By Aminu Kutama
Pakistan’s exiled former military ruler Pervez Musharraf died in a Dubai hospital on Sunday aged 79 after a long illness, the army said.
Musharraf seized power in a 1999 bloodless coup and was acting simultaneously as Pakistan’s army chief, chief executive, and president when the 9/11 attacks on the United States took place.
The general became Washington’s chief regional ally during their invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan, surviving several assassination attempts by militants.
“Pakistan’s decision under Musharraf to join the war against terror turned out to be a boon,” analyst Hasan Askari told AFP, citing the influx of aid linked to his decision to back the US.
“He will be remembered as one who presided over Pakistan at a very critical time.”
Senior military chiefs “express heartfelt condolences on sad demise of General Pervez Musharraf”, a brief statement released by the military’s media wing said.
“May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to bereaved family.”
The four-star general died in hospital in Dubai on Sunday morning, according to media reports and a senior security official who spoke to AFP.