ATP Poll Results: What should Gen. Musharraf do?

Posted on August 1, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Politics
Total Views: 29318


Adil Najam

Our second blog poll seems to have thrown up some interesting, but also confusing, results.

Depending on how you cut the pie, you can make the argument that:

(a) a clear majority of ATP readers want Gen. Musharraf to give up both or one of his twin offices (Army Chief and President) before the 2007 elections,

and at the same time

(b) a clear (but differently configured) majority wants him to play some role – although a more constrained role – in Pakistan’s politics.

(Click image for larger picture)

A total of 114 ATP visitors cast their votes in the poll which was launched very early on Friday and closed very late on Monday. While this is obviously NOT a scientific survey, the results are rather intriguing, even if not representative.

The ATP Poll gave readers five options in response to the question:

In your opinion, what should Gen. Musharraf do prior to the 2007 elections on the twin-office (President and/or Army Chief) issue? [Please remember, the question is about what you think he should do, NOT about what you think he will do].

The option that got the most votes (41 votes; 36%) calls on Gen. Musharraf to retire at the end of 2006 and fully hand over both offices to his successors. While this was not an absolute majority, it is well over a third of all the votes cast in the poll. By comparison, only 19 of the 114 respondents (16.7%) preferred the option of Gen. Musharraf continuing in both offices simultaneously.

Just over a quarter of the ATP respondents (30 votes; 26.3%) want Gen. Musharraf to continue in only one of the two offices. There seems relatively little enthusiasm for passing the decision on whetehr he shoudl keep both offices or not to the next Assembly (15 votes, 13.2%) or of holding a national referendum (9 votes, 7.9%).

Of course, this is simply a ‘pulse of the blog’ poll and is NOT a scientific or representative survey. However, the results are interesting nonetheless; at least to the extent that they say something about the cohort that is likely to visit a blog such as ATP and vote in such a poll (i.e., educated, mobile, technically savvy, and globally connected Pakistanis).

While one must caution against over-analyzing these results, at least three points are worth noting; if only to nudge a discussion:

  • Given that the technocratic classes tend to support (and be highly represented in) military governments in Pakistan including this one, it is noteworthy that ATP’s (technocratic?) readership chose the ‘retirement option’ (36%) for Gen. Musharraf as often as it did.
  • There seems to be a sense that Gen. Musharraf should NOT continue with twin-offices into the future. Only one-sixth of the respondents (16.7%) chose this option. While those who opted for a referendum option or having the next Assembly decide (total 21.2%) may be seen as sitting on the fence on this question, those calling for his retiring from at least one office (and possibly both) were in a clear majority (total 62.3%).
  • Not withstanding the above, and in fairness, it should also be noted that a majority of the respondents do, in fact, see (want?) some continued role for Gen. Musharraf — if not in both offices, then in at least one. This finding does not contradict the earlier finding; it only adds nuance (and possibly confusion).

So, where does all of this leave us? Maybe I was onto something when I had responded to a questioner in Washington DC by suggesting that public opinion amongst Pakistanis remains divided and uncertain on the future of Gen. Musharraf.

Maybe what these numbers suggest is that those responding to our poll see a continued role for Gen. Musharraf in Pakistan politics; but they would like to see him having less of a role than he has had in the past (also see earlier ATP post on democracy in Pakistan).

What do you think?

61 Comments on “ATP Poll Results: What should Gen. Musharraf do?”

  1. Asad says:
    August 1st, 2006 2:16 pm

    (the pic on teh graphics is awesome).
    Mush has an opportunioty to turn course. it is clear that evenamongst those (us) who should support him most, there are now doubts. the question is whether he has it in him to do the right thing and make history. no one has given up power before so the odds are against him.

  2. August 2nd, 2006 2:59 am

    No matter how much I like the press freedom in Pakistan, besides a lot of other improvements, I would still prefer democracy over dictatorship….At the end, when one person decides the fate of 130 million, it cant be all right…

  3. Roshan Malik says:
    August 2nd, 2006 3:48 am

    Altamash Mir:
    I agree with your point of view. Its a time to bring bottom to top approach (let the people decide what they want !) rather than top to bottom. Gen Musharraf needs to give people this confidence and choice of electing their leadership rather than suggesting what is good for them.
    Irshad Haqqani gave a very balanced approach on uniform issue:

  4. Ayaz says:
    August 2nd, 2006 7:49 pm

    This is a really fascinating survey. Also, love the graphic.

    As you suggest, the results pointout that people do not want Musharraf to keep expanding his power but they also do not see any other choice. That means he has the opportunity to do something big. To surprise everyone with a real open election. Maybe get Benazir and Nawaz back and move towards a govt of national unity. Something big is needed. But can he think that big and that bold?

  5. Saif says:
    August 5th, 2006 8:32 am

    To your question, what should General Musharraf do prior to 2007 elections? I suggest the following seven point agenda:

    1.Repeal the Hadood and Blasphemey laws
    2. Disband the National Security Council
    3. Establish a truly independent Election Comission
    4. Hold a free and fair election in 2007
    5. Hand over power to whoever wins the election
    6. Retire on his farm in Islamabd
    7. Get involved in a speech circuit and promote his favorite cause(s) like “Enlightened Moderation” etc.

    If he does all that, people of Pakistan will for ever remember him and will be grateful to him.

  6. Umera says:
    August 9th, 2006 2:38 pm

    Is there really such thing as a democracy in Pakistan? I agree with the view that one person should not decide the fate of 130 million people. However, realistically even if elections are held in the country would the people of Pakistan ever had the chance to choose their own leader? Maybe the minority living in cities would be lucky and not be persuaded by the heavy hand of the party leaders but what about the majority living in rural areas – would they not be forced to vote for the “sardar” or “zamindar?

