USA Elections 2008: Impact on Pakistan?

Posted on November 4, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Foreign Relations, Pakistanis Abroad
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Adil Najam

Even though much of the U.S. and world media seems to have already decided who will win the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, the fact remains that the elections are determined by votes, not by polls.

Much can happen between now and Tuesday. Including the (re-)discovery that the opinion polling is not an exact science. I doubt if that will be the case, but part of me is now fed-up with the over-polling in this election.

That means that maybe we should do an ATP poll of our own :-)

As has been evidenced in other posts of this blog there are Pakistanis who strongly feel that a President Barack Obama will be be more dangerous for Pakistan than a President John McCain. There are also many who think the exact opposite. And as the question in the poll suggest there may also be those who feel that no matter who wins things will get worse or, maybe, will become better for Pakistan.

Without losing sight of the fact that Americans will, and should, elect the President they think is best for America, not for Pakistan – and not withstanding my own expressed view that Pakistani-Americans will also be voting this time on their own domestic policy concerns and not on Pakistan’s foreign policy preferences – one does wonder how a new administrtaion in Washington (now that there is already a new administration in Islamabad) might impact Pakistan.

So, please do tell us what you think. And why.

71 Comments on “USA Elections 2008: Impact on Pakistan?”

  1. Walter says:
    November 2nd, 2008 5:21 pm

    Don’t mean to read too much into this, but it is funny that he background of McCain’s sign is black and of Obama’s is white!

    Is there a subtle message there?

  2. ASAD says:
    November 2nd, 2008 5:33 pm

    I like the way you have formulated the question. Frankly, I really think that things will be better for Pakistan and the world, no matter who wins!

  3. Roshan says:
    November 2nd, 2008 5:42 pm

    U.S. Election 2008 is very important for Pakistan and both the candidates are showing keen interest in the situation emerged in Afghan/Pak-istan.
    I personally think both candidates will keep their own national interest first which of course is pretty natural. But question rises, what modalities they opt for protecting their national interest.
    Obama’s belligerent statements of striking in Pakistan (if the country does not act or unable to strike the high profiled terrorist/s) seems very weired and aggressive to us as a Pakistani. But at least, one finds him a person who have tendency to think out of box as compared to his rival McCain or predecessor Bush. You can at least argue with him and convince him with your point of view or get convinced with his argument. But I am scared if McCain replaces Bush in White House. We have witnessed that Bush and his administration have assured its counterparts in Pakistan for not violating our sovereignty but continued their strikes which shows their ambivalence and hypocrisy.
    Finally no matter whosoever wins in U.S. elections, it all depends that how strongly, effectively and convincingly we present our case diplomatically at international arena and convince them that U.S. strikes are infact strengthening extremism in that area and NATO is weakening its important ally in war against terrorism.

  4. Rubina says:
    November 2nd, 2008 5:43 pm

    Surprised that anyone would think that Obama could be good for Pakistan after what he has been saying.

    Also, Republicans are usually better for Pakistan anyhow.

  5. Aamir Ali says:
    November 2nd, 2008 6:46 pm

    Why do Pakistanis think Obama will be good for Pakistan??!!! The man is black and a Democrat, I expect him to be even more aggressive than Bush when it comes to current conflicts.

    Just because Obama is black, and his father was a nominal Muslim, and he talks about “building relations with Pakistani people”, does NOT mean that he will be more sympathetic to Muslims and Pakistanis and will shower then with aid and comforts.

  6. Viqar Minai says:
    November 2nd, 2008 6:47 pm

    Until we learn to stand up for our dignity and be counted, it does not much matter who will be a good or bad choice for the White House from Pakistan’s perspective in 2008. Consideration for the wishes of Pakistanis will be the last thing on any American administration’s mind, be it McCain’s or Obama’s.

  7. meengla says:
    November 2nd, 2008 6:54 pm

    Obama will be much, much, MUCH better for world and Pakistan. Obama may put a few ‘qualifiers’ when he talks about attacking inside Pakistan but McCain is a snake: ‘Talk Softly but Carry a Big Stick’ [paraphrased]. What is that supposed to mean?! How is he going to be any different from Bush who has done it countless of times (starting right under Musharraf’s regime)?
    Obama and Biden are the best news for Pakistan and the world especially when compared with Republicans; the latter are only good at making ‘strategic’ alliance with the military of Pakistan and have proved to be nothing but disaster for Pakistan. That the ‘core’ group supporting Republicans is evangelical Christians makes it even more dangerous for the world peace.
    Go Obama Go! You are perfect but you are far better than these thugs disguised as the Republican Party of America.

