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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Former Pakistani president dies
Ghulam Ishaq Khan addresses the media in Islamabad as acting president on August 20, 1988
Khan maintained political silence since he resigned in 1993
Former president of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, has died after a long illness at the age of 91.

Khan died in the northern city of Peshawar on Friday morning. His family said he was suffering from pneumonia.

He became the president after former military ruler, Zia ul-Haq, was killed in a plane crash in 1988.

Khan resigned in 1993, when his controversial dismissal of the Nawaz Sharif government, and its restoration by the courts, created a crisis.

In a message of condolence, Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf described Khan as "an honest, upright person", while Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said his contributions to Pakistan would be long remembered.

Controversial dismissals

Khan was born in the village of Ismailkhel in Bannu district in North-West Frontier Province in 1915, and graduated in chemistry before joining the Indian provincial civil service.

He served in various secretarial positions in India and Pakistan before and after partition.

During the regime of Gen Zia in the 1980s, Khan diversified into politics, becoming a federal minister and later chairman of the Senate.

But he is better known for his role as president when he dismissed two consecutive elected governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in 1990 and 1993.

Though both dismissals were controversial, the latter cost him his job when the military intervened and forced both Khan and Nawaz Sharif to resign.

Since then, Khan lived a quiet life in his Peshawar residence, making no public appearances and granting no interviews to the media.


SEE ALSO
Obituary: Ghulam Ishaq Khan
27 Oct 06 |  South Asia
Country profile: Pakistan
31 Aug 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Pakistan
30 Aug 06 |  Country profiles

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