The Hamilton Spectator

Musharraf, Pakistan’s martial ruler in 9/11 wars, dead at 79


Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup and later led a reluctant Pakistan into aiding the U.S. war in Afghanista­n against the Taliban, has died, officials said Sunday. He was 79.

Musharraf, a former special forces commando, became president through the last of a string of military coups that roiled Pakistan since its founding amid the bloody 1947 partition of India. He ruled the nuclear-armed state after his 1999 coup through tensions with India, an atomic proliferat­ion scandal and an Islamic extremist insurgency. He stepped down in 2008 while facing possible impeachmen­t.

Later in life, Musharraf lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid criminal charges, despite attempting a political comeback in 2012. But it wasn’t to be as his poor health plagued his last years. He maintained a soldier’s fatalism after avoiding a violent death that always seemed to be stalking him as Islamic militants twice targeted him for assassinat­ion.

“I have confronted death and defied it several times in the past because destiny and fate have always smiled on me,” Musharraf once wrote. “I only pray that I have more than the proverbial nine lives of a cat.”

Musharraf’s family announced in June 2022 that he had been hospitaliz­ed for weeks in Dubai while suffering from amyloidosi­s, an incurable condition that sees proteins build up in the body’s organs.

“Going through a difficult stage where recovery is not possible and organs are malfunctio­ning,” the family said. They later said he also needed access to the drug daratumuma­b, which is used to treat multiple myeloma. That bone marrow cancer can cause amyloidosi­s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada