Pakistani former President Pervez Musharraf died on Sunday following a prolonged illness at a hospital in Dubai, after years in self-imposed exile.
Pakistan’s 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.
The chiefs of Pakistan’s army, navy and air force expressed condolences on his death, the public relations wing of the military said.
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.
Allowed abroad for medical treatment even as he faced a treason case in Pakistan, Musharraf last flew to Dubai in 2016.
Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf salutes during the playing of Pakistan’s national anthem at the Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi November 27, 2007. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf poses for a picture after an interview with Reuters in London January 16, 2011.
Pakistan’s former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf speaks as he unveils his party manifesto for the forthcoming general election at his residence in Islamabad April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
The former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, speaks at a news conference at a branch of his political party in east London January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks during an interview with Reuters in Dubai January 8, 2012. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh
Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf gestures during a news conference in Dubai, March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Abu Omar
Supporters of Pervez Musharraf carry national flags and signs, after a Pakistani court sentenced the former military ruler to death on charges of high treason and subverting the constitution, during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro