(born August 11, 1943) is President of Pakistan and the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army who came to power in wake of a coup d'etat. He took power on October 12, 1999, ousting Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister, thereby assuming the title of Chief Executive. Later on, he also assumed office of President of Pakistan.
Pervez Musharraf was born in Nahr wali Haveli, situated in Mohallah Kacha Saad Ullah, Daryaganj in Delhi, British India on August 11, 1943. He comes from a lower middle class family. After the Partition of India, Musharraf immigrated with his parents to Pakistan and settled in Karachi making him a Muhajir Urdu. For seven years, from 1949 to 1956, his family lived in Turkey as his father, Musharraf Uddin, worked for the foreign ministry as a clerk in the Pakistan Embassy in Ankara. Musharraf speaks fluent Turkish.
He reveals in his memoirs that he was in a critical condition after falling from a mango tree as a teenager, and he considers this his first direct experience with death.
Musharraf attended Saint Patrick's School, Karachi, graduating in 1958 before going on to attend Forman Christian College in Lahore. He also participated in a certificate course in Delhi for media management from Delhi university.
Musharraf is married to Sehba, who is from Okara. They have a son, Bilal, who is a graduate student at Stanford University, and a daughter, Ayla Raza, who works as an architect in Karachi. Musharraf and his wife have four grandchildren, two from each child.
In 1961, he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, graduated 11th in his class and was commissioned in 1964 in the Artillery Regiment (16(SP) Self Propelled artillery unit is now based in Bahawalpur). Later he joined Special Services Group and then was posted to Field Artillery Regiments. A graduate of the Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defence College, Rawalpindi, Musharraf is also a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies of the United Kingdom. In 1965, Musharraf reveals in his memoirs that he was charged with taking unauthorized leave and was about to be court-martialed for it, but was let off due to the war with India.
Musharraf participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as the 2nd Lieutenant in the 16 (SP) Field Artillery Regiment. His regiment saw action as part of the First Armoured Division’s offensive in the Khemkaran sector, where a major offensive was planned against the Indian Army. Despite possessing a quantitative advantage and significant superiority in armor, the 1st armoured division (labelled "pride of the Pakistan Army") suffered a setback at Khemkaran, which became known as "Patton Nagar" or graveyard of Pakistani tanks. By all accounts the vital advance failed at the Battle of Asal Uttar, as Pakistan lost a golden opportunity to make major strategic gains, and was a turning point in the war. His regiment was later moved to the Lahore front which was threatened by the Indian Army. Later on it was sent to take part in the major battles around Chawinda.. During the war Musharraf was noted for sticking to his post under shellfire.
Later, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he served as a Company Commander in the SSG Commando Battalion. Originally scheduled to be flown to East Pakistan along with other SSG troops, he was redeployed in Punjab as war broke out and all flights over India were cancelled. He later admitted that he "broke down and wept" when he heard the "disgusting" news of Pakistan's unconditional surrender to India. Later he commanded Regiments of Artillery, thereafter an Artillery Brigade and then went on to command an Infantry Division. In September 1987, he was instrumental in giving orders to a newly formed SSG at Khapalu base (Kashmir), which launched an assault and successfully captured two intermediate posts, Bilafond La in Siachen Glacier, before being pushed back.
On promotion to the rank of Major General on January 15, 1991, he was assigned the command of an Infantry Division. Later, on promotion to Lieutenant General on October 21, 1995 he took over command of 1 Corps, the elite strike Corps. In 1998, following the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat, he was personally promoted over other senior officers by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as an obedient officer and took over as the Army Chief of Staff.
Role in Kargil Conflict
Main article: Kargil War
From May to July 1999, Pakistan and India were involved in the Kargil Conflict, an armed conflict between the two countries in the Kargil district of Kashmir. It was planned and executed during General Musharraf's term as the Pakistani Army Chief of Staff under Prime Minister Sharif. The conflict sparked tensions between civic and military branches of government and, ultimately triggered P.M. Sharif's decision to dismiss General Musharraf.
Sharif has claimed that Musharraf was solely responsible for the Kargil attacks. On the other hand, Musharraf claims that the decision was made by Sharif, who was under United States pressure. Ex-CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni, and P.M. Sharif, have stated that Musharraf requested that the Prime Minister withdraw Pakistani troops from Kashmir.
Musharraf's role in planning the Kargil attacks was criticized by one British journalist for showing "a shocking lack of strategy."
