1999 Pakistani coup d'état

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1999 military takeover in Pakistan
Operational scope Operational
Planned by JS HQ in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Commanded by 111th Infantry Brigade, X Corps
Target Sharif administration
Date12 October 1999 (1999-10-12)
17:00 22:50 Hrs (PKT)
Executed by Army GHQ in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Pervez Musharraf Pervez Musharraf 2008 (cropped).jpg
Pervez Musharraf

The 1999 military takeover in Pakistan [3] was a bloodless coup d'état initiated by the military staff at the Joint Staff HQ working under Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Pervez Musharraf. The instigators seized control of the civilian government of publicly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 12 October 1999. [4] Simultaneously tenuring as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. On 14 October Gen. Musharraf, acting as the country's Chief Executive, issued a controversial provisional order that suspended the Constitution of Pakistan.


Martial law was declared due to breakdown of civil-military relations between the Sharif administration and Admiral Fasih Bokhari regarding command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Tensions between the Sharif administration and joint chiefs chairman General Musharraf reached a breaking point when Prime Minister Sharif attempted to relieve General Musharraf of his command on his return from an official visit to Sri Lanka.

In an attempt to maintain civilian control over the military, Lieutenant-General Ziauddin Butt - then Director of the ISI - was hastily approved for the appointment of the army chief, but the decision was opposed by senior members of the Joint Staff HQ, who refused to follow the new chain of command, deciding instead to direct the Military Police to detain General Butt and prevent his taking control of the military. [5]

The pace of the coup startled political observers - within 17 hours of Sharif's attempt to attempting to relieve General Musharraf army commanders took control of all key government institutions throughout the country and placed Prime Minister Sharif and his administration - which included his brother - under house arrest. [6] Military police took control of the state broadcaster, radio and the entire critical communications infrastructure, and announced that Sharif had been dismissed. [6]

The Supreme Court of Pakistan led by Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui validated the martial law under a "doctrine of necessity" but limited its legality to three years.:118 [7] Meanwhile, Sharif was tried by the Judge Advocate General Court and convicted of endangering the lives of all passengers aboard the aircraft carrying Musharraf.:56–57 [8] The military court subsequently upheld the decision, stating that Sharif was guilty of aerial hijacking and had ordered the Pakistan CAA to forbid the plane from landing on Pakistani soil, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. [8]

When the decision was announced, it sparked fury in conservative PML(N) but welcomed by many of its political opponents. [8] By mid-November 1999, a lengthy court battle at the Supreme Court ensued when the law firms representing the Sharif administration filed a lawsuit against the Musharraf's military administration operating at the JS HQ, challenging the legality of the military takeover, the proclamation of state emergency, and demanding the release of Sharif as well as reinstating the writ of the constitution.:118 [7] In 2000, the Supreme Court of Pakistan led by Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui accepted the arguments put forwarded by the lawyers of the former Sharif administration who viewed this coup as a "violation of constitution" and subsequently resigned, only to be replaced by acting Chief Justice Ershad Hasan who acted towards validating the coup as constitutional after hearing the case.:119–120 [7] :112–115 [9]

On 10 December 2000, Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf unexpectedly issued a pardon of Nawaz Sharif and allowed the immediate members of former first family to travel to Saudi Arabia on a private jet provided by the Saudi Royal Family.:167–168 [10] :73–74 [11] In 2016, Musharraf later confessed in an interview given to Kamran Shahid of Dunya that "he pardoned Nawaz Sharif from life imprisonment on the request of King Abdullah and Rafic Hariri." [12]

In 2001, General Musharraf issued the executive decree and eventually forced President Rafiq Tarar to resign in order for General Musharraf to assume the presidency. [13] In the light of Supreme Court's verdict, the national referendum was held on 30 April 2002, allowing himself to continue his rule. [14] [15] The controversial referendum, which Musharraf won with almost 98% of the votes in his favour, was alleged by many, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, to be fraudulent. [14] [15] In 2002, the general elections restored the democracy when the Musharraf-backed PML(Q), the libertarians, were able to form the minority government who would later nominate General Musharraf's for the presidential elections held in 2004. In 2007, President Musharraf eventually imposed another martial law by having suspend the populist Chief Justice IM Chaudhry, leveling charges on corruption and misconduct. Unlike the earlier martial law, Musharraf was widely disapproved, inviting the mass demonstration led by Nawaz Sharif, and eventually resigned in an attempt to avoid impeachment in the Parliament. [16]

