ATP Poll: What will you advise Musharraf?

Posted on July 28, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Politics
16 Comments
Total Views: 91628

Adil Najam

It seems like everyone has an opinion on what Gen. Musharraf should do about the 2007 elections and the question of ‘removing’ his uniform. (See related ATP posts here, here, and here). So, why not hear what ATP readers say on this question. That is what this, the second, ATP Poll will try to do.

But first, some context. I was in Washington DC yesterday speaking at a panel titled ‘Inside Musharraf’s Pakistan.’ The panel was moderated by Akbar S. Ahmed (American University and the Brookings Institute) and, apart from myself, included Shahid Javed Burki (former World Bank and Pakistan’s Finance Minister), and Frederic Grare (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). The event was co-organized by the World Affairs Council (Washington DC), Rising Leaders, and the International Trade Center.

The discussion was very wide-ranging and given the (very) divergent views of the three speakers it was a lively session, made all the more interesting by some tough and probing questions from the floor. After the event an American research asked me what the mood of public opinion was on whether Gen. Musharraf should keep two offices (Army Chief and President) or not. The only honest answer I could give was that beyond saying that opinion was divided, I really did not know. And nor does anyone else; including General Musharraf himself (irrespective of whatever his advisors may tell him).

That gave me the idea that we should ask ATP readers what they think.

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].

  1. Continue holding both offices, by asking current Assembly to confirm him in both offices before the 2007 elections.
  2. Continue in only one of the two offices (President or Army Chief) and give up the other.
  3. Let the new Assembly decide, post-2007 elections, whether he can or should continue in both offices.
  4. Hold a national referendum on whether he can or should continue in both offices.
  5. Retire at the end of 2006 and fully hand over both offices to his successors.

You can get to the polling area by clicking on the responses in the sidebar, or directly by clicking here.

If you do want to influence the results, please, by all means ask your friends to also vote. Voting is anonymous; as it should be. This will, of course, not be a very scientific poll, but it will at least give us a sense of what this community — the ATP cohort — thinks.

Do vote, but please vote only once (even if you are smart enough to beat the system somehow). You can view the results here. [Polling Closed; 11.15PM, 31 July 2006].

P.S. The cartoon above is, once again, from The Friday Times.

16 responses to “ATP Poll: What will you advise Musharraf?”

  1. Yahya says:

    The real issue is honesty in the system. In principal an honest “dictator” or khlaifa or whatever can also do a good job and perhaps quicker as there isn’t much opposition. Without honesty no amount of democracy can solve our problems.

  2. Baber says:

    End the military role in Politics. Leave the politics to civilians. Army should go back in barracks. Let the people decide the fate of Pakistan. End of dictatorship for ever. Army and religion left out of Politics. Bengalies living & working in Pakistan (illegali) should be given citizenship not Afghanies. Provinical Autonomy to all provinces. A refrendum on Kalabagh dam.

  3. […] Well, the bill did pass. They have not yet resigned and even as some taunt them for not doing so, reports suggest that there are rifts within the coalition on this issue and also that they will be resigning. Although it is not clear exactly when, how and even from what. The MMA controls over 50 seats in the National Assembly and leads the ruling coalition in the NWFP and is part of the governing coalition in Balochistan. There is speculation that the coalition is torn with the Jamaat i Islami (JI) and its leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed wanting to force the government’s hand by implementing the resignation threat while the Jamiat i Ulema i Islam (JUI) leader Maulana Fazl ur Rehman is holding out, partly because his party is leading the NWFP Provincial government and partly because he fears that if they resign and early national elections or provisional elections for those seats may be called and his party may loose the seats they now have. What does all of this mean for politics in Pakistan and for democracy? According to The News (18 November, 2006), Qazi Hussain Ahmed is ready to force the issue and has announced Dec. 7 as the date when then resignations will be handed in: Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Qazi Hussain Ahmad on Friday said they had accepted the challenge from President Musharraf to face the liberal forces and decided to resign from parliament on December 7 in the first phase of “a protest movement against the unconstitutional and un-Islamic stepsâ€

  4. 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.

  5. It takes time and PAIN for democracy to take hold. As long as Army keeps interfering, the democratic system and civic institutions wont be strengthened. Don’t they have corrupt politicians in India. But sooner or later they are replaced. Remember US had the bloodiest civil war 100 years after coming into being. It took more than 100 years for US to reach this stage. India is progressing after 50 years of democracy.

    It should also take us 50 years whether its PPP, PML, MQM, MMA… If the people want Benazir, who are we to deny them. Just because we are educated, does our vote counts more than any farmer from a rural village.

    Musharraf can keep on holding both the posts and everybody knows that massive rigging is planned for next elections. I was witness to large scale rigging in Musharraf’s own referendum. If you want, we can have another referundum but we all know what the result will be.

    During Ayub and Zia era, people used to talk about them the same way as current supporters of Musharraf. But some years down the line, when Musharraf wont be there, we will realize that the damage done by Musharraf to the country is more than any of his military predecessors leaving us with absolutely useless and bought out civic institutions.

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