Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf passed away at 79 on February 5, 2023.

The ex-leader – who was president between 2001 and 2008 – died in Dubai after a long illness.

Musharraf’s body will be brought back to Pakistan for burial on February 6.

Since 2016, he has lived in exile between the UK and the Middle East after being allowed to leave Pakistan for medical treatment.

Musharraf had amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein builds up in organs and interferes with normal functions.

He was admitted to hospital in the United Arab Emirates in 2022.

In the statement confirming the death, the military said it expressed its “heartfelt condolences” and added:

“May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family.”

Pakistani politician and 13th president, President Arif Alvi, prayed “for eternal rest of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss”.

The current Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, whose brother the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was overthrown and imprisoned by Musharraf when he seized power in 1999, tweeted a short message offering his “condolences to the family of Gen (rtd) Pervez Musharraf. May the departed soul rest in peace.”

Having escaped many murder attempts, Pervez Musharraf found himself on the front lines of the conflict between radical Islamists and the West throughout his time in the highest office in Pakistan.

Although he served as the main regional ally of the United States during its invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan, his rule was infamous for persecution and widespread violations of human rights, particularly in the later years.

He put martial law in place, suspended the constitution, dismissed the chief judge of the supreme court, and detained activists and attorneys in 2007, all of which led to widespread demonstrations.

Benazir Bhutto, the head of the opposition, was assassinated in December 2007, which further soured the nation’s mood and made him an outcast when his supporters suffered humiliating defeats in the 2008 elections.