Casualties on both sides had been particularly heavy in Kargil. It is speculated that decision of then PM Nawaz Sharif to reprimand the corp commanders believed to have performed poorly was communicated to Musharraf but Musharraf sided with those corp commanders and saw an opportunity for a take-over. Musharraf had good relations with Jehangir Karamat from whom he took over the command. Soon after the coup, one of the first to be appointed as minister was journalist Maleeha Lodhi who was close to Jehangir Karamat. Also Shaukat Aziz, now PM, who volunteered to improve the economy. Western Banks came to rescheduling Pakistani loans briskly which was suffering from sanctions post Atomic Test.
Military coup d'état
Main article: 1999 Pakistani coup d'état
Musharraf became de facto Head of Government (using the title Chief Executive and assuming extensive powers) of Pakistan following a bloodless coup d'état on 12 October 1999. That day, the constitutional Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempted to dismiss Musharraf and install Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director Khwaja Ziauddin in his place. Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Senior Army Generals refused to accept Musharraf's dismissal, which was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Sharif ordered the Karachi airport closed to prevent the landing of the airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In the coup, the Generals ousted Sharif's administration and took over the airport. The plane landed, allegedly with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed control of the government. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled. He and other leaders have subsequently been prevented from entering Pakistan. Reportedly, the disagreement between Musharraf and Sharif centred around the Prime Minister's desire to find a diplomatic resolution to the conflict with India in the Kashmir region.
The existing President of Pakistan, Rafiq Tarar, remained in office until June 2001. Musharraf formally appointed himself President on June 20, 2001, just days before his scheduled visit to Agra for talks with India.
Shortly after Musharraf's takeover, several people filed court petitions challenging his assumption of power. However he got The Oath of Judges Order 2000 issued. It required the judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to military rule and to state they would make no decisions against the military. Many judges refused and resigned in protest. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court ordered Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002; elections for local governments took place in 2001.
In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the approaching restoration of democracy, he held a referendum on April 30, 2002 to extend his presidential term to five years after the October elections. However, the referendum was boycotted by the majority of Pakistani political groupings, which later complained that the vote was heavily rigged, and voter turnout was 30% or below by most estimates. A few weeks later, Musharraf went on TV and apologized to the nation for "irregularities" in the referendum.
General elections were held in October 2002 and a plurality of the seats in the Parliament was won by the PML-Q, a pro-Musharraf party. It formed a majority coalition with independents and allies such as the MQM. However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralysed the National Assembly for over a year. In November 2002, Musharraf handed over certain powers to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister of Pakistan, who in turn appointed his own cabinet.
In December 2003, Musharraf made a deal with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a six-member coalition of Islamic parties, agreeing to leave the army by December 31, 2004. With that party's support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to muster the two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment, which retroactively legalized Musharraf's 1999 coup and many of his decrees. In late 2004, Musharraf went back on his agreement with the MMA and pro-Musharraf legislators in the Parliament passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both offices.
Denunciation of extremism
On January 12, 2002, Musharraf gave a landmark speech against Islamic extremism. He unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to combat Islamic extremism and lawlessness within Pakistan itself.
He has also used it to ban funding of madrasas and mosques from outside the country. At the same time as banning foreign funding of Islamic educational institutions, he made it compulsory for them to teach a whole host of additional subjects such as computing. This meant that many had to close due to the halt of funds from Pakistanis working abroad resulting in not being able to teach the additional subjects that he had made compulsory. Musharraf also instituted prohibitions on foreign students' access to studying Islam within Pakistan, an effort which began as an outright ban but was later reduced to restrictions on obtaining visas. 
On Saturday, September 17th, 2005, President Musharraf made an historic speech before a broad based audience of Jewish leadership, sponsored by the Council for World Jewry, in New York City, where he denounced terror and opened the door to relationships between Pakistan and Israel, and between the Moslem world and Jews worldwide. He was widely criticized by Middle East Arab leaders and Muslim clerics, but was met with some hope among Jewish leadership.
Critics doubt the ability of Musharraf to curb extremists, citing the escalation violence that is taking place, on the 13th of September 2007, 300 Pakistani troops were captured by Islamic militants as prisoners, Musharaf's own SSG unit had a serious bomb blast in which 16 died in an army mess as well as troops dying elsewhere in rocket attack in the North-West Frontier province and Tribal areas. In 2001 events like these especially suicide bombings were unknown.