In 2009, the Supreme Court acquitted Sharif of hijacking case and quoted that: "Nawaz Sharif had neither used force nor ordered its use or employed deceitful mean." [17] In 2014, Sharif was also acquitted from money laundering and corruption cases from an accountability court. [18]

According to the historian, Mazhar Aziz, the military takeover in 1999 in Pakistan makes a "striking example in the case study of civil military relations" in a post–Cold War era.:76 [19]

Events leading towards the martial law

Relief of General Jehangir and Kargil debacle

In 1997, Nawaz Sharif and his conservative Pakistan Muslim League-N won a landslide victory in the general elections, resulting in a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly– the lower house of bicameral Parliament of Pakistan. [20]

His second tenure was marked with a serious legal confrontation with the Supreme Court courted by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah over the legality and technicality of Thirteenth Amendment and the Ehtesab Act, 1997 (lit. Accountability Act, 1997). [20] Chief Justice Shah had been battling in the Supreme Court for his legitimacy due to many senior justices had seen his appointment as "inappropriate and political", having been appointed by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1994. [21] On 29 October 1997, Chief Justice Shah and his bench decided to hear the petition filed by the Pakistan Peoples Party's lawyers and suspended the implementation of bills.:45–46 [22] Prime Minister Sharif reacted angrily by the Court's actions, issuing an intemperate public diatribe particularly against Chief Justice Shah.:45–46 [22] On 2 November 1997, Chief Justice Shah summoned Prime Minister Sharif for contempt of court but this order was viewed "null and voided" when two senior justices at the Supreme Court issued a counter-order.:45–46 [22] On 30 November 1997, Prime Minister Sharif appeared before the Supreme Court but his partisans stormed the Supreme Court Building forcing Chief Justice Shah to remove the finding of contempt against Sharif.:190 [23] While the police gained control of the situation to restore law and order, the whole nation witnessed traumatizing and terrifying scenes on their television screens broadcast by the news media all over the country.:190 [23]

Subsequently, the Supreme Judicial Council took up a case against the appointment of Chief Justice Shah on 23 December and declared Chief Justice Shah's appointment "illegal and unconstitutional" that eventually forced him to resign from his office on 2 December 1997.:46 [22] President Farooq Leghari who supported the cause of Chief Justice Shah also had to resign when army chief General Jehangir Karamat and Chairman joint chiefs Air Chief Marshal Feroze Khan intervened to resolve the crises.:175–176 [24] Prime Minister Sharif eventually appointed his Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui based on merit qualification and offered presidency to former supreme court justice Rafiq Tarar who was elected in 1998. [20]

In 1998, Prime Minister Sharif effectively relieved Chairman joint chief General Jehangir Karamat from the command of the military when General Karamat delivered a college lecture at the Naval War College in Karachi.:107–108 [25] At this lecture, General Karamat called for establishing the National Security Council (NSC) which would be backed by a "team of civil-military experts" for devising policies to seek resolution ongoing problems relating the civil-military issues; also recommended a "neutral but competent bureaucracy and administration of at federal level and the establishment of Local governments in four provinces.:66–68 [26]

Relieving of General Karamat plummeted Sharif's own public approvals and his relations with the military, as even his senior Cabinet ministers were in disagreement of Sharif's decision. [27] Many political observers were taken in complete surprise since the dismissal of four-star rank general was never happened before in country's short history.:145–146 [28]

