1999 Pakistani coup d'état

1999 Pakistani coup d'état

In October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistani army launched a coup to topple Nawaz Sharif, then Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The coup

On 12 October, 1999, Sharif dismissed army chief Pervez Musharraf and appointed Inter-Services Intelligence director Lieutenant General Ziauddin Butt in his place. Musharraf, who was out of the country, immediately returned through a commercial airliner. Senior Army generals including Lieutenant General Muhammad Aziz Khan, the then chief of general staff, Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed, the then corps commander Rawalpindi, and Lieutenant General Muzaffar Usmani, the then corps commander Karachi sided with General Musharraf and refused to obey the orders of the prime minister. In an attempt to thwart Musharraf's return, the government changed the route of the airliner to a distant airport in the interior Sindh. Musharraf, however, forced the pilot to stay in the vicinity of Karachi airport. With military taking over the control of the airport, the plane eventually landed in Karachi.

In the aftermath of the coup d'état, Musharraf's generals ousted the elected government, and arrested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his cabinet. Musharraf later assumed the control of the government and in a subsequent trial of the prime minister alleged that the plane landed with only 7 minutes of fuel left to spare. Sharif was convicted of plane hijacking and was sentenced to life. Later he was pardonedFact|date=June 2008 by President Musharraf only to be exiled to Saudi Arabia where he resided until he returned again on November 25, 2007.


On 12 May 2000 the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Pervez Musharraf to hold general elections by 12 October 2002. In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the impending elections, he held a national referendum on 30 April 2002, which extended his presidential term to a period ending five years after the October elections.

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/472968.stm Pakistan after the coup: Special report] , BBC report
* [http://www.stratmag.com/issue2July-1/page06.htm Strategic Affairs Analysis]
* [http://www.saag.org/papers12/paper1138.html SAAG]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/kargil-99.htm 1999 Kargil Conflict]

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