ATP Poll: What Will be the Impacts of 2006?

Posted on December 23, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Politics, Society
47 Comments
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Adil Najam

Its time to take stock of the year 2006. Its also time for another ATP Poll.

We did think of doing something around a ‘Person of the Year’ theme and I even thought of a few possible candidates (here, here and here). But that seemed too obvious, and more likely to turn into a popularity contest rather than a thought-provoking discussion.

Instead, we want to focus on the following question:

WHICH EVENTS AND TRENDS FROM 2006 ARE MOST LIKELY TO LEAVE A LASTING IMPACT ON PAKISTAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY?

Our desire is to have the focus not just on what has happened in 2006, but in the implication of what happened in 2006 on the FUTURE of Pakistan. The emphasis is clearly on the future, and we hope to have a good discussion on why, which trend will impact the future of Pakistan, how.

(An explanation of what we mean by each choice is given below; because of a cache plug-in your vote may not appear in the results immediately.)

Unlike previous ATP Polls (on women rights, Gen. Musharraf’s future, past leaders, and Gen. Musharraf’s performance), the challenge here is not in phrasing the question but in figuring out possible options for the answer. Since we do not have the technological ability to allow readers to add their own options, we have narrowed down the list to the following ten key events and event-related trends. We are sure other things that could have been added to this, but without wanting to make this too long, too unwieldy or too broad, we have decided upon the following possible events and trends as answer choices. (Some of are very directly related to a specific event but signifying broader underlying trends; others are broader trends that relate to a collectivity of multiple smaller events.)

Movement on Pakistan-India relations (also here and here), especially including recent moves by Pakistan on Kashmir and related improvements in Pakistan-India relations.

Hiccups in Pakistan-USA relations (also here), including Pres. Bush’s visit to India and Pakistan and Gen. Musharraf’s visit to USA.

Frictions in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, including the re-rise of Taliban.

The killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti (also here) and the continuing unrest and volatility in Balochistan.

Signs of an impending break-up of the Mutihadda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), including over the resignation issue.

Positive economic trends, including rise of foreign investments in Pakistan (including for high visibility projects like the Centaurus), strength in some service sectors like telecommunication and banking, etc.

Negative economic trends, including rise in cost of living, inflationary pressures, stock-market controversies, etc.

Continuation of sectarianism and sectarian violence, including various attacks during first part of the year.

The passage of the Womens’ Rights Bill (also, here and here) and related events signifying a change in role of women in society (here, here and here).

Changes being brought into education curriculum and other educational reform, including how other communities and religions are portrayed within historical and other texts.

If you do want to influence the results, please, by all means ask your friends to also vote. Feel welcome to use the ‘Email’ button at the very top to send to your friends.

Voting is anonymous; as it should be. This is, 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).

47 responses to “ATP Poll: What Will be the Impacts of 2006?”

  1. Ghalib says:

    well curriculum chage makes me laff!the thing that needs change is Pakistan Studies but alll we talk about is the poem on abu bin adam does that make u fanatic??? Mush entering the Kargil War the 1971 war and facts? the Zia era mishaps?these need change not islamiyat that even in Zia era was mere a suject worth 50 marks and 50 pages!8 surahs 4 caliphs life of muhammad the Ghazwats wat else is there?now they introducing ethics a real laff!Woman bill i guess the people who voted for it shud keep in mind Dr Shazia and Mukhtaraan Mai and the involvement of the countries Angel Army Chief!!we still think women will be empowered?just be mere displays of songs dances couple of pictures?
    SECTORIANISM the division by our own army inti so called Kargil Moderates and Taliban fanatics,the ones creating ambiguities in Religion,the ones giving false hopes and grounds to women in the name of equality!the issue is not even uniform becoz Mush himself know the days hes outta it his own army is gonna alienate from him the same PMLs the Patriots will be sitting with their real partners the Princes of Saudia and the Dutchess of Dubia!its all division thts been created just to previal and the people that matter are being crushed or being raped or being put behind bars!!!!