On December 14, 2003, General Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly-guarded convoy crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi. Musharraf was apparently saved by a jamming device in his limousine that prevented the remote controlled explosives from blowing up the bridge as his convoy passed over it. It was the third such attempt during his four-year rule. Eleven days later, on December 25, 2003, two suicide bombers tried to assassinate General Musharraf, but their car bombs failed to kill the president; 16 others nearby died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windscreen on his car. Militant Amjad Farooqi was apparently suspected of being the mastermind behind these attempts, and was killed by Pakistani forces in 2004 after an extensive manhunt. On July 6, 2007, there was another attempted assassination, when an unknown group fired an anti-aircraft gun at Musharraf's plane as it took off from a runway in Rawalpindi. 39 people were arrested, detained and put at an undisclosed location by a joint team of Punjab police and Pakistan Intelligence Agencies. 
2004 confidence vote and resignation of Jamali
On January 1, 2004 Musharraf won a confidence vote in the Electoral College of Pakistan, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56% majority, but many opposition and Islamic members of parliament walked out to protest the vote. As a result of this vote, according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, Musharraf was "deemed to be elected" to the office of President. His term now extends to 2007.
Prime Minister Jamali resigned on 26 June 2004, after losing the support of party, the PML-Q. His resignation was at least partly due to his public differences with the party chairman Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and was rumoured to have happened at the command of General Pervez Musharraf, although neither man has confirmed this. Jamali had been appointed with the support of Musharraf's and the pro-Musharraf PML(Q). Most PML(Q) parliamentarians formerly belonged to the Pakistan Muslim League party led by Nawaz Sharif, and most ministers of the cabinet were formerly senior members of other parties, joining the PML(Q) after the elections upon being offered powerful offices. It is believed that Musharraf replaced Jamali due to his poor performance and in his place Musharraf nominated Shaukat Aziz, the minister for finance and a former employee of Citibank and head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister. The talk of Jamali leaving were around days before Jamali went but it was denied as rumour by politicians and even Jamali himself. Musharraf choose Aziz due to his successful measures in revitalizing Pakistan's economy as the Finance Minister.
After nuclear tests were carried out in 1998, during the Sharif government, the United States and NATO imposed sanctions on the Pakistan. When Musharraf came to power in the coup d'etat the following year Pakistan was expelled from the commonwealth. This initially compounded the economic problems, and many experts claimed Pakistan was a failed state, as it was close to bankruptcy and investor confidence was at an all-time low. After Musharraf promised support in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, international sanctions were lifted.
Musharraf then appointed Shaukat Aziz a former Citibank executive as finance minister, . World powers weighed in for debt rescheduling    to reward Pakistan due to the War on Terror, which helped in saving hundreds millions of dollars, in addition to securing new loans. As a result, foreign exchange reserves increased exceeding $16 billion in 2006, but at the same time foreign debt hit an all time high topping $40 billion . Critics claim that national institutions have been privatized at throw way prices through bogus bids, however the government claims that the economy has grown in several sectors and that per capita income of Pakistan has more than doubled in the last seven years.
Immediately assuming power, Pervez Musharraf made promises of poverty alleviation, and his ministers continue to provide controversial figures. Pakistan has, however, recently witnessed the worst of its wheat crises, and high inflation. Despite "producing a bumper crop of 23.5 million tons" of wheat, the country suffered the worst shortages of wheat in the summer of 2007, with the prices of flour rising by more than 20%.
When Musharraf came to power, he claimed that the corruption in the government bureaucracy would be cleaned up.. However, as many analysts have noted, his regime has done little to quash corruption, even years into his administration.. In fact, Pakistan, which was ranked 79th in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index in 2001, dropped to 142 in 2006, placing it in the bottom quarter of the list, 22 spots away from the last entry.
According to another survey by Transparency International, Pakistani public opinion perceived the first and second terms of Musharraf's administration as respectively more corrupt than the first and second terms of previous administrations led by Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Sharif. However, that survey also indicates that public opinion perceived the second terms of all three leaders as being more corrupt than their first terms, respectively. And, furthermore, any one of those leader's second terms was perceived as being more corrupt than any of those leaders first terms. In fact, Ms. Butto's second term was perceived as being the second most corrupt according to those sampled by the survey. Gen. Musharraf's second term was perceived as being the most corrupt term of office among the those of the three leaders.
According to a combined poll done by Dawn News, Indian Express and CNN-IBN, a majority believe that corruption during this administration has increased.  An Asian Development Bank report on the state of the country during the 60th year of Independence describes it as a country with "poor governance, endemic corruption and social indicators that are among the worst in Asia".
