Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف; born: 11 August 1943) is a retired four-star general and a politician who served as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until 2008. Prior to that, he was the 13th Chief of Army Staff from October 1998 till November 2007, and was also the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan Armed Forces from 1998 until 2001. Commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964, Musharraf rose to national prominence after being appointed to the four-star general in October 1998 by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf was the mastermind and strategic field commander behind the highly controversial and internationally condemned Kargil infiltration, which derailed peace negotiations with India. Previously, Musharraf played a vital role in the Afghan civil war, both assisting the peace negotiations and attempting to end the bloodshed in the country. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, Musharraf was brought to power through a military coup d'état in 1999, subsequently placing the Prime minister under a strict house-arrest before moving him to Adiala Jail in Punjab Province.
Restoration of national economy was one of his earliest initiatives. He appointed his close aide, Shaukat Aziz as Finance Minister. He secured the Presidential nomination in June 2001 and succeeded Rafique Tarar as the President of Pakistan. In the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the United States, Musharraf closely allied with the United States and the allied powers in the War on Terror. After accepting the rulings of the Supreme Court, Musharraf became the first president to hold general elections nationwide. Appointing Zafarullah Jamali as Prime minister in 2002, Musharraf accepted his resignation in 2004 and approved the appointment of Shaukat Aziz as Prime Minister instead. Voluntarily surrendering the powers of chief executive and the authority to Shaukat Aziz whom Musharraf trusted, their rule was marred by controversies in the last two years, including the armed action in Red Mosque.
With Aziz constitutionally completing his term and the suspension of the Chief Justice in 2007, Musharraf dramatically fell from the presidency in 2008 after voluntarily resigning after facing threat of impeachment led by the elected opposition parties. Musharraf was in self-imposed exile in London, and returned ending his four years of self-imposed exile to take part in the May 11, 2013 general elections despite a Taliban death threat on 24 March 2013 to Pakistan. In his absence in Pakistan, the country's courts issued arrest warrants for him and Aziz for alleged involvement in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti. Due to his military dictatorship having a thin veneer of democratic governance, historian Ian Kershaw described Musharraf as among the worst modern dictators.
Return to Pakistan
Since the start of 2011, news has been circulating that Musharraf will return to Pakistan before the next national elections. He himself has vowed this in several interviews. On Piers Morgan Tonight, Musharraf announced his plans to return to Pakistan on 23 March 2012 in order to seek the Presidency in 2013. If he returns, the Taliban has threatened to kill him. On 24 March 2013, after a four-year self imposed exile, he returned to Pakistan on 24 March 2013 despite the life threats from Taliban & Talal Bugti. He landed on Jinnah International Airport, Karachi via a chartered Emirates flight with Pakistani journalists and foreign news correspondents at around 12:40 PM PST. Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML were at Karachi airport welcoming him. He also delivered a short and emotional public speech at outside the lounge of airport
On Friday 26 April 2013 the court ordered house arrest for Musharraf in connection with the death of Benazir Bhutto On 20 May, a Pakistani court granted bail to Musharraf.
On 25th June 2013, Musharraf was named as prime suspect in Benazir Bhutto assassination case by Federal Investigation Agency for masterminding a conspiracy to assassinateBenazir Bhutto.