Eventually, Sharif chose then-Lieutenant-General Pervez Musharraf over two senior army generals for the appointment to post of the army chief and acting Chairman joint chiefs.:64–67 [29] A year later, the civil military relations took a sharp turn in the opposition of Sharif when he invited and received Indian Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee in Lahore for peace talks, much to agitation of General Musharraf who did not welcome outcomes of Lahore Summit.:150–151 [30]

In 1999, the Pakistan Army soldiers secretly crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and infiltrated in Kargil on the direct orders issues by General Musharraf, bringing the two nations at the brink of war.:118–121 [31] The Indian Army reacted with launching of full-fledged military coordinated military operations while Indian government effectively put diplomatic pressure of Sharif's government to withdraw the soldiers from the Kargil sector.:25–31 [32] Both Sharif and General Musharraf held each other responsible for the actions in the Kargil, charging each other of lying and hiding details of war to the nation. [33]

At the public circle, Sharif assigned blame for the political/diplomatic disaster on General Musharraf, and Musharraf placing the blame of disaster on Prime Minister Sharif. [34] On September 1999, General Musharraf forcefully retired Lieutenant-General Tariq Pervez who was known to be close to Sharif and cousin of Raja Nadir Pervez, the Communication minister.:39 [35]

Upon meeting with Sharif, General Tariq Pervez had ultimately warned Sharif of "making any move against General Musharraf or the army would strike.":39 [35]

Revolt of the Admiral

General Pervez Musharraf, PA PervezMusharraf.jpg
General Pervez Musharraf, PA

The revolt of Admiral Fasih Bokhari, the Chief of Naval Staff, over Sharif's public decision of extending General Musharraf's tenure as chairman joint chiefs until 2001 was another issue that saw the breaking down of civil-military relations. About the Kargil war, Admiral Bokhari was not of the view of supporting the Pakistan Army's engagement with the Indian Army as appropriate and subsequently lodged a powerful protest against General Musharraf's grand strategy while recommending the constitution of a Commission to completely probe the Kargil issue. [36]

At the country's news media, Admiral Bokhari publicly questioned the effectiveness of the military strategy behind the Kargil infiltration and was very critical of General Musharraf's unilateral decisions involving the national security, as chairman joint chiefs, without considering the opinions of chiefs of staff of air force and the navy. [37]

In 1999, Sharif quarrelled with Admiral Bokhari and his Navy NHQ staff over the merit-based appointment of General Musharraf to the Chairman Joint Chiefs that was only meant to be temporary and it was hoped that Admiral Bokhari would be appointed to the post.:contents [38] [39] On August 1999, there were rising tensions between Admiral Bokhari and Prime Minister Sharif over issue of incident took place in Sir Creek, although both had kept the working relations on good terms. [40]

On September 1999, General Musharraf had sent a message Prime Minister Sharif that "anyone in the Navy and Air Force can become the Chairman Joint Chiefs as I did not care.":111 [41] General Musharraf reportedly backed Admiral Bokhari's bid for the Chairman Joint Chiefs but he was oversaw by the Prime Minister who confirmed and extended General Musharraf's term until 2001. [42]

The civil-military relations were further damaged when Admiral Bokhari lodged a strong protest against this decision in the news media and reportedly revolted against Prime Minister Sharif's appointment for the Chairman joint chiefs in 1999. [43] Admiral Bokhari abruptly tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister Sharif and noted to Sharif that since General Musharraf was his junior and often referred to him as "Sir." [43] :1265 [44]

On 5 October 1999, Admiral Bokhari resigned from the command of the Navy as the news media construed Admiral Bokhari's resignation merely as unhappiness over not being appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. [43] Admiral Bokhari's revolt saw the meltdown of the civil-military relations between the elected civilian government and the military leaders that eventually led to the military overtaking the civilian government by dismissing Prime Minister Sharif on 12 October 1999.:63 [45]

The military takeover

Jinnah International Airport, where Chairman joint chiefs Gen. Musharraf landed in Karachi, c.] 2006. Karachi-Terminal-00138.JPG
Jinnah International Airport, where Chairman joint chiefs Gen. Musharraf landed in Karachi, c.] 2006.