There have also been allegations that corrupt servicemen aren't being prosecuted because of the junta's clout. Pakistani media too have alleged that individual corruption of the previous government was replaced by institutionalised corruption of the Pakistan Army, awarding land deeds and a life of luxury to its officers..
Later in 2007, his government cost national exchequer hundreds of millions of Rupees to hire teams of expensive lawyers to represent his government in courts. In one such case regarding the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation, whose worth was stated to be Rupees 600 billion, and which was sold out for mere Rupees 20.6 billions , the government had spent Rupees 90 million, with Sharifuddin Pirzada alone getting away with 6.6 million rupees.
Suspension and reinstatement of Chaudhry
On March 9, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf suspended the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. In an interview about the matter given to Geo TV, Musharraf stated that Chaudhry himself wished to meet with him and Musharraf then presented him with evidence related to charges made against Chaudhry for abuse of office.  Other sources maintain that Chaudhry was summoned by the General at his Army residence in Rawalpindi and asked to explain his position on a list of charges brought against him from several quarters.  Chaudhry was demanded to resign, but he refused and was detained. While this was not confirmed by the Affidavit presented by him in Supreme Court, While affidavits by other people in same case has said that it was not true and he (Chief Justice) has asked to meet the President and was not asked to resign. Meanwhile, another senior judge, Justice Javaid Iqbal, was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Musharraf's moves sparked protests among Pakistani lawyers. On 12 March 2007, lawyers across Pakistan began boycotting all court procedures in protest against the suspension. In the capital Islamabad, and in other cities such as Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, hundreds of lawyers dressed in black suits attended rallies, condemning the suspension as unconstitutional. More than twenty lawyers were injured in clashes with police during the demonstrations in Lahore. On 16 March, demonstrations became more widespread, and included protesters outside the legal community. Slowly the expressions of support for the ousted Chief Justice gathered momentum and by May, protesters and opposition parties took out huge rallies against Musharraf and his tenure as army chief was also challenged in the courts. Rallies held by the MQM and other political parties left more than 40 people dead in firefights in the streets of Karachi, and the offices of AAJ TV were caught in the crossfire and sustained damage. Opposition parties have accused the government and Rangers of not doing enough to stop the violence.
On 20 July, the Supreme Court reinstated Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. It also dismissed misconduct charges that Musharraf filed against him. 
Lal Masjid siege
Main article: Lal Masjid siege
The standoff between the Pakistani government and the clerics of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad finally erupted into full scale violence on the morning of 8 July, 2007, when the official government delegation led by Shujaat Hussain declared that the negotiations with the militants holed up in the mosque have reached an agreement. Musharraf refused to accept the mutual agreement, drafted a new proposal of the agreement, and gave the militants half an hour to accept.
In addition to militants, there were several hundred students, many of who were young girls, whom Pakistan claims were being used as human shields.
After the negotiations failed the troops were given the go ahead to storm the complex, which they did. Codenamed ‘Operation Silence’ the objective was to capture or kill the militants if they resisted - as well as rescuing all the students kept as hostages. Musharraf had been criticised for some for his inaction against the Lal Masjid, many observers believe the final straw may have been the abduction of seven Chinese nationals..
State of emergency
On August 8, 2007 a rumour spread across Pakistan that a State of emergency was going to be enforced across the country. The rumour was picked by the electronic media. Government Ministers confirmed that the option of enforcing emergency was being considered due to “internal and external threats” that the country was facing.  Prompted by the news reports, Condoleezza Rice made a 17-minute telephone call to Musharraf. A senior western diplomat noted that it is likely that Ms Rice persuaded the general to not impose such an emergency. . On 9th August-2007 General Musharraf confirmed that he would not be imposing emergency in Pakistan.  This was followed by a clarification from the president of United States that the imposition of emergency in Pakistan was not a reality.  Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, President of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) admitted that he had suggested the imposition of “partial emergency” in the country. He also said that the government is still considering the imposition of emergency.  However, the Karachi Stock Exchange fell after the rumour spread that the government is imposing emergency in Pakistan. The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index fell 382.61, or 2.8 percent, to close at 13,181.94, the largest fluctuation among markets included in global benchmarks. 
