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Pervez Musharraf

Pervez MusharrafBorn: 11-Aug-1943
Birthplace: Delhi, India

Gender: Male
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Asian/Indian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State

Nationality: Pakistan
Executive summary: President of Pakistan, 2001-08

Pervez Musharraf began his military career in 1964, commanding artillery and infantry brigades. He climbed through the ranks, leading various commando units, and eventually was named the #2 position in the Army's high command. In 1998, his commanding officer publicly called for the army to be more involved in the country's political decision-making process, and was forced to resign two days later. Musharraf was then promoted to his nation's highest military position. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif believed that Musharraf posed no political threat, because Musharraf had been raised speaking Urdu, while most of Pakistan's military officers are Punjabi. Musharraf rose above such ethnic limitations when he ousted Sharif in a 1999 bloodless coup. In July 2001, just before a summit with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Musharraf announced that he was now President. In 2002, a national referendum was held to approve Musharraf's role as president. In 2004, he won "votes of confidence" in both houses of Parliament and in Pakistan's four provincial assemblies.

Musharraf is a moderate dictator, and though he seized power instead of running for office, his rule seems to be accepted by most Pakistanis. Fundamentalist groups have been banned, but the press remains free and open elections are allowed (for lesser offices than President). He has overseen increased tensions with India, and it has become fairly commonplace to hear threats of war and annihilation between the two neighboring nuclear-armed nations.

After the terror attacks on America in September 2001, Musharraf was offered large U.S. aid packages in exchange for breaking ties with Afghanistan's Taliban. In exchange for additional aid, Pakistan provided some logistical support for America's war against that nation and, later, against Iraq. Another favor extended at this time was permitting intelligence chief Mahmoud Ahmad to retire quietly, despite his involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ahmad had paid Mohammed Atta $100,000 of Pakistani government money.

The war in Afghanistan has not proven popular in Pakistan, a nation 97% Muslim and the world's sixth most populous overall. Many of its Muslims supported the Taliban and opposed the U.S. attacks, and sectarian violence is a growing problem in remote parts of Pakistan. There have been several assassination attempts against Musharraf, including a bomb on 14 December 2003, and two suicide bombers on 25 December 2003. The latter attack killed 16 people nearby, but not its target. Islamic terrorist Amjad Hussain Farooqi is suspected of being the mastermind behind these attempts, and there has since been an extensive manhunt for him.

In 2002, Musharraf enacted the Legal Framework Order (LFO), giving himself the absolute power to sack the prime minister and dissolve parliament, and formalizing his position as both head of the army and head of state. The opposition considers the LFO unconstitutional and not legally binding, not having been approved by parliament. He promised to step down in 2003, but dawdled continually, eventually ceding the role of military chief in 2007, and that of president in 2008.

Father: Syed Musharaff-ud-Din (diplomat, d.)
Mother: Begum Zarrin Musharraf (labor activist)
Brother: Naved Musharraf (doctor, lives in Chicago)
Wife: Sehba Musharraf (m. 28-Dec-1968)
Daughter: Ayla (architect)
Son: Bilal (hi-tech entrepreneur, lives in Boston)
Brother: Javed Musharraf

    High School: Saint Patrick's High School, Karachi, Pakistan (1958)
    University: Forman Christian College, Lahore, Pakistan
    University: Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, Pakistan

    President of Pakistan (2001-2008)
    Assassination Attempt 14-Dec-2003 at Rawalpindi (bomb exploded)
    Assassination Attempt 25-Dec-2003 (two suicide bombers, 16 others killed)
    Assassination Attempt 6-Jul-2007 (anti-aircraft attack on his plane)
    House Arrest (2013-)

    Countdown to Zero (25-Jan-2010) · Himself
    Bhutto (21-Jan-2010) · Himself

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