ATP Poll: Who Did The Most Good?

Posted on April 25, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

Back in August 2006 and then again in July 2009 we conducted ATP Polls on the question: “Who did the most good for Pakistan?” We had structured the question carefully to focus on the good that these leaders did (all leaders do bad things as well as good, some more and some less, and in August 2009 we also did a poll on “who did the most harm?” which we may well repeat soon). It seems this is a good time to do a third installment of the same question to see how the opinions of our readers have evolved.

In 2006 we had not included Gen. Musharraf since he was still in power. In 2009 we did include Gen. Musharraf but not Asif Zardari; again, on the principle of only including past leaders in teh question. So, what do you think?

Please do take the question serious and answer it in the spirit asked:

The Question: Focussing primarily on whatever “positives” might have been achieved during their stint(s) in power, who, amongst the following, did the most “good” for Pakistan?

Let me repeat the explanatory paragraph I had included in introducing the question the first time:

The key word is “achieved.” We always have plenty of discussions about what leaders have and are doing wrong, but nearly never talk about what they did right. Interestingly, even when we are trying to make a case for someone, we tend to make it by explaining what is wrong with everyone else. After all, if everyone else is bad (and worse) then our guy must be good, at least in ccomparison and by default. The logic makes a perverse sort of sense but tends to take our political conversations towards confrontations (since they are based on “attacking” the other rather than on “supporting” our own). So, here is an experiment to see if we are capable of talking differently about such things.

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 what you think they did that was most important and lasting to Pakistan’s well-being as a nation. Again, we focus on achievement here not because the ‘bad’ that they did was not important (in each case it was) but to discipline our conversation towards thinking of things that, maybe, we should be doing more of.

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25 responses to “ATP Poll: Who Did The Most Good?”

  1. Aamir Ali says:

    Zulfiqar Bhutto was a meglomaniac who played a major role in breaking up Jinnah’s Pakistan. He surrendered to mad mullah by declaring Ahmadi non-Muslim. His policies of nationalization severely damaged education and economy of Pakistan.

    The only good thing Zia ul Haq did was to hang Zulfiqar Bhutto.

    I vote for Pervez Musharraf who brought economic growth, revived relations with West and Middle East, and fresh ideas like local govt and HEC. Its a pity he has been replaced by worthless politicians who only know how to dismantle, not build.

  2. Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    – “ZULIFQAR ALI BHUTTO”
    – “Zulfi Bhutto .I am 85+ and I have seen Ungraze ki Government also .I think Quaid e Azam ‘s vision of Pakistaniyat was only followed by Zulfi bhutto.Other problems remain the same in everybody that they are arrogant rulers.But he was much much better than all.Elected ,popular , visionary , internationally famous, highly intellectual ,very brave , genuine politician & a pure NATIONALIST .i think this is what we all waant today”
    – “”BB was an Asset for an Underdeveloped , Islamic Country like ours.
    I salute her becoz She was a Woman of Substance . She didnt get her whole terms Twice ( Thanks to USA & its most Loyal AGENTS in Pakistan …PAK Army …. …Ajj Kal shayed KUTII hui hui hai lolzz) but if she got whole 2 terms I think she might did Better than ZAB … example is FREE Hospital for poors in KArachi in only 19 months after ZAB ‘s four hospitals in karachi only in 4 years…& NO government Hospitals in 11 years of Zia dictatorship.”

  3. Shafiq says:

    I voted for Ayub Khan for the achievements: green revolution, industrial development, Muslim Family Law Ordinance despite strong opposition from all sectors – feudal, judiciary and the religious parties. For example Maulana Maududi on the one hand he was the author of that talaq was contrary to the Islamic teaching but he opposed introduction of MFLO. Jamat-e-Islami held the view that under traditional Islamic doctrine a woman could not be head of state yet in their eagerness get the MFLO abrogated repealed supported Fatima Jinna against Ayub Khan in the presidential election of 1965.

    I believe not only Buhtto but also the whole family has been disastrous for Pakistan. As Khuram Khan points out that is a historical fact – he just did not wanted to sit in the opposition. For the rest of the Buhtto family just look up facts on his sons and the daughter gave us today’s president.

    Yes Ayub was dictator but we have the fruits of democracy before us that need not be mentioned.

  4. Anwar says:

    Readers should have been provided with another choice – “none of the above”

  5. FarSide says:

    @Khurrum Khan, my feelings exactly. ZAB’s populist image and the platform that brought him to power is 180 degree different from what he actually did once he got there.

    Seems like people have selective amnesia.

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