Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has died after a long illness at the age of 79 in a hospital in his hometown of Dubai, his family and the Pakistani authorities have reported.
Musharraf seized power as a general in 1999 and ruled as the country’s president from 2001 to 2008. In that last year he resigned when parliamentarians threatened impeachment proceedings.
Strongly opposed to jihadism
He was later prosecuted in Pakistan for his role as a dictator and eventually fled to Dubai. Musharraf was considered a secular leader who was strongly opposed to radical Islamism and jihadism.
He thus also became an ally of the US in the US fight against terrorists and against the Taliban. Musharraf pursued a liberal cultural policy that made many enemies among ultra-conservative Muslims.
“I have faced death several times in the past,” Musharraf once wrote. “I always survived because fate always smiled on me.”