One of the key Pakistani leaders of Malala’s lifetime, General Pervez Musharraf is a brutal, untrustworthy, but undeniably talented politician. A military leader by training, he maintains control of the country for eleven years, always claiming that he plans to step down soon. Musharraf cleverly aligns himself with the United States by promising to use their foreign aid to fight the forces of terrorism and extremism in his country. For more than half a decade, Musharraf “hedges his bets,” promising both religious extremists and American politicians that he’s on their side. (In reality, Malala maintains, he’s on no one’s side but his own: most of America’s foreign aid goes to building elaborate mansions and villas for his pleasure.) Plainly, Malala dislikes Musharraf for raising his own interests above those of his state, and for denying his full support to advocates of free education and women’s rights. At one point, Malala loosely implies that he’s responsible for the death of Benazir Bhutto.
The timeline below shows where the character General Pervez Musharraf appears in I Am Malala. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Why I Don’t Wear Earrings and Pashtuns Don’t Say Thank You
...country alternated between electing Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. Then General Pervez Musharraf staged a military coup and seized power. In all, he spent seven years as the... (full context)
Chapter 6: Children of the Rubbish Mountain
...time. Following September 11, America needed Pakistan as an ally—thus, they tried to befriend General Musharraf. It was also at this time that the Taliban was becoming a visible presence in... (full context)
...masterminded the attack—a claim that Malala’s father angrily dismissed as racist nonsense. Throughout the country, Musharraf announced that he would be cooperating with the United States. This decision made Musharraf unpopular,... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Mufti Who Tried to Close Our School
Chapter 10: Toffees, Tennis Balls, and the Buddhas of Swat
...with burqas would break into Western restaurants and music stores and destroy everything there. As Musharraf became more vocal in his support for the United States, the country became more extreme... (full context)
...was noble to martyr themselves. In response to the constantly escalating violence in the country, Musharraf decided to step down as president. Surprisingly, the United States arranged for his replacement to... (full context)
...after the failed attempt on Benazir Bhutto’s life, the Pakistani national army arrived in Swat. Musharraf—still a powerful force in the government—sent 3,000 troops to Swat to protect the people from... (full context)
...the assassination, as she had thought of Bhutto as a defender of women’s rights. Afterwards, Musharraf blamed the Taliban for the shooting, something which—very unusually—the Taliban denied. To Malala’s horror, many... (full context)
Epilogue: One Child, One Teacher, One Book, One Pen