ATP Poll Results: Who Did The Most Harm?

Posted on August 24, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

Our most recent ATP Poll on which of Pakistan’s leaders did the most ‘harm’ to Pakistan was a sequel to our earlier poll on who did the most ‘good’, and like its predecessor this poll also generated quite a response – in discussion as well as in polling.

A total of 1,220 votes were cast in this poll by our readers and the discussion was, once again, interesting as well as insightful. As before, the current Pakistani government leadership was not included in the poll – although a poll to ‘grade’ the current government had been conducted recently.

We will leave a detailed analysis of what the results do or do not mean to our readers, but some key aspects are worth highlighting here.

  • The poll was open for just around 2 full days and a total of 1,220 votes will polled. Once again, the poll and the discussion showed the passions as well as the thought that our readers put into the question. The poll was closed only after the general percentage for each leader had become fairly stable. Astute readers will note that the totals do not add up to 100. One assumes this is because the service we use simply truncates after the decimal point (instead of rounding it off).
  • The result this time was even more clear than in the previous poll. Gen. Zia ul Haq was deemed to have done the most harm to Pakistan, with 42% of those who voted making him their choice. This was exactly twice as many votes as his closed challenger for this dubious title: Gen. Pervez Musharraf had that position in the poll, with 21% of our readers feeling that he had done the most harm to Pakistan. At the third slot was F.M. Ayub Khan with 12% of our readers considering him to have done the most harm. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto – with 10%, 9% and 5% votes, respectively – followed behind them.
  • An interesting aspect this time is that the top three slots were held by the three military leaders in the mix – Zia ul Haq, Pervez Musharraf and Ayub Khan. It is indeed remarkable that 75% of our readers – a full 3/4th – believe that the most harm was done by one of these three military rulers!
  • One surprise, at least to me, was the very high percentage of readers who considered Ayub Khan to have done the most harm. Before the poll I would have expected this number to be smaller. However, a number of readers made the argument that by setting the country on the path to military rule, it was he who caused the greatest harm.
  • Another surprise – given the intensity of the argument against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made by many in their comments – was that the number of people who considered Nawaz Sharif to have caused the most harm was about the same as for Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (9% v. 10%). I am still not sure what this might signify.

Those are just some preliminary and quick thoughts from me in looking at the results. Do tell us what you think, dear readers.

37 responses to “ATP Poll Results: Who Did The Most Harm?”

  1. Rationale says:

    Good thinking that you didn’t put zardari in that list, or he would snag 10% from it as well.
    ha ha

  2. Zaheer Ahmed says:

    So dictators are on the top for harming the country.

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