Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, the architect of the 1999 Kargil War, was born at a civic hospital in Delhi in undivided India.
He received his birth certificate over six decades later during his visit here in 2005.
Musharraf died in Dubai on Sunday at the age of 79 after battling an incurable disease. He lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE to avoid criminal charges against him in Pakistan.
Born on August 11, 1943, a turbulent time of the Second World War and India’s freedom movement had gained momentum, Musharraf migrated to the newly formed Pakistan with his family after the Partition in 1947.
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According to old records, he was born at a civic-run hospital here, now known as the Mrs Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital which comes under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Located near the Kamla Market in the heart of Delhi, it is one of the oldest hospitals in the city and has served largely people residing in old Delhi.
”His (Musharraf’s) family lived in old Delhi, and two hospitals are near it — Victoria Zenana Hospital (renamed Kasturba Hospital after Independence) in Daryaganj and Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital.
”We knew that he was born in Delhi, and today learned from news reports that he died in Dubai,” a former senior civic official told PTI.
When Musharraf visited India as Pakistan’s president in April 2005, the government of India had given him a special gift — his birth certificate. The senior civic official, who retired in 2011, said, in the 1940s and even in 2005, things were birth and death records were kept manually. ”It must not have been an easy job to look for the birth certificate of the 1940s after over 60 years,” he said.
According to an archival image dated April 17, 2005, Musharraf had received his birth certificate from the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi during his three-day visit to India.
Fulfilling his long-cherished desire, Musharraf also went to Ajmer Sharif during his 2005 India visit and paid obeisance at the Dargah of the famous Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.
The neighbourhood in old Delhi where Musharraf grew up before moving to Karachi, had been visited by him and his mother in the past.