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Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف, born 11 August 1943), is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled Pakistan as Chief Executive from 1999–2001 and as President from 2001-08. In the face of impeachment, he preferred to resign on 18 August 2008.
After years of military service, he rose to prominence when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed him as the Chief of Army Staff in October 1998. Musharraf was the mastermind behind the controversial and internationally condemned Kargil infiltration, which derailed peace negotiations with Pakistan's long standing enemy India. He previously also played a vital role in the Afghanistan civil war (1996-2001) both in peace negotiations and in trying to end the bloodshed. After months of contentious relations with Sharif, Musharraf was brought to power through a bloodless military coup. Subsequently Nawaz Sharif was placed under a house-arrest, later shifting him to Adiala Jail.
As Pakistan's head of state, he was a U.S. ally in the War on Terror. He was credited with the development of Pakistan's economy during the early years of his rule. He is also credited to be the first president of Pakistan who accepted supreme court rulings and who organized free and fair elections. The last two years of his rule were marred by controversies, including the suspension of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the Lal Masjid siege. Ian Kershaw, a professor of modern history at Sheffield University, described Musharraf as Pakistan's Paul von Hindenburg.
In February 2011, a Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for him because of his alleged involvement in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. As of June 2011, he lives in self-exile in London but has vowed to return for the next election. He has announced that he intends to return to Pakistan on 23 March 2012. On January 7, 2012 he announced that he intends to return to Pakistan between January 27–30, 2012.