  8. Frank says:
    November 2nd, 2008 7:01 pm

    As meengla points out, one of the key things is Biden. He will certainly be better than Cheney and Biden is a proven friend of Pakistan. More important both Obama and Biden are not just sane they are actually intelligent. Now THAT will be a good change in the White House.

  9. pakination says:
    November 2nd, 2008 7:02 pm

    Obama and Democrats are better for US. McCain and Republicans are better for Pakistan. If we consider the current conflict and war on terror than both will be worst for Pakistan.
    So bhaion and behnon,expect nothing and prepare for worst.

  10. Faraz says:
    November 2nd, 2008 7:21 pm

    The choices in the poll don’t make sense.

    1. No matter who wins, things will become worse for Pakistan.
    2. A President Barack Obama will be better for Pakistan.
    3. A President John McCain will be better for Pakistan.
    4. No matter who wins, things will become better for Pakistan.

    1 and either 2 or 3 could be true, and 4 and either 2 or 3 could be true. Doesn’t make much sense to group options 1 and 4 with 2 and 3. Things in Pakistan may improve or worsen with either president. The question should be which of the two candidates is RELATIVELY better.

  11. Fawad Khan says:
    November 2nd, 2008 10:04 pm

    One thing we should NOT be doing and which will help greatly in deteriorating the existing situation in Pakistan, is being pessimistic. Realistically, we should not be even thinking who is coming where. Our primary concern should be our own policies which can bring positive change in Pakistan and we have to draw our own line.

    It is really sad and as a matter of fact we should not be even using this poll. Why no body cares that much in other countries as we do? The answer is pretty simple, because we are weak and that

  12. Alveena says:
    November 3rd, 2008 3:54 am

    In presence of some reasonable leader or government in Pakistan one can hope from Obama but every body is forgetting one thing that the greatest thieve has become the greatest leader(president) in Pakistan so it doesn’t matter who wins in America situation will remain the same in pakistan. He is the third richest person (as per declared assessts )in Pakistan, now think of his hidden assets. From where this money has come?? offcourse they’ve looted Pakistan.

    An inetersting information to read in this article

  13. Anwar says:
    November 3rd, 2008 9:22 am

    What matters for Pakistan is the political maturity of the leadership in Islamabad.
    I hope that the apocalyptic rascals are routed out tomorrow – I will be voting for a lesser of the two evils…

  14. AF Ahmad says:
    November 3rd, 2008 10:22 am

    I am dreaming of a day when the following will be considered – at least – a realistic option in polls like this:

    5. Doesn’t matter who wins, because Pakistanis control their own destiny.

  15. zulfiqar says:
    November 3rd, 2008 11:22 am

    very well said AF Ahmed …. very well said !
    issee ghula-maana zehniyat nay hamay apnaa qay-dee (prisoner) banaa diya hai …

  16. MQ Shah says:
    November 3rd, 2008 11:53 am

    Very true AF Ahmed. This is even true today, just as Iqbal put it

    Khuda nay aaj tuk uss qum ki halat nahee badhly,
    na ho jis ko khial aap aapni halat kay badulnay ka.

    I really don’t know what to make of these folks who voted for “No matter who wins, things will become worse for Pakistan”. Either they have nothing to do with Pakistan or they don

  17. Hyder says:
    November 3rd, 2008 6:54 pm

    I think today we should have been talking about emergency and how things have changed (or not) under this “democratic” government of Pakistan. Showing solidarity with the people who are working for the rule of law and respect for constitution in Pakistan. Instead we are more interested in US election. Whoever wins in US is good or bad for USA and we should care more about what is relevant to Pakistan.

  18. DL says:
    November 3rd, 2008 7:49 pm

    Over time, I have grown a disliking for overly religious people. Evangelical christians mostly support McCain, and that is one reason I will like Obama to be in charge. This might sound pretty childish, but at times I feel that people with strong religious convictions (particularly those following an Abrahamic faith) are more prone to starting wars than others. Most abrahamic religions talk about the doom and gloom when the end is near, and if you cannot dream of a better future, I find it hard to believe that you can actually work for it. You are biased against people of other faith and are prone to making the ghastly predictions of the future in to a living dreadful reality.
    I am aware that my analysis is rather simplistic, but still wanted to float it around.

