Former president of Pakistan who supported the US in its war on terror and was hailed as George Bush’s ‘best buddy’
Of all Pakistan’s assorted mixture of leaders since independence, none so divided opinion at home and abroad as General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999.
Vilified and praised in equal measure, Musharraf, who has died aged 79, left a legacy that is certain to compound the uncertainties that have dogged Pakistan since its creation in 1947. For many of his critics, the general was typical of the country’s long line of ruthless military dictators, who appeased Islamic militants in an effort to clip the ambitions of secular parties opposed to military rule.
For others he represented a man of vision, who offered Pakistan the best hope of restoring its image as a beacon of, as he described it, “enlightened moderation”, and an example of a Muslim state at ease with the demands of modernity. Continue reading...
It was, however, beyond the borders of his own country that Musharraf enjoyed his greatest acclaim. In the US he was hailed as President George W Bush’s “best buddy”, and indeed it was to the Bush administration that Musharraf owed his rehabilitation as the respected four-star general who at a stroke helped elevate Pakistan from a “rogue” state peddling nuclear technology on the international black market to a pivotal “frontline” state in the “war on terror”.