    Even in the cities – Do any of these parties have a proper political mandate except not to let other party come in power or maybe support one province over the other? What do they offer us? How do we make a choice previously it has been a toss between BB and NZ – are they a better choice for Pakistan than what we have today and were their form of governance really democracy?

    I don’t know answer to any of the questions that I have posted and I don’t support dictatorship on principal but what is the meaning of democracy in Pakistan?

  7. FS says:
    August 9th, 2006 3:41 pm

    Oh ye of short memories! Doest thou not know by now? The only thing separating Pakistan from the abyss is Ayub Khan, I mean Zia-ul-Huq….no, no, that can’t be right, ah yes, Musharraf! He’s the one! How could I have forgotten!?!? And lets not forget, every Chief of Army Staff in the last 30 years has been the last of the breed of British trained, pro-Western generals. The next guy will be the one with the beard…for sure….I think….or at least that’s what the New York Times said I should think, based on reports from their sources at the….CIA?….Bhutto camp?….Brookings Institute?…whatever, wherever….its true ya know!

    Musharraf ought to do many things. They’ve all been mentioned here. He won’t do any of them. Devoid of statesmen, grass roots movements & any sort of left wing, poor old Pakistan can only hope to cull its next leading man from the officer corp.

    Kudos to the political parties who continue to work despite such a bleak policitcal environment. Shame on the Pakistani electorate & general public for not stnading up for themselves.

    Nice guy, Musharraf, brought an end to corruption at the top levels in Islamabad they say. Also set Pakistani politics back 15 years in the process. But hey…the PM managed to tweak the per cepita income numbers and “poof” Pakistan just went from 3rd world to emerging market with a thriving economy. This is exactly what the country is used to, and hence the appetite for democracy no longer truly exists. Democracy is messy. It is full of stalemates & fillibusters, and minorities ganging up on majorities, etc. The moment this sort of thing happens in Pakistan, we all lose patience denounce the sitting government for corruption and actually call the military back to power! Check the records, you’ll find countless speeches in which various parties, including the MMA have actually asked the army to topple the government!

    Unreal. These are the real problems that bring on the “bad image” of Pakistan. Yet there are blogs and organizations committed to changing perception, while preserving the realities at home.

    For the record, as an overseas Pakistani, I am equally guilty of complacency.

  8. FS says:
    August 9th, 2006 3:43 pm

    And yes, one more thing, Umera is so right about the sway of zamindar’s, etc. Pakistan always needed a Nehru-style land reform program that just never came through. The result has been a true modern day feudal system. Sad.

  9. Sattar says:
    August 13th, 2006 1:58 am

    Hi, great post and above all, heartfelt thanks to all of you people who, as overseas pakistanis often do, once again gave us the benefit of your pontfication. Now, I don’t know exactly why, but somehow I am 100% sure that none of you, your “educated” family members, friends, and others will actually vote in the 2007 elections.

    I request Dr. Najam to hold two polls on this website:

    1) Give people a week to vote on how satisfied they are with the current administration in Pakistan.

    2) After a week, give people another week to tell us whether they have EVER voted in any election in Pakistan.

  10. September 18th, 2006 6:47 am

    What should he do? I say before leaving his both offices, he must sweep up foreigner troops from Pakistan. Pakistani civilians can not bear having them kept here any longer.

  11. Mahmood says:
    September 26th, 2006 6:19 am

    [quote comment="1858"]I don’t support dictatorship on principal but what is the meaning of democracy in Pakistan?[/quote]

    IMHO, democracy has some pre-requisites, such as education, tolerance and some level of Morality.

    The failure of democracy in our country is the lack of these basic ingridients, especially in our “democratic” leaders.

    I think we need to go back to our roots. As a nations we are polarized and confused. Majority groups wants to either copy west or someone else and the other has a misinterpreted version of Islam as a solution.

    We need to understand real Islam, where tolerance, purity of intentions and Morality is the key.

    I think as a nation we have restricted whole religion to just Namaz and Roza. But for our ease, we forget the part of religion that ask to build moral character. No matter which group we talk about, the mod scod class, strictly religious or the poor man living in the village, every other Pakistani feels no hesitation to give bribe or except it. Nepotism, lying, cheating, dishonuring commitments, lack of any accountability, and the list is long.

    As long as we don’t build a nation we true Islamic virtues, no matter how much money we have in our foreign reserves, no matter what type of government we have, we will keep suffering from all the ills as we are now.

    All this will start when everybody will start looking in the mirror.

  12. Kabir says:
    October 12th, 2006 6:00 pm

    What are the alternatives?

  13. MQ says:
    October 12th, 2006 6:24 pm

    [quote comment="4266"]“What are the alternatives?”[/quote]

    Alternatives don’t fall from the sky. You generate them.

  14. Dr says:
    October 12th, 2006 9:18 pm

    I really think we need a blog (poll) on how many educated and/or overseas pakistani vote? Also the Mr. President has said that the moderates must win in the elections otherwise that would be the end of Jinnah’s Pakistan. And I believe him. What I would like to see happening is that the educated Pakistani’s (The Guided Ones) must vote, even if they have to go to PK from another country. This is a war between radical and rational. These results may show whatever but it will not mean anything if the majority of voters are suppressed poor villagers waiting in line for free food after voting. As harsh it may sound, I call upon the educated once who talk the talk but are sitting abroad in an illusion of limited success. Come forward and save your nation.

  15. PatExpat says:
    October 13th, 2006 6:07 am

    Reported in DAWN today

    [quote post="264"]
    President Gen Pervez Musharraf will become the third military ruler after Gen Ziaul Haq and Field Marshal Ayub Khan in the country’s 59-year history to enter the eighth year in Presidency on Friday.