  19. Riaz Haq says:
    November 3rd, 2008 7:52 pm

    While no Pakistani-American voter likes Obama’s rhetoric on attacking inside Pakistan, most of them seem willing to give him a pass for other reasons unrelated to Obama’s Pakistan stance. After eight disastrous years of Bush-Cheney administration which have seen perpetual war, shredding of the US constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the recent financial crisis, Pakistani-American voters are joining forces with the mainstream voters to punish all Republicans. Even John McCain, a moderate and maverick Republican, is being tarred and feathered as another George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. While John McCain did vote for the Iraq war (as did Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden), he has been very critical of the extreme Bush policies including Americans’ surveillance, prisoner torture and the conduct of Iraq war.

    I think Pakistani-Americans are making a serious mistake by choosing Obama over McCain as far as US Pakistan policy is concerned. This choice does have negative consequences that could be potentially disastrous for US and Pakistan by sparking a regional war if Obama persists in his attacking Pakistan rather than work together with Pakistanis to deal with the real terror threat carefully and patiently. A heavy handed approach will almost certainly make the situation far worse than it is already.

  20. Jake says:
    November 3rd, 2008 10:40 pm

    Beware, Pakistan. Neither McCain nor Obama will be good for you. They’re both owned by the same interests that wish to expand the Great Game in Asia and Pakistan happens to be in the way.

  21. YLH says:
    November 4th, 2008 2:34 am

    Obama is better for Jinnah

  22. YLH says:
    November 4th, 2008 2:35 am
  23. Shayan R says:
    November 4th, 2008 7:03 am

    I think a shift of focus from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan under an Obama presidency will probably be for the best. Our government and military clearly cannot be trusted to deal with the militants without a lot of international pressure and assistance. So be it. We need to regain control over FATA and Swat and crush the TTP as soon as is humanly possible. Many of us think that American interference is counterproductive but without its pressure our military would never have fought the militants as earnestly as it is fighting them today. And while the drone attacks are very much counterproductive, America can help us a lot by stabilizing the Afghan provinces on our border, stopping infiltration into Bajaur and other areas where the army is trying to rout the Taiban and keeping our government from getting distracted.

  24. meengla says:
    November 4th, 2008 9:46 am

    Right again. Thank you for a great post!

    Bold words. Whether one agrees with you or not–you are going against the grain of ‘national honor’–yet your words help establish the other end of the spectrum of argument. ‘Truth’ always lies somewhere in between.
    So thank you!


  25. Aamir Ali says:
    November 4th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Shayan R
    I have to disagree with you as far as Pak military is concerned with regards to fighting militants. Perhaps early on the military may have thought of “good and bad” militants, but after the events of last 2 years, and over 1,300 soldiers including generals lost, we see the military fighting militants very hard now. Its another matter that the Pak military’s counter-insurgency abilities, and few assets like Cobra helicopters means that only one proper operation can be conducted at a time.

    On the other hand Pakistani politicians, media, and “awam” are the ones who need to be constantly pressured into fighting this war. That is where I think the US role is useful.

  26. Taimur says:
    November 4th, 2008 2:07 pm

    The impact on Pakistan will come from whoever is ruling Pakistan. But Obama will certainly be better for the world.

  27. Fred says:
    November 4th, 2008 8:06 pm

    CNN just announced the first projected wins. First one, Kentucky goes to McCain and Vermont goes to Obama.

    Means nothing, except that the countdown to history has begun!

  28. meengla says:
    November 4th, 2008 8:16 pm

    Yes, the ‘countdown to history’ has begun! I will have popcorn by my side and hope in my head–for a Democratic victory!

    shows a very good, up to the minute (almost) view of this elections.

  29. Kaneez says:
    November 4th, 2008 10:30 pm

    WOW our own Adil Najam is leading teh GEO TV election transmission

  30. Dr Amin Ali says:
    November 4th, 2008 11:56 pm

    Yes I also saw Adil Najam as anchor of the GEO transmission from DC. I think he did a great job specially the questions be asked were polite but tough. Just like this site.

  31. Faraz says:
    November 5th, 2008 12:34 am

    Obama it is. McCain conceded just seconds ago.

