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Saturday, May 30, 2020

October 1999, Complete Story of Musharaf's Coup

In 1997 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister of Pakistan with an overwhelming majority. But despite a two-thirds majority, his period was also full of controversy, with some internal and external circumstances and some his own stubbornness and ego responsible. With the formation of the government, he had a quarrel with the Supreme Court and his workers attacked the Supreme Court. In those days, terrorist incidents shook the whole country. The law and order situation in the country was deteriorating. The then Army Chief General Jahangir Karamat criticized the situation and proposed the establishment of a Security Council. Nawaz Sharif expressed his displeasure over this and demanded his resignation. Three names were proposed for the new army chief, including General Ali Quli Khan, General Khalid Nawaz and General Pervez Musharraf. General Pervez Musharraf was junior of them but Nawaz Sharif nominated him for the post of Army Chief.

After the Kargil war, differences began to arise between Pervez Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif. The two began to criticize each other in private parties. Nawaz Sharif thought that Pervez Musharraf had taken such a big step like Kargil without asking him when a new era of relations was about to begin between India and Pakistan after Vajpayee's visit to Lahore. Pervez Musharaf believed that the Pakistani army had caught India by the neck but Nawaz Sharif could not bear the American pressure and the Pakistani army had to return.
Meanwhile, General Pervez Musharraf forcibly retired General Tariq Pervez Corps Commander Quetta, who was the brother of PML-N MNA Nadir Pervez, for meeting the Prime Minister without the permission of the Army Chief. Now distrust had grown on both sides. Before Pervez Musharraf, the trusted comrades were three generals, including General Aziz, General Shahid Aziz and General Mahmood. These were the same generals who were also involved in planning the Kargil war with Pervez Musharraf.
On October 12 1999, Nawaz Sharif went to Shujaabad for a rally. Pervez Musharraf was on an official visit to Sri Lanka that day. During the rally, Nawaz Sharif received a call and the rally was shortened and Nawaz Sharif was invited to address directly .
He spoke for only a few minutes, in which he said that some people want to overthrow the government but the conspiracies of such people will never succeed. Chaudhry Nisar's brother General (retd) Iftikhar was the then Secretary Defense, he was seriously ill that day and doctors advised him to rest but Nawaz Sharif soon settled the meeting in Lahore. He was called to Lahore airport. When Mian Sahib sat in the car with him, he said, "I have made an important decision that I want to replace Pervez Musharraf with General Zia-ud-Din Butt as Army Chief." Surprised, he asked Mian Sahib to consult Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar in this regard but Mian Sahib said that now the time for consultation has passed. When Mian Sahib was not convinced, General Iftikhar asked him to give written orders. When he reached the Prime Minister's House, Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar were already waiting there, but Mian Sahib refused to meet him and asked his principal secretary Saeed Mehdi to issue the notification. The Prime Minister's Military Secretary Brigadier Javed immediately called General Zia and informed him of his appointment as Army Chief and summoned him to the Prime Minister's House. General Zia reached the place where he was appointed Army Chief. Zia sat in the Prime Minister's Military Secretary's room and immediately called General Mahmood, the commander of the Ten Corps and the Chief of Staff General Aziz. General Zia decided to remove General Aziz and General Mahmood, they both called but could not be contacted. General Zia called the GHQ and ordered their removal.
It was rumored that the prime minister had fired the army chief, while General Mahmood and General Aziz were playing golf when they found out. He immediately called General Muzaffar Usmani, the corps commander in Karachi, who was to receive Musharraf at the airport. General Aziz asked General Osmani what to do. General Usmani asked if General Musharraf had given any orders. Finding the answer yes, he said follow them then. Meanwhile, General Zia called General Usmani and told him about his progress. He instructed him to take former Army Chief General Musharraf from the airport to the Army House, but shortly afterwards, Orders were given from Prime minister house to arrest musharaf. Now it was up to General Osmani to decide who to support. It was up to him to turn the tide of history.
On the other hand, General Mahmood, seeing that General Usmani was with him, started conducting operations in Rawalpindi.
When General Osmani reached Karachi airport, the IG Rana Maqbool was present there to arrest Musharraf. When Major General Iftikhar reached the room of the Air Traffic Controller, he said that he had orders to land the plane at Nawabshah. Major general iftikhar put his pistol on Controller and asked him to give permission to the plane to land on Karachi airport. Musharraf's plane was still circling in the air. When it landed at the airport, it had only six minutes of fuel left. Meanwhile, General Mahmood's forces seized PTV and the Prime Minister's House and detained General Zia and Nawaz Sharif.
At 2 pm, Pervez Musharraf announced the end of the government and his appointment as chief executive. Thus Pakistan fell victim to another long military dictatorship.

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