    Since 1956 when the country got its first constitution and the office of the governor-general was replaced by the president, there have been 11 presidents. Out of these, four were military men and seven civilians. The four military generals including Musharraf have so far ruled the country for 31 years and one month as compared to 22 years and three months’ tenure of the civilian presidents.[/quote]

    And we blame politicians and civillians for the ills of our society. Unless the military rulers stop meddling in politics using sham referendums to justify their coups over a “sham democracy” we won’t be able to generate alternatives.

    And we need to educate the “educated or overseas Pakistanis” that they are equal to un-educated or local Pakistanis. Just because educated/overseas Pakistanis believe in Musharraf does not mean the rest of the poulation believes in him. Overseas Pakistanis can voice their opinion using media and blogs but when it comes to voting, votes of all Pakistanis local, overseas, educated or uneducated carry equal weight.

  16. Faisal Saleem says:
    October 24th, 2006 11:32 pm

    Well the best thing to do is to let him run for one mroe term. People in south asian countries such as Afghanistan Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have no idea of who to choose for the job. i think we should learn from the past the present and step in the future. he have done alot for Pakistan, and it has been appreciated all over the world. I wished we had one thing in our constitution “state should not be run by religion.” nothing against religion it just make it more complicated as politics is already a mess. People want him off the duty and out off the office just so they can take it easy again, sorry for this comment but we as pakistanis almost lost our identity in SHarif’s and Bhuto presidency. i strongly stand to support him and that what all youngsters should do if they want a better future. Hi taxes and fuel prices is not because of him, its because of the corruption and the loans we took and offcourse thanx to OPEC; but more jobs, more schools, more opportunities, more high salaries are because of his hard work and efforts, stepping him off the presidency is going back to stoneage. at least the development in our country should open people eyes.
    staso yaoo topiwal ror

  17. MQ says:
    October 25th, 2006 1:23 pm


    Topiwal rora, pakhair!
    Ma ta khu da pata na wa che Topai ke hum da Musharraf seb supportraan di.

    New York

    P.S: ATP administrator: Please don’t worry, I haven’t said anything in the above lines that is against the ATP policy.

  18. Baber says:
    December 3rd, 2006 1:34 pm

    I am a overseas Pakistani, I don’t think Musharraf has done anything that a democratic leader would not have done from an ecomomic point of you. And the MUllah party is Musharraf’s B team, we all know that. Pak Army does not want true democracy in Pakistan.

  19. Rabi Sultan says:
    December 7th, 2006 10:28 pm

    Let’s be really honest here, most of the people that are crying for this so called “Freedom” are nothing but a bunch of corrupt individuals. Most of them are up to no good and refuse to let go of the feudal system. How can you have democracy in the northern areas where the feudal system still exists?

    One of the best quotes I have ever heard is that when Pakistan gained its independence only the criminals gained azadi. And its true otherwise Pakistan wouldn’t be so backwards as it is today.

    What I would like to know, really I would is why does everyone hate Musharraf? There is a passionate hate by most members on ATP. He has s far brought a lot of good to the country more so than any other selfish leaders have done so in the past after Ayub.

  20. December 8th, 2006 1:42 am

    [quote post="264"]. He has s far brought a lot of good to the country[/quote]


  21. Baber says:
    December 8th, 2006 12:47 pm

    Dude ! only when Musharraf will leave you will know of his evils as we know about Zia, Ayub, Yahyeh, Iskindar Mirza. What is that Musharraf had done that a democratically elected peoples government would have not done. He is still a dictator, why all this drama about democracy. Fake prime minister Shaukat Aziz, asskissing chauhdries. Pakistan Army eats up all our budget. How much of Pakistan is feudalism? Sorry my friend Rabi you are just ignorant of the fact 160 million people live in Pakistan, only 10 percent of population lives in these tribal areas, only some parts of peshawar and some parts of Balochistan. Makran and Gawadar are the bigger cities of Balochistan and have a population more then that of the areas which are controlled by sardars why is there no development there. These areas are not even controlled by Sardars. More Pakistani have died and disappeared in Musharraf Presidennce then in any other. Is Pakistan a secure place to live now. He has further divided the country then it was. Why is PAK ARMY the lesser evil?

  22. Rabi Sultan says:
    December 10th, 2006 7:05 pm

    And do you actually honestly think democracy in Pakistan is a good thing? How can 90% illiterate people make a decision for the benefit of the country after weighing in considerable facts?

    You already have Pakistani suicide bombers roaming the world as well as other terrorists and they have all come from blind faith.

    To me democracy in Pakistan is the evil. Blind Faith is evil. Mullahism is evil.

    Now let’s ponder over a few things shall we, yes the army under some regimes (Zia) have been bad but everyone does conveniently forget the good times Pakistan has enjoyed across the board (Ayub). Times that are better than any other civilian government has had. You must realise that there has been times that the military has HAD to get involved. Not because they wanted to but because our democratic civilians did such a good job of sticking the country on the course of destruction (both Bhuttos and Nawaz Sharif).

    As for Yahya he was there as an interm to make sure the most fairest election in Pakistan was held, what happened the Bengalis won and Bhutto threw a hissyfit. Tosser lost us East Pakistan so its good that Zia hung him. It’s just a shame that Zia was bad and then you had 10 years of your so called democracy take place between 1988 and 1998. That turned out REALLY good as we had two different leaders literaly rape our country.

    Now Musharraf isn’t the best, history will always dictate that it is Ayub (so far) but he is much better than any we’ve had since Ayub. FACT is that we would have been bombed had Musharraf not been there, if this is a fact that you deny then your more disillusioned than the poor saps who hang by every word of Mullahism.

