Friday, October 7, 2011

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to Speak at Washington College October 24

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf will speak at Washington College Monday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. He will talk about Pakistan, regional security and terrorism. Those unable to be on campus for the event can watch it as a livestream from the College website, www.washcoll.edu.

Musharraf, a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and the 10th President of Pakistan, ruled the country as Chief Executive from 1999 to 2001 after a military coup and as President from 2001 to 2008. After 9/11, he became an important ally of the United States in the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, which made him an enemy of anti-American Islamist fighters in his own country. Later, a bitter dispute with Pakistan’s Chief Justice led to a loss of popular support and accusations that he had violated the constitution with his actions against the judicial branch.

Since leaving office under the threat of impeachment, Musharraf has lived in exile in London and Dubai. But last fall he formed a new political party—the All Pakistan Muslim League—and announced plans to return to Pakistan to run for President in the 2013 elections.

He could face arrest upon his return; in February of this year, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court issued a warrant for his arrest on charges that, while President, he failed to provide adequate security for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. Musharraf has denied the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Musharraf’s Oct. 24 visit to Chestertown stems from his personal acquaintance with Washington College professor of political science and international studies Tahir Shad. The talk is sponsored by the Program in Islamic Turkish and Near Eastern Studies of the Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture and is free and open to the public.

The campus community and general public are invited to submit questions for the Q&A session that will follow the talk. Please email questions to aoros2@washcoll.edu by end of day Thursday, October 20. For more information, visit http://www.washcoll.edu.

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