  32. Aamir Ali says:
    November 5th, 2008 12:37 am

    Pakistanis should get ready for a rough ride with President Obama and a Democratic Congress. Obama’s rhethoric of “building relationship” with the people is just campaign fluff, means nothing in reality.

  33. Eidee Man says:
    November 5th, 2008 2:30 am

    I would echo the comments made earlier: Pakistanis should look within our borders for what’s good for Pakistan. Even if the rest of the world somehow adopts an extremely favorable attitude towards us (don’t hold your breath), it won’t make a difference unless our OWN political system takes charge.

    Personally, I am hopeful that an Obama administration will bring, if not sensitivity to our country’s sufferings, strategic vision for America’s own success, which has been sorely missing during the past eight years.

  34. BUNTY says:
    November 5th, 2008 3:17 am

    It took the USA almost 300 years to get a President like OBAMA!

    We, need 50-odd years, however & in the time being have to make do with the likes of ZARDARI & Company!

  35. Khuram says:
    November 5th, 2008 3:36 am

    Americans have once again shown to the world why they are a great nation.While we all copy any thing that comes out of this great country somehow we have failed to copy it for its principles of democracy and individual freedom.It had deviated from these principles in the last eight years and Americans have voted for a change;a change to revert back to its original image.I am sure this will receive top attention from the new administration.The entire pre election environment in a hard fought two years of campaigning has culminated in the most civil and honorable fashion unlike in countries like Pakistan.Once we learn to copy this aspect of politics we would succeed.We need a change too and we need to change too.

  36. Azharuddin says:
    November 5th, 2008 5:17 am

    Dr. Najam, you were great on the marathon Geo TV transmission today. Was amazed at how you were leading the show for nearly 6 hours straight without seeming tired. Also, a great panel with you, especially Mushahid Hussain. I think you all raised some very powerful straight talk about what this means for Pakistan specially what you kept saying that it will depend also on what Pakistan does not just what Obama does.

  37. November 5th, 2008 9:57 am

    US should now realize how blindly he attcked Iraq for super ficial WMDs killing 700,000 innocents there without gaining anything. Same goes for Afghanistan where prime hunt was Al-Qaeda and there supporters Talibans but again same massive carpet bombaring as a result now all of Pukhtoons factions are united against US + NATO and now US and NATO are secretly dealing with moderate Talibans via Riyadh Connections ! Atlast US have to see what Alexander, Ranjeet, British and Red Bear saw , its thier 3000 years history !

    Regarding Pakistan, drones are killing some civilians also alongwith terrorists as they use it as a human shield, while US marines entering Pakistan territory is a just like a Alice wonderland’dream. Kiyani already have sent a red signal to Pentagon and above all 650,000 nuclear armed persoanls are not sitting with bangles in hands !

  38. commoner says:
    November 5th, 2008 10:40 am

    Republicans love to supported military dictators in Pakistan whereas Democrtic party love to scre w the democratic political governments in Pakistan. So for Pakistan it has always been a loose-loose situation. Lets see if Obama can bring some real “change” as far as Pakistan is concerned. But I am sure of two things: one that there would be a far greater pressure on Pakistan vis a vis the Nuclear proliferation issue and secondly the entire focus of war against terror would rest on the region straddling the Durand line.

    Obama’s recent statements about Strikes within Pakistan were perhaps largely election campaign posturing. On the other hand his statement linking the unresolved Kashmir issue to the rise of extremism in nuclear south asia points towards a possible paradigm shift in the south asian geopolitics.

    But in the end all will depend upon how quickly we can put our own house in order.

    Khuda nay aaj tuk uss qum ka pamper nahee badla,
    na ho jis ko khial aap aapnay pamper kay badulnay ka

  39. Jusathot says:
    November 5th, 2008 10:41 am

    This has been one of the momentous elections in my lifetime, if not in U.S. history. It is both exemplary and inspiring to see Obama make it all the way to the top

  40. Tina says:
    November 5th, 2008 11:09 am

    Personally I was really disappointed in Obama’s comments about Pakistan. But he appears to be an intelligent man and I hope his actions and statesmanship will rise above his campaign rhetoric.

