Former Pakistan President Musharraf Dies at 79

    Photo: nytimes

    The Facts

    • Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, died on Sunday in Dubai, according to the Pakistan military. Although no cause of death was announced, Musharraf had been undergoing treatment for amyloidosis, a rare disease.

    • Musharraf was a former special forces commando who ascended to the presidency in 1999 after the last of a string of military coups. He stepped down in 2008 in the face of a potential impeachment.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Musharraf may have had his faults, but he stabilized Pakistan’s economy, raised its growth rate, liberalized the media, and passed legislation to protect women. His decision to align with the US brought in billions in aid from abroad, and no leader of Pakistan has ever come as close as he did to making peace with India. Subsequent instability should make Pakistan’s people yearn for his days in office.

    Narrative B

    Musharraf was an autocrat who oversaw a reign of death, destruction, and usurpation of Pakistan’s constitution. He played both sides when it came to the US and the Taliban. These serious actions should be remembered in the context of his legacy, not the liberal reforms he barely established.

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