In the aftermath of the Kargil War, followed by the Atlantique incident, there were widespread rumors and media speculations in the television news media about the either possible military takeover or resignation of General Musharraf on September 1999. [46]

On October 1999, General Musharraf paid an official visit to Sri Lanka on an invitation of Sri Lankan Army Commander Lieutenant-General C. S. Weerasooriya. Ultimately, Prime Minister Sharif dismissed General Musharraf from the command of the military and nominated Lieutenant-General Ziauddin Butt, the DG ISI, over several army officers on 12 October 1999. [47] Developments came when General Musharraf, along with Major-General Tariq Majid and Brigadier Nadeem Taj, returned to Pakistan on a PIA 777-200. [48]

According to the sources, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was ordered by Sharif to divert the plane to India but then it was rerouted to Nawabshah. [48] When this was failed to comprehend by the pilot, the CAA was ordered to close the runways by turning off the edge lights at the Jinnah International Airport in an attempt to refuse the landing. [48] The units of military police led by Lieutenant-General Iftikhar sealed the civilian airport and seized the control of the control tower, allowing the plane to land on a runway. From the control tower, then Karachi Corps Commander General Muzaffar Usmani contacted General Musharraf, in his flight and assured him that landing the plane was safe since the army now controlled Jinnah Terminal. The military police seized the control of the state-run media television headquarters and encircled the Prime Minister Secretariat building while gaining control of the international airports and cutting off the international phone lines. [49] [50]

There were four army generals who were central in staging the coup against Sharif's government that included General Musharraf General Ehsan ul Haq, Aziz Khan, Mahmood Ahmad and Shahid Aziz. They played a crucial role in installing General Musharraf as Chief Executive while they detained Sharif in a local prison.:185–185 [51] On 14 October 1999, Musharraf appeared on television to declare a state of emergency and issued a Provisional Constitutional Order that ultimately suspended the writ of the Constitution of Pakistan and dissolved the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies, although they left Muhammad Rafiq Tarar in office as President. [52]

However, General Musharraf strongly objected the wordage use of "martial law" or "coup d'état", instead insisting that: "This is not martial law, only another path towards democracy." [53] The ISPR also confirmed that "There is no martial law in the country." [3]

Text of Proclamation of Emergency

Soon after taking over the country, an emergency was declared in the country. Following is the text of the Proclamation of Emergency declared by Musharraf: [54]

In pursuance of deliberations and decisions of chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces and corps commanders of Pakistan Army, I General Pervez Musharraf, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and chief of army staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan and assume the office of the chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

I hereby order and proclaim as follows:

(a) The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance

(b) The president of Pakistan shall continue in office

(c) The National Assembly, the provincial assemblies and Senate shall stand suspended

(d) The chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies shall stand suspended

(e) The prime minister, the federal ministers, ministers of state, advisers to the prime minister, parliamentary secretaries, the provincial governors, the provincial chief ministers, the provincial ministers and the advisers to the chief ministers shall cease to hold office

(f) The whole of Pakistan will come under the control of the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

This proclamation shall come into force at once and be deemed to have taken effect on the 12th day of October, 1999.

Text of Provisional Constitutional Order 1999

Following is the text of Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by Musharraf. After its proclamation, the order was modified on multiple occasions: [55]

In pursuance of Proclamation of the 14th day of October, 1999, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff and Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan under the Proclamation of Emergency of 14th day of October 1999 (hereinafter referred to as the Chief Executive) is pleased to make and promulgate the following Order:


(1) This Order may be called Provisional Constitution Order No.1 of 1999;
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan;
(3) It shall come into force at once.


(1) Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution, Pakistan shall, subject to this Order and any other Orders made by the Chief Executive, be governed, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the Constitution.
(2) Subject as aforesaid, all courts in existence immediately before the commencement of this Order, shall continue to function and to exercise their respective powers and jurisdiction provided that the Supreme Court or High Courts and any other court shall not have the powers to make any order against the Chief Executive or any person exercising powers or jurisdiction under his authority;
(3) The Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II of the Constitution, not in conflict with the Proclamation of Emergency or any Order made thereunder from time to time, shall continue to be in force.