    Pakistan would do better to worry more about its own leaders than about the American president. I know this sounds naive given how much America has meddled in Pakistan’s leadership, unwilling to accept any movement towards the left (the U.S. policy towards every country). But surely there must be something better in Pakistan’s future, but how…? Here’s how–

    Imagine someone like Obama–an ethnic/racial minority, raised by a single mother, with no personal wealth or political connections–making it to high office in Pakistan. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? Maybe on the day this becomes a possibility, Pakistan will get the leaders it needs!

  41. adeel says:
    November 5th, 2008 11:47 am

    Good point Bunty (November 5th, 2008 3:17 am)!

    If we let the system run, we might too, one day, be able to achieve something similar (elect member of a minority group).

  42. S.M.K. says:
    November 5th, 2008 11:51 am

    What a momentous day. It reassured the faith in democracy and in some ways in America. What a great story for America and for the world.

    BTW, Adil Najam, heard from my family in Pakistan that you were all over Geo all through the day.

  43. AHsn says:
    November 5th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Now the election is over and Obama is the new president. Tere is no need to debate if it is good or bad for Pakistan. Because, Good or Bad can only come from within Pakistan. Outsiders can only help or lay obstacles.

    For the progress of the present Palistan the President has a big crowed of at lest 55 ministers. Certainly they should be more efficient than the six ministers that the first Governor General of Pakistan had.

    Perhaps, Ali Baba with 55 thieves will do a better job than only 40. To bring peace to Pakistan, the president is inviting the Talibans to hve a talk. How does a husband talk with the killers of his wife?

  44. libertarian says:
    November 5th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Imagine someone like Obama

  45. MQ says:
    November 5th, 2008 3:47 pm

    I can describe Obama’s victory last night only three words:

    Only In America!

    On a personal note, I was scheduled to fly back to Islamabad on 4 November, but I canceled the flight because I didn’t want to miss out on the energy and the excitement of this historic day. I wanted to witness history being made. And I am glad I did.

  46. Sager says:
    November 5th, 2008 5:59 pm

    I hope he gets out of Iraq & into Waziristan to take care of problem, we need to support Pakistanies in getting rid of terrorist there.

  47. Aisha says:
    November 5th, 2008 6:48 pm

    “No matter who wins, things will become worse for Pakistan.
    52% ”

    Pakistan, where is your faith, hope, determination and optimism? Without these characteristics one can never truly expect change for Pakistan. As someone said, this is something that the Pakistani people themselves need to do.

    The US Presidential Election 2008 seemed like a dream come true or rather more like a miracle. After the 2000 & 2004 Presidential elections, many US citizen rightfully felt that the election process failed and total distrust began to fester. Bush was elected President and only under suspicious voting conditions. Ah, I recall feeling broken, hopeless, and victimized by the system in 2000 & 2004. But, we can never give up and with every new election should come reknewed hope, faith and determination that people will pull together and make what once seemed impossible happen.

    So many before Obama have attempted to climb the mountain only to be pushed down. Yet, the character and will of those who had the courage and determination to pave the way has finally prevailed and united the people of the USA. The election of a black man as President of the USA was no small feat and it didn’t happen over night. Many have died in the past for us to finally come to where we are today. As Obama said in his acceptance speech…it has taken 221 years! One can’t help but feel a sense of pride in fellow citizens for the enourmous growth that has taken place over the years to overcome such deep embedded fears and prejudices. To see a man judged by his character rather than by his ethnicity or the color of his skin brings joy to the heart of all. It is as if we, the people, have risen to a higher level of civility toward our fellow man. And, that is a good thing.

  48. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    November 5th, 2008 7:04 pm

    The Obama Express has arrived.

    It is futile to debate who would have been more dangerous for Pakistan? The greatest danger to Pakistan is from Pakistanis themselves, in particular from those in leadership positions. We have to have our own act together.

    We keep on forgetting that the US President is elected to look after the US interests and all countries and events are subservient to that responsibility. If the two interests clash, there is no quarter for us. On the other hand, if in the judgment of the US President, the interests come close there may be some room to maneuver.

    The US institutions and leadership are very clear on this point and irrespective of which Party occupies the White House, the reactions would be identical. Obama the Democrat as candidate had talked about Bombing Pakistan while Bush the Republican is already doing it. Get the picture?

  49. Rabia says:
    November 5th, 2008 7:56 pm

    good job in your marathon Geo transmission Adil Najam

    You brought a little more Pakistaniat to Geo

  50. Anwer says:
    November 5th, 2008 8:52 pm

    >> good job in your marathon Geo transmission Adil Najam.
    >> You brought a little more Pakistaniat to Geo.

