Former Pakistani president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf died at a hospital in Dubai on Saturday after a prolonged illness, Al Jazeera reported. He was 79.

Last year, he was hospitalised for three weeks due to complications from amyloidosis a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein named amyloid builds up in organs and interferes with normal functions. The four-star general’s family had then said that his recovery is not possible.

Chairperson of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad and all the services chiefs expressed their “heartfelt condolences” to Musharraf’s family, the military’s media wing said in a statement. “May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family,” the statement read.

A special flight will be sent to Dubai to bring Musharraf’s body back to Pakistan for burial, according to local TV channel Geo News.

Musharraf was born in Delhi on August 11, 1943, and his family moved to the Pakistan after the Partition in 1947.

He seized power in 1999 in a military coup after Nawaz Sharif, who was then the prime minister, tried to dismiss him as army chief. He served as the president from 2001 to 2008, when he resigned to avoid impeachment.

It was during Musharraf’s regime that the Kargil war in Kashmir took place in 1999, months after Sharif had signed a historic peace accord with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lahore.

In 2010, Musharraf had floated his own political party, All Pakistan Muslim League. The former military chief had expressed his desire to contest the polls in 2013 but he was made an accused in a barrage of cases, including the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, treason and murder of Bugti tribe chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

In 2016, a travel ban was lifted and Musharraf flew to Dubai to seek medical treatment.

“I have confronted death and defied it several times in the past because destiny and fate have always smiled on me,” Musharraf once wrote. “I only pray that I have more than the proverbial nine lives of a cat.”