  2. Adil Najam says:

    Another review of 2006 appears in The News today (29 Dec.) by Nasim Zehra. Read full article here. Excerpts:

    Throughout 2006 President General Pervez Musharraf led the call for ‘moderation’ in Pakistani politics and society. In the closing weeks of 2006 he also shepherded state institutions and the parliament to take concrete steps like the passage of the Women’s Protection Bill (WPB) and the introduction of an additional bill to end illegal, unconstitutional and unIslamic practices against women including domestic violence. A long overdue revision of the school curriculum took place to broaden historical and cultural horizons and to remove the language handicap the Urdu medium students face that impedes their academic and professional development. While credible democracy is still missing, on the ideological plane there is an overall spirit of tolerance and inclusion that the Musharraf-controlled state and official politics is displaying.

    Interestingly the media, the state, the government’s allies including the PML-Q and the MQM, the mainstream opposition party PPP and civil society groups are all promoting the alternative tolerant discourse. Yet the unresolved question of democracy, human rights and anti-terrorism policy sharply divides these groups with the opposition parties, the media and the civil society confronting the government over issues of democracy, human rights and anti-terrorism policy. As things stand these issues trump the common denominator of a tolerant political worldview. Hence the common space of ideological reorientation is insufficient to earn the government sustained and widespread support.

  3. TURAB says:

    on the discussion of turkey and pakistan what a coincidence that hnour killings are widely and openly practised in both the countries… what a positive influence made in the name of islam?

  4. Dear PatExpat,

    I am afraid either you didn’t even bother to understand what I was saying or you are not as aware of Turkish political scene and history as you claimed.

    Nowhere have I called Kemal Ataturk, who I consider one of the greatest secular leaders the Muslim World has produced, an Islamist but rather that AKP is not Islamist. Read on. He was the father of modern Turk nationalism… but how that came about is also a fact… Turk Nationalism was secularised 1924 onwards but was in essence during the war of independence the question of the identity of Anatolian Muslims. This was the basis of the ultimate exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey as a result of the treaty of Laussane… all Greek-speaking Muslims became Turks and all Turkish speaking Christians became

    The point I was making was that if AKP with its acceptance of the principle of the separation of church and state and the very secular Turkish constitution is hardly “Islamist” as you described it. AKP is not Islamist. It is merely the equivalent of European Christian democrats.. a more or less secular political party hyphenated by some form of religio-cultural identity. Next you are going to tell me that Mahatir Muhammad and Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia are Islamists…

    When I say I have no problems with AKP’s form of Islam, it is because AKP’s form of Islam is the direct result of the policies of the Turkish Republic which has resulted in rationalisation of Islam to an extent that even the most religious of the Turks accepts Secularism as a state principle.

  5. Adil Najam says:

    Article by Kamily Hyat (28 December, 2006) from The News that relates directly to the theme of our Poll. Interestingly, she present a generally positive prognosis on the year 2006. Excerpt (Full article here):

    It is not always easy to find good news in the country — and indeed, predicting doom is something of a national pastime. But as 2006 draws to a close, there is some cheer in the winter air… Long-awaited changes in the national educational curriculum remove at least a portion of the distorted bias woven into school texts. The new books, likely to be introduced from the next academic year, offer some hope of a change in mind-set — with sweeping amendments made in books for history and Pakistan Studies, according to educationists who have reviewed the altered texts… Also welcome as evidence of desire to brighten the national reality is the promise of a possible revision of the blasphemy laws… Of potentially more far reaching consequence that the news on the domestic front are the welcome signs that the Indo-Pakistan peace process, stalled after the Mumbai bomb blasts of July 2006, is off to a new start…. There is also other good news in the air. Responding with uncharacteristic courtesy and speed to writings about the death blow delivered to the ‘Basant’ festival by the ban on kite-flying, the Punjab government has extended reassurances that ways are being found to ensure the province’s most colourful festival can take place… And of course, as always, the ability of ordinary people to survive in increasingly tough times, to find new ways to sustain themselves and their families, always brings some cheer.

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