West News Wire: After a protracted illness, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf passed away at a hospital in Dubai, military sources reported on Sunday. He was 79.

Four-star general Musharraf ruled Pakistan for almost ten years after taking office in a peaceful coup in 1999.

The former general had amyloidosis, an uncommon illness that damages organs. He had been wheelchair- and bed-bound for a very long time.

Senior military officials expressed their “heartfelt condolences” on the passing of the former military leader in a brief statement issued by the military’s media wing.

“May Allah bless the soul of the deceased and grant courage to [his] grieving family,”

On social media, Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, expressed his sympathy to Musharraf’s family. “May the spirit of the deceased rest in peace,” he tweeted.

The former general’s family members were meeting to discuss whether his body will be brought back to Pakistan.

Musharraf, a former special forces commando, became president through the last of a string of military coups that roiled Pakistan since its founding amid the bloody 1947 partition of India.

He took power by deposing then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after relations between the two leaders deteriorated.

In October 1999, Sharif ordered Musharraf’s dismissal as the army chief flew home from a visit to Sri Lanka and denied his plane landing rights in Pakistan, even as it ran low on fuel. On the ground, the army seized control and, after he landed, Musharraf took charge.

He ruled the nuclear-armed state through tensions with India, the US-led so-called “war on terror” and an armed uprising that left thousands of people dead. He stepped down in 2008 while facing possible impeachment.

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Musharraf is survived by his wife Sehba and two children.


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