Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former president, has died at the age of 79 after a protracted illness, BBC is reporting.
In the statement confirming the death, the Pakistani military said it expressed its “heartfelt condolences” and added: “May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family.”
Mr Musharraf, a military officer, seized power in a coup in 1999 and was later civilian president between 2001 and 2008.
During his time as leader of the South Asian country, Mr Musharraf survived numerous assassination attempts and found himself on the front line of the struggle between militant Islamists and the West.
He was an ally of George Bush‘s administration and supported the US “war on terror” after 9/11 despite domestic opposition.
In 2008, he suffered defeat in the polls and left the country six months later.
In 2013, he returned to contest the election but was arrested and barred from contesting. He was charged with high treason and was sentenced to death in absentia only for the decision to be overturned less than a month later.
He left Pakistan for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and had been living in exile in the country ever since.
Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss”, his office said in a statement cited by AFP news agency.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed his condolences, as did the country’s military leaders.
“I offer my condolences to the family of General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf. May the departed soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.
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