A polarizing figure former Pakistani leader Ex-Military Chief Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death for ‘ high treason’. A special court found him guilty of imposing a state of emergency in 2007 as a President. Suspending the constitution and arresting politicians and judges.
It’s the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former Pakistan military chief has been sentenced.
He was appointed as Army Chief by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf then ousted Nawaz Sharif in a coup the following year, after the two had a fallout over the Kargil War in Kashmir.
He stayed in power for nearly a decade surviving at least two assassination attempts and winning the widely-contested election to become president in 2002. Until he was forced out of power in 2008.
He tried to redefine the role of the president in Pakistan. Which was largely only ceremonial until that point. Musharraf was pivotal on the world stage. In 1998, he oversaw Pakistan’s Nuclear Tests during the arms race against India.
He was the president during the attacks on 9/11 and emerged as a strong supporter of America’s War on Terror, allowing the US and NATO to use the military bases in Pakistan.
Ex-Military Chief Pervez Musharraf
He also green-lighted US drone attacks against militants in Pakistan something he admitted to during a CNN interview in 2013 although his comments contradicted official government denials of any such involvement.
Ex-Military Chief Pervez Musharraf was also widely popular for boosting the economy and creating jobs in technology and Banking sectors. Private news channels and the media sector mushroomed under his watch and foreign investment soared.
He introduced landmark local government reforms devolving power to councilors in cities and towns and created a Higher Education Commission, Musharraf also extended a hand of friendship to India during the famous Agra Summit.
After Nawaz Sharif’s re-election in 2013. He initiated an investigation against Musharraf. Musharraf left the country in 2016 for medical treatment in Dubai. But stayed there despite the court orders demanding his return.
The following year he accused of involvement in the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Something he denied as ‘‘ baseless’’. His suspension of judges in 2007 led to large nation-wide protests held by students and lawyers.
Still living in exile today a defiant Musharraf said he plans to file an appeal against his case with the army and government backing him. So, how will history remember General Pervez Musharraf?