A Brief Introduction

President Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Neher Wali Haveli (which means “House Next to the Canal”), in Delhi, British India, and hails from an educated, middle class family of government servants.

After independence of Pakistan in 1947, Musharraf’s family migrated to Pakistan where his father, Syed Musharraf Uddin — a graduate of Aligarh University — joined the Pakistan Foreign Office. His mother, Zarin, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Lucknow, has been a working professional.

President Musharraf spent his formative years in Turkey and is fluent in the Turkish language.

He attended St Patrick’s High School, Karachi and later Forman Christian (FC) College in Lahore.

He volunteered for the Pakistan Army and entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. He was commissioned on April 19, 1964 in the Artillery Regiment. He joined the Special Services Group (SSG) where he served for 7 years. A graduate and instructor of the Command and Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defence College, Rawalpindi, President Musharraf is also a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.

He participated in two wars against India in 1965 and 1971. While President Musharraf is a soldier, he strongly believes in peace and rapprochement with India. While in government, he made strides to foster permanent peace in South East Asia and came close to solving all outstanding issues with India, including Kashmir.

President Musharraf came into power in 1999 and occupied what TIME magazine described as “The most dangerous job in the world” playing a crucial role in fighting the global war on terrorism. This role he played with incredible courage surviving more than two assassination attempts. He still remains a target of terrorists.

In the course of his nearly nine years at the helm, President Musharraf empowered the people of Pakistan at the grass roots level through the introduction of a local government system; the women as well as minorities of Pakistan were given reserved seats at every tier of Parliament; Freedom of expression was ensured by opening up the media and allowing multiple private TV channels to operate for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

Perhaps his government’s biggest achievement was the turnaround of the economy. From an almost bankrupt state in 1999, his government’s vision and policies helped Pakistan come out of the list of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and setting it on the path of prosperity, growth and economic reforms. It joined the ranks of the N-11 (Next 11) countries, i.e. fastest growing economies after BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.

On the world stage, President Musharraf took a lead on many geo-political and strategic issues. He strongly believes in “Enlightened Moderation”, his vision for the Muslim world to shun militancy and extremism and adopt the path of socioeconomic uplift while the West, and the United States in particular, should seek to resolve all political disputes with justice and to aid in the socioeconomic betterment of the deprived Muslim world.

President Musharraf has a vision for Pakistan, and believes that it is a nation that has all the resources, the potential and all the human capacity to be transformed into a progressive, moderate, and prosperous Islamic State.

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