(1) The President shall act on, and in accordance with the advice of the Chief Executive;
(2) The Governor of the Province shall act on, and in accordance with the instructions of the Chief Executive.


(1) No Court, Tribunal or other authority shall call or permit to be called in question the proclamation of Emergency of 14th day of October, 1999 or any Order made in pursuance thereof.
(2) No judgment, decree, writ, order or process whatsoever shall be made or issued by any court or tribunal against the Chief Executive or any authority designated by the Chief Executive.

5. Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution, but subject to the Orders of the Chief Executive, all laws other than the Constitution shall continue in force until altered, amended or repealed by the Chief Executive or any authority designated by him.

6. The Proclamation of Emergency issued on 28th day of May 1998, shall continue but subject to the provisions of Proclamation of Emergency dated 14th day of October 1999 and this Provisional Constitution Order and any other Order made thereunder.

7. All persons who, immediately before the commencement of this Order, were in the service of Pakistan as defined in Article 260 of the Constitution and those persons who immediately before such commencement were in office as Judge of the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court or a High Court or Auditor-General or Ombudsman and Chief Ehtesab Commissioner, shall continue in the said service on the same terms and conditions and shall enjoy the same privileges, if any.


Upon hearing the news of Sharif's arrest, the PML(N) partisans and the party leadership led by Javed Hashmi, a conservative politician in Lahore and Mamnoon Hussain in Karachi called out and led massive street demonstrations and protests in the streets of Lahore, Karachi, and other cities.:2432 [56]

The conservative supporters of Nawaz Sharif did not welcome this coup and saw this event as a conspiracy but many of Sharif's rivals welcome this coup, eventually holding celebration parties around different parts of the country. [21] Although there were reports of unconfirmed media blackout of Sharif-aligned conservative media, no restrictions were imposed on the liberal/libertarian news media.:416–418 [21]

There were reports of repression and human rights abuse taken place by the authorities under General Musharraf, as the pro-democracy demonstrations were forcefully and effectively crushed by Musharraf's regime. [21]

Legality and legitimacy of the coup

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in c. 2004. Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad by Usman Ghani.jpg
The Supreme Court of Pakistan in c. 2004.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan courted by the Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui partially provided the legality of the martial law in a view of "doctrine of necessity" after Musharraf's lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada argued for the martial law on technicality, but its legality was only limited to three years.:25 [7] [57] :118 Meanwhile, Sharif was tried by the military judge advocate general where allegations of corruption, terrorism, and money laundering were leveled against him.:56–57 [8] Eventually, the military court's inconclusive rulings found him to be guilty and convicted him for risking the life of all the passengers on board including the sitting Chairman joint chiefs.:57 [8]

On 15 November 1999, the Supreme Court of Pakistan decided to hear the petitions filed by PML-N's lawyer Zafar Ali Shah on behalf of Sharif and Aitzaz Ahsan requesting a supreme court's intervention to declare the military takeover "illegal and unconstitutional", and order the restoration of Sharif's government and reinstatement of the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies that were suspended. [58] The PML(N)'s lawyers began their court battle with the Musharraf's lawyers when additional petitions were filed by PML(N), Muslim Welfare Movement, and Wahabul Khairi, an advocate challenging the legality of the coup. [59]

On 1 December 1999, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court was constituted to hear these appeals and as lawyers of each side to present cases of their clients. The bench headed by Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui and head Justice Bashir Jahangiri, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Abdur Rehman Khan and Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed as other members. [59]

Provisional Constitutional Order judges oath

As the hearing progressed at the Supreme Court, the legality and legitimacy of the coup became an important issue while Sharif's lawyers successfully argued for reinstating the writ of the constitution. Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui alongside with other chief justices were in clear view of this coup as a "violation of the constitution" as Sharif's lawyers made a ground base for finding Musharraf of treason.:119–120 [7] [60]