  23. Baber says:
    December 11th, 2006 12:04 am

    Rabi, get the facts right first, Pakistan’s literacy rate is close to 50%. India has had democracy for last 60 years, there literacy rate is slightly better then ours. Do a Google search to verify the facts.

    Democracy is no evil, that statement just shows your ignorance. Democratic countries are the most progressive nations in todays world. Look at the European nations or as a mater of fact take muslim countries like Malaysia or Turkey. Suicide bombing is a different story, nothing to do with Pakistan. Most suicide bombers are not even Pakistani born, may be some of them have Pakistani parents.

    People who flew planes in WTC were not Pakistani. Tamil tigers are not Pakistani, Hamas is not Pakistani. Military has always been invloved in our politics, even under democratic governments, Kargil was brought upon us by Musharraf when Nawaz was prime minister. They don’t let the democratic government complete their term. Now they have a puppet democracy, they changed prime minister from Jamali to Shaukat Aziz, why do they make a mockery of democracy, why all this drama.
    I agree nawaz and benazir did rape the country, but the army has raped our economy just check the budget allocated for Army. You can’t blame people for countries misfortune. Bhutto was not responsible for raping and murdering fellow bengali muslim brothers, this heinous crimes were done by army people. Its really sad that they hung Bhutto, Pakistan was progressing at the time of Z Bhutto. People din’t wanted Bhutto to be hung, it was army who wanted to hang him. We lost 1965 war because of Ayub. Dictator is a dictator, he is not a representative of the people. What about the rigging referendum at the time of ZIA, Musharraf is doing exactly the same things that Ayub did, Yayeh did Zia did.
    Pakistan’s corruption rate has increased after the 99 coup here read more
    I can keep on going, typing the evils of Zia, but try to do some research yourself. Wikipedia is a very good source.

    He was not saving our Ass, but his own ass too. Imagine if we would have got bombed, would he been a dictator in power then, war is fought between armies, America would have bombed Pak army not people.

    Rabi i wish to write more but I don’t want to flood this blog. I hope you got the point. Again you are entitled to your opinion.

  24. avais says:
    December 11th, 2006 10:20 pm

    in my opinion…..
    mush should continue both the offices. he is an able commander and he proved so. however i feel that he needs to review the policies he is making. especially regarding americans.

  25. Baber says:
    December 11th, 2006 10:32 pm

    Who else could have put it in better words then our own Shair-e-Awam Jalib

    For Ayub (self proclaimed Field Marshal)

    “Deep jiska mehlaat hi main jaley
    Chund logon ki khusion ko le kar chaley

    Wo jo saey main har maslehat ke palay
    Aisey dastoor ko subh-e-benoor ko

    Main nahin maanta, main nahin manta ”

    And for Zia (Mullahs called him Waliullah)

    ” Zulmat ko Zia, sar sar ko saba, banday ko Khuda kia likhna

    Patthar ko gohar, deewar ko dar, kurgus ko huma kia likhna

    Ik hashr bapa hai ghar ghar main dum ghut’ta hai gumbad-e-bedar main

    Ik shakhs ke hathon muddat se ruswa hai watan dunya bhar main

    Aye deedawaro is zillat ko qismat ka likha kia likhna

    Zulmat ko Zia, sar sar ko saba, banday ko khuda kia likhna”

    I wounder what he would have written for Busharraf, If he were alive?

  26. Ghalib says:
    December 11th, 2006 10:52 pm

    if it wasnt army pakistan would have been the most progress nation!!! Mush i guess shud juss leave the country after he removes his uniform!imagine the top post of our country is run by a person not allowed to do so! wat will happpen to the country!he came like zia came to curb corruption an is sittin among the most corrupt politicians!he lost his worth!i guess he shud be hanged to teach upcomming cheifs!
    PS: i aint a PML(n) PPP or any thing!!! {smiles}

  27. Ghalib says:
    December 12th, 2006 12:01 am

    the biggest lie and the twist of history historian have one in Zias era was to make Bhutto resposible for the tragedy of east pakistan!u know it never rains if there arent any clouds!the clouds cae after the “so called progressive era” of Ayub!1958 till 1969 they dint develop east pakistan an the growing consensus in EPak was right they were left behind!we had not a single match making factory there when we were takin all match makin wood from there!army ploughed the land badly and the poor Bhutto had to reap the poor crop!and he was made responsible as the historians made another prank like”islam spread by sword

  28. Rabi Sultan says:
    December 14th, 2006 9:05 pm

    OK I’ll admit I was wrong about the literacy rate but even 50% is rubbish. As for Turkey being democratic how did they get it? Thanks to Attarturk who killed off all the Mullahs to end Mullahism, I wouldn’t mind Musharaf doing the same, at that point Pakistan would be in a much better state to accept Democracy. Once that, the Sharia laws and corruption (I’ll get back to this point) are put to rest.

    As for the army not “letting the democratic government complete their term” they have not had the choice but to take over from the democratic government. It’s painfully obvious that it has failed historically so why would it be any different now? I am not saying that the army is the only choice Zia proved it wasn’t but both Bhuttos, Nawaz and the countless before Ayub have proved that Pakistan is not ready for democracy.

    As for the army allocation being so large I can’t say I’m not suprised. Have you recently checked what the army does in the country? They do everything and anything that is on a large scale. That includes Civil Engineering, something that our private sectors sorely lack. So if that is the case then of course they would demand a large budget. Unfortunately a healthy part of that budget is spent into buying Generals etc off, so really the problem that we’re boiling down to is two things. Religion and Corruption.

    As for the corruption rate increasing after the coup I don’t care what pile of crap you throw onto the table because statistics can be spun, thats why they employ Spin Doctors! From my recent extensive trips to Karachi I will say that corruption has not increased, nor has it decreased. Its still the same, just that the only difference is our liberated media has exposed corruption to the public more than it ever was before.

