IF LEFT UNTREATED, AMYLOIDOSIS can kill its host body within six months. An irregular spike in the build-up of the amyloid protein is to be blamed for such; the amyloid makes it cumbersome for even a healthy person’s tissues or organs to function in the correct manner. Friday morning’s headlines had ushered in a wave of news surrounding the health of former president Pervez Musharraf; some claimed he had already died in Dubai, while others reported that he was on his deathbed. The General’s family quickly dismissed these claims, but only in part. While Musharraf had not died, he was not entirely living life, either—at the tender age of seventy-two, it was announced that the General had been diagnosed with amyloidosis, and his organs were expected to stop functioning soon. There is no recovery for this rare disease. Less than five per cent of those who attempt to battle amyloidosis succeed, and that, too, for only ten additional years.
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The Delhi-born four-star General was promoted to the rank of senior officer in 1998 by Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) government. A little under a year later, he paved his way into becoming the tenth Pakistani president after he toppled the same government in a bloodless coup, on account of Sharif attempting to sack him from his position. He immediately warranted arrests of PML(N) workers across the country, which led many into seeking exile abroad. He burnt the good name of the 1973 Constitution and placed the country’s democratic process in jeopardy. Martial law thrived under his wing; the U.S. had never looked better with Pakistan as a key ally post-9/11 with the Musharraf government at in the palm of their hand. He let the U.S. exploit Pakistan’s logistics and air equipment for their own patriotic needs. He spent seven years as President, renewing his status for another five-year stint in a 2002 referendum. He also oversaw the 2007 state of emergency placed on the nation, where he once-again suspended the Constitution and ordered arrests on Supreme Court judges. A vote of no-confidence was put on Musharraf’s head in 2008 after the PML(N) and the PPP had joined forces, much like they have only recently; the General resigned to avoid impeachment.
He travelled to Dubai in 2016 in order to receive treatment for his ailing health. He was sentenced to death in absentia in 2019 on account of his 2007 call to instate a state of emergency in the country. The former president’s family stated on Twitter that he was “going through a difficult stage where recovery is not possible and organs are malfunctioning,” requesting All-Pakistan Muslim League supporters to “pray for ease in his daily living.”