The military ruler of Pakistan
since a coup d'état
on 12 October 1999. He deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif
and took up the position of "Chief Executive
". On 20 June 2001 he removed President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar
and assumed the presidency.
General Musharraf was born on 11 August 1943 in Delhi. As I write he is on a state visit to India and has revisited his old family home there, and met an aged retainer who remembered him. The family moved to Karachi on the creation of Pakistan; his father Syed Musharaff-ud-Din was a career diplomat, and they lived in Turkey between 1949 and 1956, so the president is fluent in Turkish.
He joined the military academy in 1961, saw action against India in 1965 and against secessionist Bangladesh in 1971. Major General 1991, Lieutenant General 1995, General and Chief of Army Staff 1998, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff 1999.
In this position he represented the armed forces in the turmoil of the Nawaz Sharif regime. An aircraft carrying him back from Sri Lanka was ordered not to land at Karachi, but as it had only a few minutes of fuel left this was taken as an attempt to kill him by the civilian government. Soldiers seized power and General Musharraf was provisionally installed. Because of the chaos of the Sharif and Benazir Bhutto governments before him, this seizure was not unwelcome in many quarters.
The official biography of him is at