    Agreed. Thanks a lot for a wonderfully informative program with probing inquiries and intelligent commentary.

  51. November 6th, 2008 12:43 am

    @ Deeda-i-Beena

    Certainly the Armed Forces of Pakistan will take care the interest of Pakistan as US president take care of US interests. You should not worry about that. Now US interest is that after shameless defeat here, both NATO and US Commanders are saying that this war is never ending. So just wait soon we see the Obama signing a new Geneva Accord to have ‘honurable exit’ as we have seen for Russia in 1988.Nobody should ever be in a dream of taking PAkistan as a cake-piece !

  52. Alveena says:
    November 6th, 2008 1:49 am

    @ Sheesha-i-Shbanum, Nobody would like to take this rotten piece of cake, an overcroweded country already eaten by the Generals of Pakistan Army. These Generals always tookover their own country. Have you forgotten Kargil, 71 War and General Ayub election against Fatima Jinnah?

  53. ali says:
    November 6th, 2008 2:20 am

    The actual threat to Pakistan is the people of Pakistan. The America election result showes that if the people want they can change the history and they did by electing black as a president.
    When it comes to election in Pakistan we vote to curupt politician who making fool of us number of times. We really have a shortage of good leader or we have good leader but we can not recognize them or we dont want to recognize. From past several decade we see the same faces elected despite knowing that they are not good.

  54. R. SHOAIB says:
    November 6th, 2008 2:21 am

    It is very interesting to see how America is changing, it seems to me it is going to be a cultural change then any thing else. America is browning for sure, which was the biggest fear of conservatives. We should look at it as a learning example, instead of only how much more we can get from their new regime.

  55. November 6th, 2008 4:41 am

    @ Alveena

    but fact is that in the same over crowded country we are the first class citizens neither being naked on J F Kanady or Heathrow , nor cellular phone histort being checked and insulted on airports , neither hear racial comments not live as 3rd class citizens as pakis live in US UK etc. Generals taking over country and so called democracy champions supporting them, yeah this is democracy.We have also made a Hindu our Chief Justice so jumping like jocker over black president is not so surprisng. Moreover 650,000 armed nuclear forces are enough to take care of Pakistan national interests. Identityless US Pako blend have nothing to do with it. Pakistan knows whats the situtiaon and where to draw the line.

  56. Aamir Ali says:
    November 6th, 2008 8:33 am


    These generals would not have come to power if your beloved politicians were not such a bunch of crooks and slackers. Dont pretend to be a white girl because you are not and nobody will ever accept you as one.

  57. Riaz Haq says:
    November 6th, 2008 11:30 am

    Barack Obama’s victory is truly a historic moment for all Americans and a great example for the world at large. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory was the largest since Lyndon Johnson’s election as president in 1964. And if he runs the country as well as he ran his campaign, he does have a chance of becoming a very successful leader of the greatest nation on earth.

    Obama’s election represents a turning point for the people of color in the US. It is noteworthy that, in spite of their labeling of US as racist, the Europeans have yet to elect a person of color to the highest office in their lands.

    A poll today asked both white and black American parents, “Can your child grow up to be president of the US?” Over 70% of blacks responded in the affirmative versus only 46% of whites.

  58. Jasmine says:
    November 6th, 2008 11:53 am

    Guys, hi, i would really like to hear authentic Pakistani opinions on what the Obama presidency means for the people of Pakistan. Should we celebrate or duck for cover?

  59. Watan Aziz says:
    November 6th, 2008 2:43 pm

    Lessons to be learned:

    1. Participative Democracy. The mobilization of peoples and resouces across the 50 states so that the will of the people can be expressed at all levels. Those who can give money, and those who can knock doors, both get to participate.

    2. Rule of Law. Rules and Procedures, even if different from county to county and state to state are clear, well establised, so that people can follow without arguments. Procedures for court challenges and rulings.

    3. Respect for will of People. The candidate who lost, does it with dignity and honor and wishes well the winner and the country.

    4. Transfer of Power. An orderly process through which the lever of powers are transfered in an orderly fashion, in prescribed manner and prescribed format.

    5. An Organic Nation. Any nation that can grow and mold with the changes circumstances, is a nation that shall not perish. This is how the founding fathers saw. This is how the nation continues to evolve.