On 26 January 2000, Chief Executive Musharraf, acting on the advice of Sharifuddin Pirzada, quickly promulgated the Provisional Constitutional Order and asked Chief Justice Siddiqui alongside other justices to take a new oath under this provision. [61] Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui and other nine judges of the thirteen Supreme Court justices refused to take the oath which became an issue identified as the "biggest challenge" to the new government.:112–115 [9] Eventually, Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui and other nine judges resigned from their respected appointments, followed by a number of other High Court justices also refused to take the oath. :24 [61] The Provisional Constitutional Order disallowed challenging any actions made by the military-led by General Musharraf, and many judges who refused to take the oath cited infringements upon the judiciary system such as this as their reasoning for refusing.:115 [9] The Provisional Constitutional Order provided Musharraf legal protection of his actions in regards to the military taker over and bared any court in the country for taking any legal actions against Musharraf or those who were responsible for the military coup. [4]

Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer and human rights advocate, reportedly quoted: "The military rulers are doing their best to erode the independence of the judiciary. I salute those judges who have refused to take the oath." [4]


Pardon of Sharif and 2002 referendum

On 9–10 December 2000, Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf unexpectedly issued a pardon of Nawaz Sharif and allowed the immediate members of former first family to travel to Saudi Arabia on a private jet provided by the Saudi Royal Family.:167–168 [10] :73–74 [11] Details emerged in successive years of this pardon that resulted in a forced signing of an agreement that put him in exile for a decade.:366 [62] [63] However, this agreement was voided in successive years when Musharraf himself went to court to bar Sharif from returning to Pakistan in 2007.:366 [62]

In 2016, Musharraf later confessed in an interview given to Kamran Shahid of Dunya that "he pardoned Nawaz Sharif from life imprisonment on the request of King Abdullah and Rafic Hariri". [12]

On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court of Pakistan courted by Chief Justice Irshad Hasan finally legalized the coup but ordered to hold a nationwide election to restore the writ of the government. [64]

In 2001, General Musharraf issued the executive decree, of which, President Tarar was of the view that such decree was unconstitutional and illegal. Eventually, Musharraf forcefully removed President from his office when the latter forced President Tarar to forcefully resigned as president. [13] [65] In the light of Supreme Court's verdict, the national referendum was held on 30 April 2002, allowing himself to continue his rule. [14] [15] The referendum, which Musharraf won with almost 98% of the votes in his favour, was alleged by many, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, to be fraudulent. [14] [15]

Allegations of illegitimacy

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International Pakistan and Human Rights Commission and others had denounced the referendum as extremely fraudulent in 2002. The Reuters journalists claimed to see ballot stuffing and pressure to vote being placed on governmental employees. [15] Ibn Abdur Rehman, director of the Human Rights Commission, dismissed the referendum as "farcical", also claiming that votes were stuffed. [15] The Amnesty International Pakistan and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan stated that the voting irregularities "exceeded its worst fears". [15]

The PML(N), backed by the Human Rights Commission, challenged the results of the referendum but Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan dismissed the petitions while rejecting the challenge and upholding the results. [14] Information Minister Nisar Memon dismissed allegations of fraud as propaganda created by the opposition and stated that "Those who opposed the referendum preferred to stay at home and didn't create any problem." [14]

The credibility of the claims of illegitimacy is added when American Pattan Development Organization conducted a Gallup survey that founded that the "people are likely to elect either Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif as the next prime minister" in preference to President General Pervez Musharraf. [66] According to the survey, Musharraf had only 9% public approval as opposed to Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. [66]

Foreknowledge about coup

In 1999, Tariq Pervez, the FIA agent, had ultimately warned Nawaz Sharif of a military take over if Musharraf were dismissed from the command of the military.:39 [35] In the television news media and the political pundits had long speculating of a military takeover in the country as soon as General Karamat was dismissed by Prime Minister Sharif, and General Musharraf himself had sent a secret message of serious repercussion if he was to be removed.:111 [41] It is claimed by authors that Prime Minister Sharif had well political intelligence on Musharraf's intention and had sought US President Bill Clinton's help against the military intervention.:63–64 [67]

