After almost a decade in power, after numerous attempts to force him to relinquish his power, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharaff finally gives in to internal and external pressure from opposition. But was his downfall really the answer to Pakistan’s economic problems?

It was in 1999 that then Pakistan leader Nawaz Shariff made the order to dismiss General Musharaff as head of the armed forces which caused anger and frustrations within the high ranking officers. This sparked the bloodless coup d`etat that ousted him from power and gave General Musharaff the title, Chief Executive. Ever since then, his reign was plagued with criticism, opposition and pressure from different fields of the society. They were calling for the restoration of democracy. Musharaff gave in to their demands but also made sure his reign would be legitimate and would continue. This led to a referendum in 2002. His party won in the referendum. However, it was marred with “irregularities” and majority of the population boycotted it. Another group that posed a threat against his presidency was the United
States itself. George Bush was concerned about the “freedom” of the Pakistani people. He, however, withdrew his statement following Musharaff’s allegiance and support to his war on terror in 2003. This move even got him a deal with the United States for access to nuclear arms. A deal that narrowly saved the country from bankruptcy.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff announces his resignation in this photo grab
Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff announces his resignation in this photo grab

Although the Musharaff administration didn’t improve economic conditions in the country, it saved Pakistan from even worse conditions. And although foreign relations were still strained, it managed to ease tensions with neighbor India.

His later years however was disastrous to the country. As it was nothing but violence and chaos. Starting with a takeover of the country’s Red Mosque. More chaotic events followed, like the assassination of his fiercest rival, Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Investor confidence in Pakistan was at an all-time low. Its image was as messed up as ever.

The year 2008 came, and more problems went in the way of the Musharaff regime. Including the impeachment trial against him recently. This case finally forced him to relinquish his post. With him gone, it is yet to be known if whether the opposition was right and that he was the cause of the country’s crises.

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