ATP Poll: Who Did the Most Harm to Pakistan?

Posted on August 17, 2009
Filed Under ATP Poll, People, Politics
Total Views: 40814

Adil Najam

The obvious and logical followup to our last ATP Poll is to now ask the question: which of our leaders did the most harm to Pakistan? A number of readers suggested, and we agree, that such a poll should be conducted. We ask only that you please respond to the question with the same care with which it has been structured.

As we had done in the last poll, we have structured the question carefully to focus only the harm that these leaders might have caused (all leaders do bad things as well as good, some more and some less).

Please focus on the negative actions these leaders were themselves responsible for, and not as much on things that might have been out of their own control.

The Question: Focusing primarily on what you consider ‘negative’ actions taken  by them during their stint(s) in power, who, amongst the following, do you think did the most ‘harm’ to Pakistan?

As others have suggested, it is not at all necessary that those who got the most votes for doing ‘good’ will automatically get least votes for doing ‘harm.’ Since we have been asking people to focus only on one or the other, it is not entirely impossible that the same person is deemed to have done a lot of good as well as a lot of harm; albeit by a different set of voters – in a society as divided as Pakistan this is not just possible, but even likely.

As in the last poll, the current leadership is not included (although we did conduct a poll grading them recently) and only those whose tenure is now behind us are included, from Ayub Khan onwards. As before, for Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif consider the combined impact of two stints they each had in power. Do also please tell us which of their actions you think had the most harmful and lasting impacts on Pakistan’s well-being as a nation.

We eagerly await your views on this, in the poll as well as in the comments.

65 responses to “ATP Poll: Who Did the Most Harm to Pakistan?”

  1. Rizwan says:

    Bhai this is obviously more reflective of ATP’s readership than anything else.

    English speaking people with computers, who as you’ve yourself noted, over 55% are logging on from outside Pakistan.
    Not that there’s anything wrong in that, but it does sway the result.

    Ask 1220 Urdu readers or rural Punjabis I’m sure the results will be very different.

    It would be unwise to read so much into this.

  2. rainbow22 says:

    Give Nawaz Sharif 5 more years after next election and he`ll win. Already his party is doing a great job:1)creditcard lady, 2)PML-N MNA rape-guy, 3) the guy who send his nephew on his exam.
    Slogan for Nawaz when he wins next election: sher aya sher aya, looten pher aya!

  3. Nasiroski says:

    Results are very predictable, especially the biases as seen in some cases, I am sure a couple of regime changes will bring the numbers for Musharraf significantly down (short term memory of public) also the death of Benazir created a gap between the her and Nawaz Sharif, which in my opinion a similar poll in Musharraf time would have yielded similar scores for both.

  4. Ayaz K. says:

    I am into finding the middle ground, the balance in every aspect, the equilibrium in things; that is why I see the future of Pakistan is bleakly bright.

    I know it is a bit oxymoronic expression but I can’t be all positive and start talking about the bright future of the country out of the blue, showing green pastures and an advanced futuristic Pakistan nor can I let my country or its people down by saying bad things because I am very much confident and believe in the potential of our youth and the generationX, which would definitely take Pakistan to the next level where our country will be able to compete with other advanced nations on the planet.

    Regarding this fundamentalism, radicalism, religious upheaval and the like, in my opinion, people must try to bring prodictivity, the progress attitude and must think outside the box in order to stay religious and and a person who is also a part of this world not brandishing AK-47 or joining those Jihadis who have brought Pakistan on the brink of destruction and disintegration.

    Need of Education: Though all the educated people are the culprits and thugs (who have done enough damage and harm to the country that is why the economy is so bad and the entire socio-political structure is in shambles) still we have to educate the people of Pakistan in order to make them understand that the vicious circle which controls the fate of the people of Pakistan, does not want them to learn and get educated and if they do then it creates a major problem for them; who would they buy; who would the exploit; who would plough their fields; who would just sit back and watch the show without taking any action? — We don’t need just literacy we need high level education which would produce more engineers and doctors which would put the nation abck on the path to progress by introducing new technology and advancements. It will also change people’s attitude and also a population of positive mindset would definitely bring some really rapid and positive changes.

    Right use of Media: Electronic Media is so powerful and its positive use would also help to educate people at home. Installing those Laptops or Desktops everywhere (in an enclosure of course– securly fitted/fixed inside a kiosk) can help people learn while having some fun on the Net. There are so many different types of Games and Puzzles are available which greatly help and support to learn things faster than going to a traditional education institution.

    Enrepreneurial Approach: Since the job market is so down and the economy is bad, the jobless population first educate themselves to a level they understand the market and its functions, profit and loss and how to run a business, then apply for a small business loan and start their own business.

    Job Creation: People must hire people instead of making a Mama Papa Business and saving money on the payroll. More bunisess means more jobs — more jobs means economy will boost and the production of indigenous goods and commodities would cut down the volume of imports and better the exports graph which is known as the backbon e of every economy.

    A better working environment: Since there has been reports and incidents of sedual harrassments and other discriminatory attitude towards the workers in the corporate sector and in other departments, some strict policies have to be in place and eveyone must adhere to it. The women and other minorities must get the equal opportunity. Nobody should be descriminated on the age, color, gender, religion or origin at all.

    Taxation System: Tax Recovery Department must be very efficient in an entrepreneurial society which helps government to Tax the businesses and the individuals and that money (in a perfect world) is used in the building and the maintenance of the infrastructure and in the provision of the basic necessities like water, power, gas etc.

    There is a list of things can be done but the corrupt system doesn’t allow people to do anything. The solution to fix this faulty and corrupt system is simple: JUST DON’T BE A PART OF IT.

    Thanks for reading my post. You like it or not, your feeback will tell.

  5. zhc says:

    We all have personal likes dislikes and biases and most of us rate our rulers based on these rather than based on any objective criterion.

    For secular, left leaning Pakistanis who make up the majority of visitors to this site, Zia is the obvious villain.

    For religious, right leaning Pakistanis, Musharraf and ZAB were the villains while they view Zia more favourably.

    In general, most of us Pakistanis are quite fickle, impatient and have short memories. For us, every current ruler is a villain until he is replaced by someone whom we welcome initially but in a few years we start believing that he is even worse than the previous guy.

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