Pakistan Former President General Pervez Musharraf dies at 79
Image courtesy of BBC

Pakistan’s controversial former president General Pervez Musharraf dies at 79 in Dubai after battling with a long-term rare illness called Amyloidosis.

Pakistan Former president Genreal Pervez Musharraf dies
Image courtesy of Sky News

Pakistan’s former military president dies at the age of 79

The former controversial president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, died in Dubai after battling a long and rare illness. The country’s army released an official statement confirming the news about his demise.

  • During his career, the military ruler survived numerous assassination attempts. In 2008, he faced defeat in the elections and went into self-exile six months later. When he tried to return in 2013 to re-enter the nation’s election, he was arrested and banned from participation. He faced charges of high treason and was sentenced to death, which was later overturned.

  • General Musharraf shifted to Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment for a rare illness called Amyloidosis. This becomes the cause of former president Musharraf’s death in the hospital on Sunday. According to local TV channel Geo News, his funeral will be held in Karachi, as his family applied for his body to be flown from the United Arab Emirates on a special flight.
  • Following the unfortunate news Pakistan’s military expressed its heartfelt condolences with the prayer, “May Allah bless the departed soul and provide strength to the bereaved family.”
  • Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi also prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the family to bear this loss.” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condolences too.

General Musharraf dies due to a rare disease called Amyloidosis.

The disease General Musharraf suffered from is a rare ailment that occurs when amyloid protein builds up in organs. As per the Cleveland Clinic, this protein collects as debris stuck on the organ.

  • Over time, more and more debris collects over the organ and deposits accumulate within organs. Which eventually starts affecting organ structure and tissue function. It is very uncommon with approximately 4,000 people in the United States suffering from it each year.

  • There are various reasons for this medical ailment which can make it a primary or secondary illness. According to doctors, Light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is caused by an abnormality in the bone marrow cells. The abnormal plasma cells produce harmful light chain proteins, which enter the bloodstream and form amyloid debris.
  • A person with an inflammatory illness such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) faces the risk of developing Amyloidosis. The patient can also inherit mutated DNA that makes TTR proteins more unstable.

General Pervez Musharraf’s polarizing career

General Musharraf’s political career always remained in extremities. Some credit him for turning around the economic status of the country while he also faced several court cases after the loss of authority.

  • The court cases include accusations of providing inadequate security for former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, whose shocking assassination by the Taliban in 2007 left Pakistan and the world speechless.
  • Moreover, General Musharraf’s political career ended in bitter disgrace as he was sentenced to death for treason in 2019. Albeit reversing the death sentence, he never returned to Pakistan in his life again.

  • Fawad Chaudhury, a former aide of Musharraf praises and defends that even though Musharraf came into power following a military coup, his time was notable for its strong democracy.
  • “Pervez Musharraf led Pakistan at a very difficult time, and the era of his reign was one of the best in Pakistan’s history,” Mr. Chaudhury reminisces.
  • On the other side, the CEO of Islamabad-based Tabadlab, Mosharraf Zaidi, considers General Musharraf responsible for the “destruction of Pakistan” during his chaotic rule.
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India’s take on General Pervez Musharraf’s rule

General Musharraf’s political regiment holds mixed opinions from the neighboring country India as well. Musharraf’s involvement in the Kargil war during his term as leader of Pakistan’s army in May 1999 left a bitter image on Indians. Pakistani generals secretly launched an operation to occupy land in Kargil on the Indian side.

  • However, there is one Indian politician, according to whom Musharraf redeemed himself during his presidency. Former UN Diplomate, Shashi Tharoor shared a positive statement about General Musharraf, “Once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace 2002-2007,”
  • Further, Mr. Tharoor shared he met Musharraf annually in those years of turmoil at the UN. He remembers Musharraf as “smart, engaging, and clear in his strategic thinking”. These statements from the Indian politician gained him severe public backlash.

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On this Sunday, February 5, 2023, General Pervez Musharraf, former President of Pakistan died at the age of 79 due to a rare illness. For some, his political regime remains the image of uncertain times while for others it is the image of stout ruling through political turmoil. Either way, his government is undoubtedly a memorable page in political history.

Spiel Times expresses its sincere condolences to the bereaved family and friends.

SOURCES: BBC, Firstpost
Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.