  60. Shazia Ahsan says:
    November 6th, 2008 7:10 pm

    Time to learn a lesson:
    Don’t judge one by his or her ethnic or family background.

    Obama rocks..
    Democracy rules..

    And we, a 3rd. world country, is still trying to figure what’s better for the country? Both the PM and President should be Sindhi or Punjabi or one of each or what?

    It’s about time to grow up..

  61. Junaid Khan says:
    November 6th, 2008 7:36 pm

    I kind of disagree with the notion of debating over who is better for Pakistan? Obama’s camp or McCain’s or in other words Democrats or Republicans?

    I truly believe that an enlightened, moderate and patriotic Pakistani is better than both. So let’s work to acquire these qualities amongst us and our fellow men and women.

    Long live Pakistan.

  62. November 7th, 2008 12:52 am

    Agreed with Junaid Khan’s perception.

  63. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    November 7th, 2008 12:55 am

    Pakistan had its Elections in February 2008. Change resulted. But subsequently squandered.

    You are invited to go to the Archives of ATP, Under Deeda-i-Beena read the Post Dated 28 February 2008: “PAKISTAN ELECTIONS 2008: Awam Express Has Arrived.”

    Do we find any similarities in the two elections taking place in 2008, and the power of the people?

  64. Alveena says:
    November 7th, 2008 3:36 am

    @ Sheesha-i-Shabnum & Amir Ali—FYI i’m a Pakistani and am living in Pakistan that too in a small town. I’ve never been to USA. Yes we are first class citizen of Pakistan suffering all these miseries, yes we are Pakistani who r killing other Pakistani on the name of religion some time in name of Shia, some time Qadiani some time taliban and some time something else. They make you naked on JFK or Hethro but they don’t burry their women alive, they don’t put their women in front of dogs.
    These corrupt politians are also created by your beloved generals AYUB, YAHYIA, ZIA & Mushraf. they never let the desrving people to come forward.
    As far as a Hindu chief justice is concerned what’s wrong with it and honestly speaking I can trust a Hindu Judge more than our Muslims Judges like abdul Qayum and others .
    These general make us fool some time in name of water treaty with india, some time in name of Fake Jihad in Afghanistan and some times in name of enlighten moderation.

  65. Aisha says:
    November 7th, 2008 4:59 am

    Many have answered the question with questions of what the USA under Obama Presidency will do for Pakistan. Others are fearful of Obama & Democrats and some others actually think that America wants to take over Pakistan. Yet, others are seeing the bigger picture….how democracy can work when citizens unite.

    I have never been concerned with what another country’s incoming president could do for my country. If we were friends, I would hope that if my country was being attacked or in trouble that they would help. My only concerns are that he/she is a person of “good character” and naturally I would expect them to have their own country’s best interest at heart but still I would expect loyalty. I wouldn’t expect them to do something for nothing. One hand washes the other. The USA is forthcoming with AID and help to those who prove themselves to be friends and ask for their help. America does not go anywhere unless asked or if world peace is threatened.

    Why should any country receive money or AID from the USA if they say one thing yet do another ? ie. A friend does not do that. Are you going to help capture these world terrorists hiding out in your country or are you going to continue to allow them to house terrorist training camps & give them safe passage through Pakistan? Obama did not say he would bomb Pakistan but he expects the President to do his job by capturing & stopping these terrorists in Pakistan or the US will as they pose a real threat to World Peace and especially to Pakistan. Don’t we all want the same thing?

    America has no interest in “taking” Pakistan. The days of conquering and capturing are long gone. America has viewed Pakistan as an ally deserving of AID and help. The Pakistani people are good but live under a primitive and highly corrupt government. America can tell Pakistan how to govern, create and enforce laws, the importance of education, healthcare and equal rights but ultimately they have to do it for themselves. Don’t forget, Pakistan has only existed for 61 years?! America wasn’t built in a day. Hopefully though Pakistan can learn quicker by US example.

    How do we have democracy in Pakistan and stop the corruption and violence when people are so fearful (and rightfully so) to speak out? Benazir Bhutto…a threat to those who don’t want the Pakistani people to have any control, look what the evil and corruption in Pakistan did to her! Does Pakistan need to have a civil war in order to make changes? Possibly. But, thus far the people have not united or done enough to take control of their country, are they capable of uniting enough to even engage in a civil war? You simply cannot sit back and expect things to change for the better.