Relations with Benazir Bhutto
Also on August 8, Benazir Bhutto spoke about her secret meeting with Musharraf on July 27, in an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
On September 14, 2007, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim stated that Bhutto won't be deported, but must face corruption suits against her. He clarified the rights of Nawaz Sharif and Bhutto to return to Pakistan: "Nawaz Sharif's case was different. He went back to Saudi Arabia because of an undertaking he had with the Saudi government; She (Bhutto) was always allowed to come back."Pakistan People's Party Farhatullah Babar said that Benazir Bhutto will forthwith declare the exact date of her return: "We are announcing the date of the return for Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan at 5:00 pm (1200 GMT)" (Makhdoom Amin Fahim will publish it at a news conference in Islamabad." Pervez Musharraf faced a rising militant violence, with a suicide bombing killing 15 elite commandos on September 13. Bhutto declared her return from 8 years exile on October 18. Makhdoom Amin Faheem, vice chair of Pakistan Peoples Party said that "Benazir Bhutto will be landing in Karachi on October 18."
On September 17, 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf 's allies of pushing Pakistan to crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated that officials had agreed to grant Benazir Bhutto amnesty in pending corruption charges.
Resignation of army leadership
The Associated Press reported on August 29, 2007 that Musharraf has agreed to step down as army chief. However, Musharraf confirmed within 24 hours of the report that he was to do no such thing and that he does not accept deadlines, indicating that he was not happy with Benazir's demands.
There are strong rumours in newspapers such as the "The news" and behind the scene all is set to appoint the 10 corp commander as next army chief quoting his seniority, Hafsa operation performance and family background similar to Tariq Aziz the national security adviser but that if Musharaf decides to resign. Some consider the ISI chief as another possible contender quoting his proximity to PPP and ethnicity. However if Musharaf resigns sooner than next month then there are two existent four star generals, the well connected chairman joint chiefs and the next in line vice army chief.
In October 2, 2007, Musharraf named Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani as vice chief of the army starting October 8. If Musharraf resigns his military post, Kayani will become Chief of Army Staff.
Return of Sharif
Main article: Nawaz Sharif#Return to Pakistan
Sharif returned to Pakistan via plane on September 2007, where he was arrested and taken into custody at the airport. Sharif initially refused to hand over his passport to immigration officials on the plane. Finally, the plane carrying Sharif left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia. "He has been sent back," a senior security official told AFP, as local television showed a Pakistan International Airlines plane carried deported Sharif from Islamabad airport.
Sharif returned to Jeddah, where he was met by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Miqren bin Abdul Aziz. Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz-ul Haq stated that "He has not only embarrassed Pakistan but also the leadership of Saudi Arabia by violating the agreement.." The European Union asked the Pakistani government to respect the court ruling, while the American government said that the deportation was an "internal matter" but said that elections should be "free and fair". US organisation Human Rights Watch accused Pervez Musharraf of violating international law, and Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party condemned the deportation by filing a contempt suit in the Supreme Court. 
Main article: Pakistani presidential election, 2007
In an interview in March 2007, Musharraf said that he intends to stay in the office for another five years.
A 9-member panel of Supreme Court judges deliberated on 6 petitions (including Jamaat-e-Islami's, Pakistan's largest Islamic group) for disqualification of Musharraf as presidential candidate. Bhutto stated that her party may join other opposition groups, including Nawaz Sharif's. Attorney-general Malik Mohammed Qayyum stated that, pendente lite, the Election Commission was "reluctant" to announce the schedule for the presidential vote. Bhutto's party Farhatullah Babar stated that the Constitution could bar Musharraf from being elected again because he holds the army chief's post. "As Gen. Musharraf is disqualified from contesting for President, he has prevailed upon the Election Commission to arbitrarily and illegally tamper with the Constitution of Pakistan."
On September 24, 2007, the president of the Supreme Court bar association, Munir Malik, announced that former Supreme Court judge Wajihuddin Ahmed will challenge Musharraf in Pakistan's October presidential election. Ahmad had little chance of defeating Musharraf (since the president is elected by parliament and provincial assemblies). Also, 24 persons were detained due to protest outside the court in Islamabad.
On September 28, 2007, in a 6-3 vote, the court presided by Judge Rana Bhagwandas ruled: "These petitions are held to be non-maintainable." The judgment removed obstacles to Musharraf's election bid. 
On October 2, 2007, 85 Pakistani opposition lawmakers resigned from the country's parliament to derail Musharraf's reelection bid. National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain stated that the resignations would not affect the presidential election. Under Pakistani law, the national parliament and provincial assemblies choose the president. The current parliament is expected to elect a president before October 15, with the new five-year term starting on November 15. 
On October 6, 2007, Musharraf won a vote to be re-elected Pakistan's president. However, the Supreme Court ruled that no winner will be proclaimed until it decides on the legality issue.