    You mentioned Wikipedia, yes its good but then it has a lot of biased opinion in it, though you could say that my opinion is biased as well ;)

    As for Zia he was an idiot anyway I never said he wasn’t.

    As for Ayub losing the ’65 war WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SMOKING???? We lost the ’71 war not the ’65 war, In ’65 we were smashed India and a cease-fire took place. Here’s a fact maybe you might want to google yourself, we bombed up to Delhi. I won’t say that Ayub was the reason because those that laid down their lives and those who fought were the ones that did everything. It’s good to know that they are remembered(!).

    And you saying America would have bombed Pak army I guess you didn’t read the bit where they say American bombs aren’t entirely 100% accurate :)

  29. Baber says:
    December 15th, 2006 3:12 pm

    Rabi dear,
    See you don’t have to have 100% literacy rate to have democracy. There are countries were there is democracy even with a literacy rate lower then ours.

    I’m afraid you are wrong again, It wasn’t the killing of Mullahs and Mullaism that brought democracy in Turkey and that will not be the case of any other Muslim democractic country. Iran is a very democratic country and it din’t kill mullahs to become one. As for Musharraf he will not kill the Mullahs because thats his B TEAM, he is the reason that they became so strong in Politics now. Again killing is not a solution to any problem anywhere.

    Actually Z Bhutto’s term and nawaz’s last term has proved that democracy can work in Pakistan. Again you can’t bring down civilians by saying the Army is better at everything. Iqbal’s this line can be said for the ARMY GENERALS,

    Yeah Shikayat Nahi, Hein In K Khazanay Maa’moor
    Nahi Mehfil Mein Jinhein Baat Bhi Karnay Ka Sha’oor
    This is not our complaint that such alone are blesse,
    Who do not know the etiquette, nor even can converse

    About the corruption rate, if you have an attitude like that about the truth then I assume you are not passionate about “the truth”. It was done by an independent group, not just for Pakistan but all the countries of the world. You don’t have to look for corruption in LANDA BAZAAR, BURNS ROAD AND SADDAR BAZAR. Karachi, my city, is just one city of PAkistan.

    About wikipedia, it is not based on opnions and reasons, it has facts collected from different sources(mentioned in reference section). If you don’t believe with those thats fine. But calling it biased is an irrational statement.

    “Of the many forms of patriotism, denial is one of the most powerful.â€

  30. Formerly Yahya says:
    December 16th, 2006 12:11 am

    Musharraf is #1 in popularity;(

  31. Rabi Sultan says:
    December 19th, 2006 10:49 pm

    Hey Baber, I’m not going to bother arguing with you anymore. It’s pointless. It’s so obvious that democracy has never worked in Pakistan. It can’t, not in the current state of the country and its people. It’s a shame really since the country is fantastic but its really, REALLY let down by the people in it.

    The only thing that leaves me to think is we have our views crossed over the definition of “what is democracy?”.

    In any case I will make my final thoughts on this which are there are no established western countries that have heavy religious influence in its governence. Those countries also seem to have a good literacy rate as well as a army that doesn’t interfere in things. Now you will point out that they are first world and we are third world and its not a fair comparison. that is true but then they all have one thing that Pakistan has not. A revolution to kill off the religious holds on the country, religion has never worked. The biggest proof is Iran, they were going places with the Shah, only for Khomeni to turn them back 50 years, fortunately for them they have come through those dark years. Attarturk pulled Turkey out of its third world roots as I mentioned earlier, now they are trying to break down Europe’s door.

    It all boils down to one thing for me, remove religion. Every leader has been guilty for letting religion become the force with a single exception during which the country thrived. No it’s not Musharraf but I’ll give you the pleasure of looking it up.

    The real killer to this country has been religion and people’s attitude they are standing in democracy’s way. This country needs a revolution. It doesn’t matter if it’s Civil or Military since they are both as corrupt and useless as one another. The change has to come from the people but not in the current state that the people are in, they are hopeless. A movement has to be born and hopefully with Musharraf freeing the Media. They, the media, has the power to make the difference and it will take several generations to turn this country around.

  32. TURAB says:
    December 20th, 2006 12:16 am

    Jo Mushi ka ghaddar hai
    woh maut ka haqdaar hai

  33. Baber says:
    December 20th, 2006 11:39 am

    It was really nice reading your opinions and I don’t completely disagree with you.
    Our problem has always been this class that wants to control all the resources of the country. The fight has always been on the resources, be it East Pakistan or Balochistan. They even looted the funds that were suppose to be used for Kashmiri victims of the earthquake.
    We never learn’t from our history. And I believe you know what happens to such people.
    It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.

  34. muawiya says:
    December 27th, 2006 1:48 pm

    One thing to me is very clear…in order for us to evolve as a nation we really must be able to sustain a democracy without the constant break in between of the martial law…fine,we have always complained about our democratically elected rulers but we have to let a process and a system evolve for it to get to a point where it willeventually be perfect…we are a country whose constitution was changed more frequently than the salary for its government employees in the past 59 years. Every time an army general thinks he knows how to run the country better the only thing he does is put a halt to the evolution of our democracy. Let the people decide. Even if the elections are not fair and we don’t see a lot of new faces, let the people decide. The armed forces are there to protect our borders, not to sit inside the parliament. Let the democracy run the country and the General do what he was trained for. Pakistan is not a country at war, it is a country needing freedom from its own people.

  35. Suhail says:
    January 2nd, 2007 4:58 am

    Democracy or no democracy, its the good governance which matters. There is no democracy in china, UAE , Brunai, etc..
    Well! I am in favour of Mushi to stay with his danda. I hope after the 2007 election he can be a bit more strict. If he stays alive, this is what he will do, so lets chill and enjoy ;-)
    yes..His policies are pro-america, but soon there will be no need of that, as US is fast loosing its infulence in the world.