In 1999, Benazir Bhutto held all blames on Nawaz Sharif for the military takeover and criticized him stating "the man is violating every rule of law and, there is no-one to stop him." [68]

In 2002, Admiral Bokhari quoted that: he knew about General Musharraf's plans to topple [Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif and did not want to be part of these "Dirty Games". [69] Admiral Bokhari also noted that a power struggle between an elected Prime Minister and appointed-Chairman joint chiefs ensued and relations were severely damaged after the Kargil war.:37–38 [35]

Admiral Bokhari testified in media that:"The two men could not work together, both were preparing to take active actions against each other. I could see that there now two centres of power on a collision course".:37 [35] At an informal meeting held at the Navy NHQ in September 1999, Chairman joint chiefs General Musharraf indicated his displeasure with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's handling of the country describing Prime Minister Sharif as "incompetent and incapable of running the country.":38 [35] Admiral Bokhari firmly got the impression whether General Musharraf was sounding out to rely on the support from the Navy in events of the coup and Admiral Bokhara discouraged the Chairman joint chiefs from doing so.:38 [35]

In 2003, Musharraf squarely blamed Nawaz Sharif for the military take over and held responsible for the martial law against his government while accused him of being an autocrat and weakening the might of the military. [70]


Political opposition and dissents

In a views of historian, Mazhar Aziz, the military coup d'état is seen as an "striking example in the case study of civil military relations" in a post–Cold War era.:76 [19]

In 1999 and in 2004, Sharif extended his apologizes to various journalists and reporters for any wrongdoings and worked towards mending better relations with influential conservative news media after his exile. [27] [53] In 2001, the PML(N) and its rival PPP reached a compromised when the formed democracy restoration alliance in a view to oust President Musharraf.:58 [71] Major agitations took place in 2005 against President Musharraf's anti-terrorism policy and controversial amendments made in the constitution.:58 [71] In 2006, Sharif joins hand with Benazir Bhutto in opposition to Musharraf when both signed an agreement to restore parliamentary democracy in the country. [72]

In 2006, the PML(N) issued a white paper concerning the Kargil events and Nawaz Sharif personally apologized to former Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah and the former president Farooq Leghari for his role and his party's actions. [73] Sharif also extended his apology to General Karamat and Admiral Fasih Bokhari for overlooking him for the appointment of the Chairman joint chiefs. [73]

In 2007, Nawaz Sharif with his family, accompanied by his daughter, returned to Pakistan with thousands of his supporters receiving Sharif family. [74] In 2008, Sharif spearheaded the judicial activism in order to protest the suspension of Chief Justice I.M. Chaudhry by Musharraf.

Opposition and dissent within the military

In 2001–03, the principal four army generals, General Ehsan ul Haq, Gen. Aziz Khan, Lt-Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, and Lt-Gen. Shahid Aziz later regretted their role in bringing Gen. Musharraf in power when all four generals were forced out from their service due to opposition showed to President Musharraf's policies. General Aziz Khan was retired as a four-star General from the position of CJCSC in 2005 and was succeeded by General Ehsan ul Haq who was retired as a four-star General from the position of CJCSC in 2007 (the longest service by any of Gen. Musharaff's closest generals). General Mahmud Ahmed was retired in 2007 as DG-ISI. General Shahid Aziz was retired in 2004 as Lt-Gen. :184 [75] :156 [76]

Trial and sentence

On 17 December 2019, Musharraf was handed the death sentence for treason by a three-member bench of a special court in Pakistan. [77]

See also

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The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict fought between India and Pakistan from May to July 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC). In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay, which was the name of the Indian military operation to clear out the Kargil sector. The Indian Air Force's role in acting jointly with Indian Army ground troops during the war was aimed at flushing out regular and irregular troops of the Pakistan Army from vacated Indian positions along the LoC. This particular operation was given the codename Operation Safed Sagar.

