for which he was criticised by opposition parties.[24]

[edit] Elections during Musharraf's administration

On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court ordered Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002; elections for local governments took place in 2001. Elections for the national and provincial legislatures were held in October 2002, with no party winning a majority. In November 2002, Musharraf handed over certain powers to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister of Pakistan, who in turn appointed his own cabinet.

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 which are dominated by the landed elite of the country, most of whom have been given governmental posts under Musharraf. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56% 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 Jamali was resigned on 26 June 2004, after losing the support of party, the PML-Q. His resignation was at least partly due to his public differences with the party chairman Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and was rumored to have happened at the command of General Pervez Musharraf, 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 Nawaz 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, a former Vice President of Citibank[25] and head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister. The talk of Jamali leaving were around days before Jamali went but it was denied as rumour by politicians and even Jamali himself. Musharraf choose Shaukat Aziz due to his successful measures in revitalizing Pakistan's economy as the Finance Minister. The new government is mostly supportive of Musharraf, who remains the President and Head of State in the new government. Musharraf continues to be the active executive of Pakistan, especially in foreign affairs. Although whether he stays the president after he gives up the post of Chief of Army staff is still to be seen.

[edit] Nuclear proliferation

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. Musharraf continues to enjoy the strong support of the White House and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. AQ Khan has been pardoned in exchange for cooperation in the investigation of his nuclear-proliferation network. However, he is still under house arrest, and is likely to remain so till the end of his days. The fate of those who were found to have conspired with Khan is yet to be decided.[26]

[edit] Views of Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf has been viewed as a moderate leader, with comparatively liberal and progressive ideas. He has made attempts of economic and social reforms to modernize Pakistan. He has also expressed admiration for the secular reformer Kemal Ataturk of Turkey, outraging religious anti-secularists in the country. He has ambiguous positions on the issue of rape. <embed src=""> </embed>

[edit] Musharraf in the media

For the first time ever in a list titled "The World's 10 Worst Dictators" prepared by Parade magazine in 2005, Pervez Musharraf is placed at number 7 in the ranking. This is what the magazine had to say about him. "General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a military coup that overthrew an elected government. He appointed himself president of Pakistan in 2001 and then attempted to legitimize his rule by staging an election in 2002. However, the election did not come close to meeting international standards. Musharraf agreed to step down as head of the military but then changed his mind, claiming that the nation needed to unify its political and military elements and that he could provide this unity. He justified his decision by stating, 'I think the country is more important than democracy.' "

He is often referred to in the Media as America's ally on war on terror and is also known to have made significant improvements in the rights of women according to Time magazine.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c Pervez Musharraf (2006). In the Line of Fire: A Memoir. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-8344-9. 
  2. ^ Musharraf’s 1971, a sob story, Musharraf 'wept' when East Pak fell
  3. ^ Jamestown Foundation
  4. ^ Tom Clancy, Gen. Tony Zinni (Retd) and Tony Koltz (2004). Battle Ready. Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-399-15176-1. 
  5. ^ Musharraf Vs. Sharif: Who's Lying?
  6. ^ BBC profile on Musharraf
  7. ^ Daily Times - Musharraf tells why he wants another five years
  8. ^ Current assembles to reelect Musharraf
  9. ^ President General Pervez Musharraf: Address to People of Pakistan
  10. ^ a b Reuters: U.S. threatened to bomb Pakistan after 9/11: Musharraf Reuters 2006-09-21
  11. ^ Tom Clancy, Gen. Tony Zinni (Retd) and Tony Koltz (2004). Battle Ready. Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-399-15176-1. 
  12. ^ Hassan Abbas (2004). Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-1497-9. 
  13. ^ Musharraf advised against Kargil, says Benazir
  14. ^
  15. ^ Judge row prompts Pakistan democracy questions, BBC, Monday, 12 March 2007, 17:47 GMT.
  16. ^ BBC
  17. ^ EDITORIAL: Disinformation International? September 25, 2006, Daily Times
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ Corruption on the rise By Irfan Husain - Dawn (newspaper).
  22. ^ Bogged Down By Endless Troubles by AYAZ GUL Islamabad - Asiaweek
  23. ^ George Orwell and Musharraf's book By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari November 03, 2006 The News
  24. ^ Pervez's trip to US cost Pakistan $1m 31 October, 2006 - The Times of India
  25. ^ Citigroup: Global Consumer Business Announces Management Structure
  26. ^ Pakistan nuclear case 'is closed'

[edit] References

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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{{title=Chief Executive/ Primie Minister of Pakistan| start=October 12, 1999| end=June 20, 2001| before=Nawaz Sharif| next=Zafarullah Khan Jamali|}}

Military Offices
Preceded by
General Jehangir Karamat
Chiefs of Army Staff, Pakistan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
President of Pakistan
June 20, 2001 – present

NAME Musharraf, Pervez
ALTERNATIVE NAMES پرويز مشرف (Urdu)
SHORT DESCRIPTION President of Pakistan
DATE OF BIRTH August 11, 1943
PLACE OF BIRTH Daryaganj, Delhi, India