Pervez Musharraf

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General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943, in India. Later his family migrated to Pakistan.

He is the former President of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army.

He seized power in October 1999 through a bloodless coup, ousting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and suspended the constitution of Pakistan. After Musharraf announced his intention to combat extremists, Western countries (including the United States and the United Kingdom) switched from a policy of sanctions to active support through military and monetary aid. Later in 2001, Musharraf became the President of Pakistan.

Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin was the first official American to speak to him after the 9-11 Attack, who offered the hope that Pakistan would cooperate in bringing the terrorists to justice. He agreed, but also reminded her of past broken promises by the U.S. She told him it would be different this time. Meanwhile, lieutenant general Mahmood Ahmed, director of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, who happened to be visiting Washington, was given a specific list of demands by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Musharraf spoke by telephone with Mahmood, and then again to Chamberlin; he had not expected "either you are with us or against us".[1]

Chamberlin considered him a reasonable man, but, in 2007, she was pleased that President George W. Bush personally told him it was time to leave office: "You can't be both president and chief of the army."[2]On 18 August 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned from the post of President of Pakistan under impeachment pressure from the newly elected coalition government.

Though a controversial figure locally, he won recognition as a leader in the international community. During his term of government, the economy of the country and its stock markets saw an unprecedented boom. Education, industry, commerce, telecommunication and country's infrastructure were the special foci of development during his tenure.

References

  1. Hassan Abbas (2005), 'Pakistan's Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 0765614979, pp. 218-219
  2. Tavis Smiley (7 November 2007), Wendy Chamberlin interview, Public Broadcasting Service