General Pervez Musharraf
General Pervez Musharraf, the second of three brothers, was born in Delhi on August 11, 1943. His parents chose to settle in Karachi after the creation of Pakistan. He comes from a middle class family, his father having worked for the foreign ministry. He spent his early years in Turkey, from 1949 to 1956, owing to his father, the late Syed Musharrafu-ud-din’s deputation in Ankara. Fluently he can converse in Turkish language and claims that Kamal Ataturk is his hero.
On return to Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf received his education from Saint Patrick’s High School, Karachi, and then from F. C. College, Lahore. In 1961, he joined the Pakistan Military Academy and was commissioned in Artillery Regiment in 1964. He fought in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 as a young officer, and was awarded Imtiazi Sanad for gallantry. He also achieved the Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) and the Tamgha-i-Basalat. He has been also on the faculty of the Command and Staff College, Quetta and the war wing of (the) National Defence College. He volunteered to be a commando, and remained in the Special Services Group for seven years. He also participated in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 as a Company Commander in the Commando Battalion.
A graduate of Command and Staff College, Quetta, General Musharraf also distinguished himself at the Royal College of Defense Studies, United Kingdom. During his military career, General Musharraf acquired varied experience in different command and instructional appointments. He also served as Director General Military Operations at the General Headquarters from 1993 to 1995.
General Musharraf rose to the rank of General and was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff on October 7, 1998 when Pakistan’s army chief, General Jehangir Karamat, resigned two days after calling for the army to be given a key role in the country’s decision-making process. General Musharraf was given additional charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff Committee on April 9, 1999. On October 12, 1999, when through a bloodless coup the military took over the government in Pakistan, he became the head of the state designated as Chief Executive. He assumed the office of President of Pakistan on June 20, 2001. In order to legitimize and legalize his rule, General Pervez Musharraf held a referendum on April 30, 2002 thereby elected as President of Pakistan for duration of five years. In accordance with the deal with MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal), he agrees to leave the army on 31st December, 2004 but will continue to serve five-year term as President as he got vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, from the parliament and the four provincial assemblies under the provision of the 17th Amendment duly passed by the National Assembly and the Senate.
General Musharraf got married in 1968 and has two children, a son and a daughter. He is a natural sportsman, who loves to spend most of his leisure time playing Squash, Badminton or Golf. He also takes keen interest in water sports and has been an enthusiastic canoeist. Being an avid reader, he is well versed in Military History, his favorite subject.
This article was last updated on Saturday, February 21, 2004