  36. Makhdoom says:
    January 15th, 2007 2:54 am

    My humble opinion about the 2007 Elections is simple.
    He has promised people of Pakistan that he will not commit mistakes which the past leaders commit and i believe this, so he should leave his Uniform or President’s seat and make sure that these elections are fair and please don’t repeat 2002 Elections and also not like Local Govt.Elections. I hope President Musharaf has the ability to do that so i am optimistic about the future elections. My plea to President Musharaf is that Please don’t become dictator like General Zia-Ul-Haq.

  37. February 14th, 2007 3:59 pm

    I have to say that all those that support Musharaf, are not living in reality. You have to realize that Mir Sheikhula Rehman, the owner of Jung group of newspapers and Geo, has controlled the country’s news for the past 50 years. Mian Mansha has controlled the countries banking for the past 50 years as well, and thus the economy (for those of you who do not know, banking is biggest and must influencial industry in the world, far bigger than oil and natural resources). All of Pakistan’s bussinesses are owned by foreign multinationals, all our money leaks out of the country. The news is pro western and pro Musharraf, and thats why people like Rabi are that way. IMF and world bank rule the government, that is the reason the literacy rate is down, becaus Nike wants cheap kids working in cotton plants to make cheap t shirts, and the owners of those industries are happy with the set up. where are the pakistani bussinesses. WHy isn’t our cricket team sponsored by amrat cola instead of Pepsi.

    Yes the Mullahs are extremists, but who can know that for sure; where do you get your news from?
    I liked the comment about land reform, and understanding Islam’s true meaning about morality.

    Basically we are still being rulled by the West through all the nawabs that kissed up to the Britishers; the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer.

    To quote Faiz Ahmad Faiz, I pray one day that day comes, “wo din jiska wada hai, Jab zulm-o-sitam k kooh-e-giran
    Roi ki tarah ur jaenge

    Pakistan needs a grass roots revoluttion, and bring equality to the country, which may or may not be democracy.

  38. February 20th, 2007 12:06 am

    [...] Pakistan has seen many elections in its checkered history and almost all were labeled rigged, unfair or engineered by one political party or another. For the upcoming elections, the opposition has already started voicing its fears of manipulation by the government, while the latter promises to conduct free and fair elections. [...]

  39. AZIZ says:
    February 21st, 2007 2:10 pm

    Adil, please do not be disheartened.
    I think you are riht, we as a nation need anger management therapy.
    But it is also that this event has so moved everyone on every side of the debate that he worst tendies and strongest passions are bound to come out.
    This catharsis may not be a bad thing. It cleans teh body and the soul.
    Sometimes things get so bad that only some terrible can jolt people’s consciousness.
    Lets hope that after the knee-jerk reactions end people will start taking your advice and start thinking about the state we are in rather than just shouting.

  40. February 25th, 2007 5:35 pm

    We must first reach one understanding amongst.
    Do you stand The President responsible for every evil in Pakistan before he took office?

    Because he is from thev military explains that the military gets a proportionate responsibility to control the law and order when politicicians potray crime and especially as it grows.many of dont realise why was the drug menace exposed to modren society although most westerners walked into indopak with hippie culture and took interest of youth but again that youth was to get superceeded by another generation too. the drugs are today a worldwide war and the crescendo turkey iran pakistan afganistan are being victimised by a society whose social representation babyboomed its children by the 58 revolution of money pillaring and yuppie children in uk and usa .I just saw a culinary cook living in the mediteranean on a yatch with his former hippei mother…..

    life is different when civies want rule it is there !but when they want protege rule and police to give rthem muscle the military institution hhas to finally move in with competitive strength for accountability…

    although The President is failing in most of his objectives and they are miraclously supporting Pakistan too ,and primarily because the new planet is being built on Pakistani thought and conceptualisation of Social Statesmanship..

    Its not the Military that has to undo foolish debates about Women and secularism that again a full population from west has been hired to bugle in muslim countries . The Militarty Generals have hardly passed FA’s while affairs are being handled by Political or International references.

    I try to explain but The President has included every Pakistani already into his power cloak and as much as one can work. There is nobody except those who failed and had bargained solace outside with foriegn governments with whom they traded pakistans soveriegnity and privacy. with whom the created dams out of small dark lane charas opium outlets and spread the menace for creating a regime in UNO! Think! otherwise by the mid 70s the UNO was completely busy !

  41. Rohail says:
    March 10th, 2007 2:05 pm

    In Musharraf’s tenure; from 1999 to 2006, Foreign Debt has REDUCED to $ 36.5 billion. It means total reduction of $2.4 billion in 7 years.

    In 1999 what we earned as GDP: we used to give away 64.1 % as foreign debt and liabilities. Now in Musharraf’s tenure 2006, what we earn as GDP: we give ONLY 28.3 % as foreign debt and liabilities. Now we are SAVING 35 % of Our GDP for economic growth.

    According to Economic Survey 2005. Poverty in Pakistan in 2001 was 34.46%. And, now after 7 years of Musharraf; Poverty in 2005 was 23.9%. Poverty DECREASED by 10.56%. Overall, 12 million people have been pushed out of Poverty in 2001 -2005!

    GDP growth in 1999 was 3.9%. And, now GDP growth in 2006 is around 7%.

    Literacy rate in Pakistan has increased from 45% (in 2002) to 53% (in 2005).

    Pakistan was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1999, with around $1bn in foreign exchange reserves and its stock market teetering at 1,000 points. The forex reserves now stand at more than $13.25bn and Stocks soaring above 10,000.