National Security Council (Pakistan) Institutional and consultative body of the Government of Pakistan

The National Security Council is a federal institutional and consultative body chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan as its chairman. The NSC is a principal forum that is mandated for considering national security and foreign policy matters with the senior national security advisers and Cabinet ministers. The idea and inception of National Security Council was first conceived in 1969 under the President Yahya Khan, its functions were to advise and assist the president and prime minister on national security and foreign policies.

General Jehangir KaramatLOM, NI(M), SBt, best known as JK, is a retired four-star rank army general of Pakistan Army, diplomat, public intellectual, and a former professor of political science at the National Defense University. Appointed first to be served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army in 1996, he was elevated as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in 1997 until 1998.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Position of an administrative body of the Pakistan Armed Forces

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) is, in principle, the highest-ranking and senior most uniformed military officer, typically at four-star rank, in the Pakistan Armed Forces who serves as a Principal Staff Officer and a chief military adviser to the civilian government led by elected Prime minister of Pakistan and his/her National Security Council. The role of advisement is also extended to the elected members in the bicameral Parliament and the Ministry of Defence. The Chairman leads the meetings and coordinates the combined efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), comprising the Chairman, the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff, Commandant of Marines, DG Coast Guards and Strategic Plans Division, and commanders of the service branches in the paramilitary command.

Lahore Declaration 1999 bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan

The Lahore Declaration was a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan. The treaty was signed on 21 February 1999, at the conclusion of a historic summit in Lahore, and ratified by the parliaments of both countries the same year.

Aziz Khan (general) Pakistani general

General Muhammad Aziz KhanNI(m), HI(m), SBT, TBt, best known as Aziz Khan, is a retired four-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, appointed on October 2001 until his retirement in 2005.

Fasih BokhariNI(M), HI(M), SJ, SI(M), SBt was a Pakistani military officer who served as a four-star admiral in the Pakistan Navy from 1959 to 1999. He was a well-known pacifist and a prominent political figure as the Chief of Naval Staff from 1997 until his voluntary resignation in 1999, which stemmed from his starch opposition to the then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's instigation of the Kargil War with India, a conflict that Bokhari reportedly saw as an act of inappropriate and uncoordinated aggression from Pakistan and one that subsequently led him into a bitter dispute with Musharraf. Bokhari also served as the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau, a Pakistani anti-corruption agency.

Events in the year 1990 in Pakistan.

Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui

Saeed Uz Zaman Siddiqui was a Pakistani jurist and legislator of great prominence who formerly served as the Chief Justice of Pakistan at the Supreme Court of Pakistan and prior to that as Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court.

Abdul Aziz Mirza, LH,NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), SBt, is a retired four-star rank admiral in the Pakistan Navy, diplomat, and a businessman who served as the Chief of Naval Staff from 1999 until retiring in 2002, amid taking over the command of the Navy after the revolt and resignation Admiral Fasih Bokhari over the appointment of Chairman joint chiefs.

Jamshed Gulzar Kiani

Lieutenant-General Jamshed Gulzar Kiani, HI(M), SJ, SBt, TJ, was a three-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army, intelligence officer and the former Colonel Commandant of the Baloch Regiment and commander of X Corps.

The Gang of Four was a quantified and common colloquial implicit term for a set of four military leaders in the Pakistan military who were central figures in the military dictatorship in Pakistan wherein generals and admirals of the Pakistan Armed Forces had control over the country. This specific quantified set was briefed in the classified intelligence matters by the executive branches of the government. It was first related to the President General Zia-ul-Haq, and staffers of his administration including General Akhtar Rahman, Rahimuddin Khan, and Zahid Ali Akbar.

On 6 October 1998, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif relieved the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, General Jehangir Karamat, from the command of the Pakistan Armed Forces for making public statements regarding and contradicting the policies of public administration. At a public and political science circles, General Karamat had a popular support and occupied a prestigious image in the country for his role to promote democratic process in the country. His dismissal remains a controversial topic in the field of civil-military relations, and the move remains still questionable at the political science circles of Pakistan.


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