I must confess that I had an unterior motive in putting up the last ATP Poll – on whether readers thought that there would be elections in Pakistan in 2007 or not? I am supposed to give a talk about this topic in Washington DC today, organized by the Association of Pakistani Professionals (AOPP), and I thought that maybe presenting the results of this ATP Poll would be a good way to start.
But here, anyhow, are the results, along with some salient features of the results:
- Out of a total of 771 responses from ATP readers, 36 percent (275 votes) believe that elections will be held as planned. It is not clear, however, whether this is a vote of confidence in Gen. Musharraf or an expression of cynicism about how despite all the current agitation nothing will really change.
- Closely behind are those 239 readers (31 percent) who believe that there will be no elections in Pakistan in 2007. Interestingly, this group accounted for around 28 percent of the total votes until two days ago and this number started rising after the recent clampdown on the media in Pakistan.
- About 12 percent of our readers (95 votes) feel that there will be elections in 2007, but not under Gen. Musharraf. This group, it seems, feels that change is not just likely but imminent.
- Finally, 162 readers – 21 percent – are of the view that things are changing so fast that it is not possible to make any predictions whatsoever on this matter. Let me say that although this is not the option I had myself voted for originally, at this point in time – given what has happened and is happening right now – this is probably what I would say today.