  42. Rohail says:
    March 10th, 2007 2:30 pm

    I would support Musharraf under all circumstances…. with Uniform. Our corrupt Politicians who we have witnessed over the years need a strict stick to keep them disciplined.

    The great fuss & problem with our politicians is that they see Pakistan’s Economic situation improving and Foreign Investment coming… and they are unable to make billions from it.

    Musharraf is trying to make PAK; into a moderate un-violent country. Economic growth, Education & Religous tolerance is being preached.

    I have seen many Developed countries of the world; and Pakistan’s progress is really impressive out on streets and in Facts & Figures!

    We need to flush out our Corrupt Politicians who have only plundered PAK before 1999.

    Remember, a Dictator’s goverance which has put PAK on a road of Success is better than that Democracy that takes us backward into ignorance!

    Someitimes in order to do 80% RIGHT we have to do 20% Wrong!!!

  43. arif says:
    March 13th, 2007 10:04 pm

    I think Musharaf is yet another failed leader of pakistan. He has not only spend his 7 years making sure he is not sacked but also he has distroyed the remaining so called institutions in Pakistan. When I compare his performance so far, I could count handful of things he has done right… but I have a mountain in front of me of things that he has done wrong.

  44. April 6th, 2007 6:01 am

    He should go to Thailand and have a vacation and let others have a vacation too

  45. rao raheel ramzan says:
    April 9th, 2007 6:24 am

    if we look our pakistani history before coming the musharaf .. wt we find out.. ????/

    can somebody give me answer?

    we were on the edge on the hell.. according to me ?

    and now it doesnt matter tat election should be cleanly held out…or not .. ?

    but tel me who can compete the musharaf..? ?
    ANY BODY have a good past? who is ? tel me the one name of any politician? but u cant be find out??//

    so i think musharaf shuld be cary on…..this job..?
    in the upcoming 5 years… wil see it? but i think now its no time …for choosing any one rather to musharaf.. ??

    if we talk about the domestic terrarisom in pakistan then let`s i give u time for thinking and imagine.. even in pakistan a army ruler working.. then its a situation whn any civil currupt govt wil come then wt wil be happnd?

    plz give me the answers……..i want to know …the answers. think about it and understand.

  46. rao raheel ramzan says:
    April 10th, 2007 5:26 am

    Musharaf is doing well, bt his sme steps are nt in a gud way . i dont know why he takes these steps,, but i think under the critical situations or someone…. bt whn we talk about the cjp…. we say he’s not good.. he wants to secure his future.. or anyone..

    i think he’s a president and he cant take another wrong stps bfore analysing the problem .. so we shan’t be talk bfore coming the decision … of supreme court..

    and absolutely no body doubt on RANA BHAGWAN DAS.
    evry adovcate and politician, mEDIA and even horoscope masters says tat RANA BHAGWAN DAS. didnt compromise on any situation and he wil be not … we should have the faith on sprme court. and ys why cjp dosnt tel us about the refrnce details bcz he know tat somthing is right in this case or something wrong .. otherwise in the MUSHARAF period pakistan did progress not as our wishes but did it .. and we shuld give the chance to him.. oof course our country people , and politician cant undrstand anything except of LATHI.. SO HE SHOULD be cary on.. bt i agree he has removal some facts of ISLAM .. and on tis issue many points can be rise… tel me again ..
    WHO have an a gud role in the progress of PAKISTAN..?

  47. rao raheel ramzan says:
    April 10th, 2007 5:41 am

    every body talks aobut the democaracy , democracy .?

    wt is democracy ? anyone wana tel me ? nobody cant describe it. bcz democracy means the lively lif of country peoples..
    evry rights of peoples and power in country people. and ys bt we says democracy means the civil government .. then which govt made a strenthy Pakistan .?
    whihc govt stabilize a national finance?
    which govt?
    Benazir. or Nawaz or any one..

    thy just ful their pockets and gone away .. and nothing .

    ys in BHTOO ERA .. PPP HAVE an strength in blood of pakistani.. but now it has been changed by the Benazir policies.. and nothing so musharaf suld be cary on this..
    and ys pakistani did remarkable progress in 7 years …
    but ys govt is not in the people ,, i agree its coming slowly and very slowly ,, and inshllah wilbe come
    i hope tis year nationl assmly wil again selct the musharf as a uniform and it wil be gud 4 us .. even circumstances can be rude ….
    and i m not seeing anyone replace to musharaf .. if someone is best to musharaf then i wnat to know the answer …. tat who is he or she? and how?

  48. Ahmed Shah says:
    June 5th, 2007 4:10 pm

    We have heard the same promises for the last 4-5 decades,the promise of development and poverty reduction . These people that are now rallying behind the CJP have all during their time in power have ridiculed the judiciary . Mr sharif replace all Supreme court judjes with his choice of judges. Miss bhutoo called the judiciary a circus of monekeys or some thing like that . CJP for them is their ticket to elections . FDI is pouring in Pakistan and these people want to be in a position of power to get their fair share of the ‘pie’
    Mr sharif in 1996 or 1997 froze all bank accouns and removed his families cash outside pakistan. The motor way landed Pakistan in a dept far higher than what it should have been .
    Are we to think that these ex leaders have somehow turned a new leaf , and given up wrong doings . They are itching to return so as to be able to loot Pakistan on a larger scale .

  49. Ahmed Shah says:
    June 5th, 2007 4:13 pm

    IT is most likely that a certain political party and CJP came to an understanding that they would manipulate the judiciay so as to remove MR MUsharraf . This theory seems to have a lot of substance considering that ,the same political parties ex law minister is now the head council to the CJP . THey say that CJP practically jumped into Mr Aitazaz’z car .
    All this indicates that this had been a planned move.

