Ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s body brought to Pakistan

The former president, 79, died on Sunday after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Dubai, where he had been living in exile.

Islamabad, Pakistan – The body of former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who died in exile in Dubai, has been brought to the southern city of Karachi for burial.

The former president is survived by his wife, Sehba, and their two children, Ayla and Bilal, who accompanied the body. Musharraf’s burial will take place in Karachi on Tuesday.

“Our missions in UAE are in contact with the family and are facilitating the transportation of the mortal remains,” ministry officials told Al Jazeera on Monday.

Musharraf, 79, died after a prolonged illness on Sunday at a hospital in Dubai, where he had been living since 2016. He suffered from amyloidosis, a rare disease that causes organ damage.

Musharraf took power in Pakistan in October 1999 in a bloodless coup, overthrowing then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Only a year before, Sharif had chosen Musharraf to be the head of Pakistan’s powerful military.

Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution twice and was accused of rigging a referendum and carrying out human rights abuses during his rule. He was also criticised at home for being an ally of the United States after its invasion of Afghanistan.

Political upheaval

The former special forces commando remained at the helm of the country for nine years. He stepped down as the army chief in 2007 but insisted on continuing to rule as president.

The tumultuous year saw considerable political upheaval as Musharraf imposed a state of emergency to suppress any dissent against his rule.

In December the same year, one of his key rivals, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in an attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Bhutto’s family accused the general of conspiring in the killing. Musharraf denied the allegations.

Faced with a threat of impeachment after his ruling party lost elections in February 2008, Musharraf resigned as president and went into exile in London and later Dubai.

The former army chief launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, and unsuccessfully contested the 2013 general election.

A year later, under a new government led by Sharif, a treason trial began against Musharraf.

After a more than five-year trial, a special court found him guilty in absentia of high treason and subverting the constitution in December 2019 and sentenced him to death.

Source: Al Jazeera