Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pervez Musharraf

Former 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 stems 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 a fluent speaker of Turkish.

He attended St Patrick's School, Karachi (a Catholic school), graduating in 1959, later attending Forman Christian College (a Protestant school) in Lahore.

In 1961, 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 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 of the United Kingdom.

He fought two wars against India in1965 and 1971. While President Musharraf is a man of war, he strongly believes in peace in the region 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 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. The role that he played with incredible courage surviving more than a few assassination attempts; and he still remains a target of those that want to see the world divided as “West and The Rest”.

In the course of his seven 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 the Parliament; the Freedom of expression was unlocked by opening up the media and allowing multiple private TV channels to operate for the first time in the history of Pakistan, and the electronic and print media began operating independent of the government.

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) while setting it on path of prosperity, growth and economic reforms. It joined the ranks of the N-11 countries, the fastest growing economies after the BRIC countries.

On the world stage, the President has taken 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 capability to be transformed into a progressive, moderate, and prosperous Islamic State.

Pakistan First.

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