  50. Ahmed Shah says:
    June 5th, 2007 4:18 pm

    Musharraf has gotten the support of his Core Commanders now . HE is the best thing Pakistan has had ,perhaps Jinaah .The presidents stay is vital essential for the continuity . The economic progress and reforms themselves are proof of democracy in Pakistan .IT shows that it has been a result of a group of people and not a single person
    MUsharraf with or without uniform is must ,Mr shaukat along with his team should also be in the economic committe.

  51. A.B says:
    June 21st, 2007 8:57 am

    Musharraf is the best thing that has happened to Pakistan. Had it not been for him PAK would have long been declared a failed state. All those crying for democracy are in a confused state of mind or influenced by the propoganda generated by Media & those same CORRUPT politicians that looted the country and fled o UK, Saudia or Dubai!

    The confusion is as the media does not question the oppsotion on their past tenures; rather they are invited to criticize their opponents performance. Which is unfair!

    PAK is much more stable and strong and sustained. People who are heading towards confusion should read the interviews of Dr. Ishrat Hussein (former governor State Bank) to judge the Economics of PAK before 1999 and now 2007.

  52. A.B says:
    June 21st, 2007 9:07 am

    I ask the Opposition:

    1-How many power projects they initiated and COMPLETED in their tenures? (Only one Chashma of 150 MW)???
    2-How many Motorways & Highways did they complete in their tenures? (only one in Nawaz era Lhr-Isb motorway)
    3- How many Dams did they make in their era? (NOne)
    4- In the 12 years of Benazir & Nawaz (1988-1999) our Foreign Debt rose from $18 billion to $37 billion. And they were borrowing on 18% terms.
    5- We were giving 65% of our GDP in Debt Servicing.
    6- The country was failing and Nawaz was making RAIWIND state for himself!
    7-Benazir was buying ROCKWOOD STATE for herself.
    8-Benazir has TWO TWIN TOWERS in Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road.
    9- Imran Khan was enjoying with his girl friends and producing illegitimate kids!
    10- Mullah were fighting wars for USA in afghaistan
    11- What infrastructure work did they do in their tenures??

    Any achievements other than the KHI airport and M2 motorway?????

  53. A.B says:
    June 21st, 2007 9:22 am

    Musharraf is the only leader who declared his full assets when he came to lead.

    1- GWADAR is an achievement of Musharraf era. Gawadar is the future of PAK.
    2- Musharraf completed Mirani Dam (Baluchistan); and Gomal Zam Dam (Aug 2007) and Subakzai Dam (Sep 2007).
    3- Musharraf progressed work and completed Ghazi Brotha project (2003) which gives 1450MW.
    4- Musharraf completed M1 (ISB-PSH Motorway) and M3 (Pindi to fasialabad motorway) and M8 and M10 are under construction with 60% work complete.
    5- There are above 24 Skyscrapers under construction in PAK currently.
    6- Dozens Underpasses and flyovers have been completed in his era.
    7- Makran Coastal Highway has been completed in his Era.
    8- Kohat tunnel & Halo Morro & N5 Highway have all been completed under this government.
    9- Our Foreign reserves are above $15 billion (which reflects the confidence of Public)
    10- Our GDP growth is 7% (like china & india)
    11- Governance has been clear and transparent. Whatever allegations against them have NOT been proved in Court. Only re-assessment requested by Supreme court.
    12- PAK has achieved respect in world.
    13- Our constrcution activites are 30 year high.
    14- Our large scale manufacturinf are 18 year high.

    There are many many positive things…. which should not be over-looked.

    Democracy is not just a desire…if its unpractical it should be left alone….PAK should move ahead!

  54. Dogar says:
    June 21st, 2007 4:09 pm

    Bhai, you say “Pakistan has achieved respect in world”.


    Not in the world I live in.

    Every time someone sees a Pakistani passport they pull you out of the line to show you ‘special respect’.

  55. July 15th, 2007 2:26 am

    he must leave both posts and face eligations against him.he is a DAJJAL killing innocent people for his lust.u will see his end more terrible than zia haq.he will never ever bring elections against his will,as for i know our army is also hate him,he is such a odd creacher no body in pakistan like him but few who r getting wealth from him.he is living curse upon us.there is a hadith(jaisay log mulk m rahtay hain ALLAH unper unhi ki tarha huklmaraan bhejta hay}hum hi bhatkay huay hain

  56. fivestar says:
    July 16th, 2007 12:02 pm

    Musharraf’s clearing of terrorists in Lal Masjid, was a great step by Musharraf.

  57. saddam says:
    July 17th, 2007 2:36 pm

    salam to all
    welll musharaf shud leave da whole nation n go else where … bcoz in oder to save his chair he his distryoing whole nation

  58. basit says:
    August 27th, 2007 7:59 am

    Musharraf ought to do many things. They

  59. f.Khawaja says:
    September 3rd, 2007 6:06 pm

    give up uniform.donot collaberate with benazir.

  60. Faisal Bashir says:
    September 30th, 2007 6:02 pm

    1. Do read Military Inc. and The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.
    2. Democracy is a process if run continuesly it not only refines itself but the habits and lifestyles of nations and people. The inital result (first iteration) might be really bad but further iterations refine it ( much like solving equations). Remember once stopped, it does not restart from the same position bur from zero.
    3. Dictatorship, no matter how good results it produces initally, eventually destroys the nation.

  61. Imran Mirza says:
    February 12th, 2008 7:52 am

    Respected and most loving president keep doing work for pakistan and Pakistanis with same zeal and zest. these politicians (the buggs) are actually running after money. they are not honest and even they do’t have calliber to serve us. these gready bastered are “gidds” wanna eat us and prosperty of the glorious pakistan. you the most straight forwared person just take the step against these crupt burocrates against their curruption. live long

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