ATP Poll: Grading Our Leaders, Again

Posted on April 11, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Politics
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Adil Najam

Can you please grade for us the performance of the five power centers in Pakistan: the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Chief of Army, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Media. The focus, once again, is on how you think they have performed in these. That is, NOT what you think of Mr. Zardari in general, but what you think of his performance as President.

Back in June 2009 we had asked our readers to grade the performance of those at the helm of powers in Pakistan. Then in September 2009 we had asked you to grade the performance of the Pakistan media. (Earlier in September 2006, you had also graded Gen. Musharraf). It is now time to do a followup and see what people think now, especially after recent political developments.

In this latest installment of ATP Polls we would like to find out how you grade the performance of those holding key offices in Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, and Opposition Leader Nawaf Sharif. This time we have included the Media (as a whole and as an institution) since they also influence Pakistan’s power balance.

I know I am repeating myself (both in this post and from the previous one), and I also realize that at some level this appeal will be ignored, but do let me say again that the purpose of this exercise is not to see whether you like these people or not, it is to see what how you think they have been performing in the offices they now hold. It is perfectly possible to not particularly like someone but come to the conclusion that they are doing a decent job in what they have been assigned to do, or vice versa. So, please, even though this is just a fun exercise, use your vote justly.

Do also comment on how you think they have been performing, and what aspects of their performance influenced your vote.

38 responses to “ATP Poll: Grading Our Leaders, Again”

  1. Tehmina says:

    Amazing that the General gets A’s only because he is not committing treason like those before him. For doing his job only he gets A’s. His A’s actually show just how low the credibility of these generals has become.

  2. Imran Malik says:

    Agreed that Zardari has been getting too much unfair treatment. I don’t care what else you say but you MUST ADMIT that he has given up powers in the 18th Amendment which is something no other leader would do. Can you believe Nawaz would do such a thing? Chief Justice used to be a hero but he is really making me not like him lately. There is so much corruption and all he can do is chase Zardari. It is like an OBSESSION. Of course, nothing is as bad as MEDIA which gets F!

  3. Natasha says:

    I cant believe there are people who think Zardari(esp) and Gilani are EXCELLENT leaders.

  4. Aqil says:

    The good thing about our politics right now is that even individuals like NS and Zardari are having to do a few good things, even though their own inclinations might have been different. Zardari refused to restore the judiciary but was forced to. He and his party were also reluctant to give up presidential powers, and delayed the 18th amendment for a while, but in the end, they had to. The same goes for NS.

    People are going somewhat overboard in giving Zardari all the credit for the 18th amendment while calling the role played by NS disruptive. In the overall analysis, the 18th amendment has become possible because all parties agreed to work together and compromise instead of insisting on their maximalist demands. Both PPP and PML-N had their phases of disruptive behaviour, but in the end, the political realities (or shall we say, the limits of their powers) forced them to reach a compromise.

    This having been said, the real yardstick for what grades they get should be the things under their direct control, not the good things they have to do because the ground realities of our politics force them to do the same. When seen in this light, both Zardari and NS do not come out looking very good. The quality of governance and the kind of individuals that have been given ministries does not contain much to write home about. No party has done anything solid to strengthen accountability, curb corruption, or to develop serious policies for addressing the real problems of the people. When it comes to intra party democracy or the democratic empowerment of the people at the grass roots (local govt), both have shown a clear hostility to democratic principles. Zardari and NS should therefore get a C minus. It’s a C minus and not an F, because at least they’re recognizing the limits of their power and curbing their own disruptive instincts, resulting in the few good things like the 18th amendment and the NFC.

    The media should get a C plus. It is doing some good things too, but overall, most of the political discussion is very shallow, and falls in the category of politics for the sake of politics, rather than politics aimed at addressing the real problems of the people. The same guests keep on getting invited over and over again, and there is a dire need for other people with fresh perspectives to be given a chance to air their political views. Moreover, in the focus on day to day politics, deeper systemic issues are being badly ignored.

    The CJ and Kiyani are the only ones who deserve better grades. They make the ocasional mistake (hence we should give them A minuses instead of perfect A’s), also have their limitations and can’t meet some of the unrealistic demands people have from them (especially in case of the CJ), but overall they are doing a reasonable job.

    The criticism that the CJ is unnecessarily going after the NRO case is neither here nor there, and it’s mostly coming from people who would prefer that there is no accountability or that the judiciary should take on the collective might of the army, NS and Zardari in the same go and commit hara kiri. People who are more realistic and don’t have their heads up Zardari’s backside are willing to take accountability one step at a time.

  5. Nasim says:

    I think people are unfairly harsh on Zardari. I do not like him either and his choices of people like Rahman Malik and Haqqani etc. has been terrible. But let us be honest an acknowledge that he has not been all bad and many of his decisions have been actually good.

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