    A partical excerpt from Obama’s counter-terrorism plan:

  66. November 7th, 2008 8:57 am

    @ Alveena

    Yes Generals have done a lot hanky panky but what present ‘ democracy champion PPPP’ government is doing . Adil Sahab has put a recent post of Bajrani and Zehri . Bajrani yesterdaty came on Capital talk yesterdayy with Dr.Hoodhbhoy and a lady expalining his ‘innocence’. Why to blame 170 million of Pakistan for such few mad fanatics who believe in such things and kill innocent shias, qadianis, sunnis etc .

  67. Aamir Ali says:
    November 7th, 2008 9:39 am


    You are following the new fashion in Pakistan to show blind hatred towards generals and army, hoping that somehow something will come out of it. Let me tell you that nothing will come out of it.

    I am not aware of any Pakistani being made naked in Heathrow or JFK, though Pakistanis do go thorough special checking. And the reason for it is the terrorists who live in Pakistan and who so many Pakistanis support. These are the terrorists, when fought by the army, are glorified as “heroes of Islam” while the poor soldiers are condemned as “American dogs”.

    The politicians voted in power were done so by the people, so dont blame the generals for this. Jaise awam waise hukumran.

  68. Hina says:
    November 9th, 2008 10:17 am

    I don’t and I don’t know anyone who expects overnight change.

    But the real point is that there will be an intelligent and thoughtful man in charge

    He should and will make decisions that are good for America and not for Pakistan. That is his job. But at least he is someone that you can respect intellectually even though there will certainly be decisions that we will not like.

  69. Alveena says:
    November 9th, 2008 8:54 pm

    @ Amir Ali, I agree with you, all those people who are supporting these Taliban and making them heros are actually part of this terrorism. I can never think of supporting these people who are actually cutting the roots of our country in the name of their self created version of Islam.
    I’m not showing hatred towards the poor soldiers and low rank officers(Colonel and below) of army. That’s why i used the word General not Army. These generals used soldiers and low rank officers in their game of money. I didn’t say all generals but most of them specially the four i mentioned, as we do have good people like Late Gen.Jamshid Gulzar Kiani.
    Think of the role of Ayub, yahya, Zia and Mushraf and how they have destroyed our country and nation

  70. samarth says:
    November 16th, 2008 1:59 am

    i am from india….i dont know if i am supposed to give my view’s on this forum….but what i belive is that..there should be increased stress on pakistans economy…thats the only way pakistan can become more confident and independent in making its decisions….pakistan should mordenise its nuke arsenal(just in case)..but should stop spending so much money on conventional weapon’s…and spend stuff to develop infrastructure…mordenise education to use its rich workforce…initially pakistans economy was doing better then indian economy because of freakin red tape politics…..but now things have changed drastically….personally i would have liked to see a economically strong pakistan…so that our leaders can feel ashamed and work for betterment of the nation……and i belive there has to be synergy between india,pakistan,srilanka,nepal,mynmar for collective development of south-east asia….we as nations may have many differences but i know that we share much more similarities then diff for 50 years we have been brainwashed against each other….it may take 50years to cement the ties…we were known as golden bird for last 2500yrs there is no reason that golden bird cant rise again from the ashes of time…like a phoenix……………….no offence to ny one….peace and love brothers

  71. February 22nd, 2009 2:06 pm

    Five regional cities should be upgraded with in the provinces in Pakistan. Regional cities of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP, Gawadar/ Qalat in Balouchistan, Sukkar/ Larkana in Upper Sind, Jehlam/ Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab province. These regional cities have been ignored by the federal and provincial governments although these cities have their own history, culture and languages. The people of these regions have to travel to provincial capitals for every small issue and requirement of the daily life which should be provided in nearby cities. A good number of population travel to big cities for their survival to earn livelihood as the local feudal own majority land. Creation of regional government and upgrading of the regional cities will save a lot of money and time of the poor people of these regions. Circuit courts of the High Courts are already working in these areas and only requirement is the additional staff of different departments involved in additional work at the provincial capitals. The concern authorities should immediately consider to upgrade the regional cities. And immediate attention should be given upgrade the airports, hospitals, educational institutes and investment opportunities for Pakistanis living abroad and foreign firms to create jobs in the area.

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