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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 15:17 GMT
Has Musharraf been good news for Pakistan?
It is a year since General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan. How much difference has it made to the people of Pakistan?
Has Pakistan's international standing changed?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Sajjad, Pakistan/ USA
It is the military generals who have ruled Pakistan for the majority of years since its independence. Why do General Musharaf and his supporters
blame democratic politicians for being corrupt and putting the country in chaos. All these year whether Military generals or the politicians,
I think military rulers are never good for the any country. No matter what people say the people of Pakistan will face the problem in years to come. I know for a fact that continuous military rule will wipe out the middle class and create huge gap between the ordinary person and people at the top. I have lived in African countries ruled by the military and seen the result.
Unfortunately, democracy does not work for every society. We must accept that Pakistan is one of these societies
He's been good news and bad news. Good for the people of Pakistan and bad for the rest of the world. The best news is still to come when we see results and eventually a new democracy enriched with people from the literate world, each professional in his/ her own field.
I believe he's on the right track to bring peace and stability to the country. Managing deteriorating conditions is no easy task; at least he's accepting the many weaknesses of the country and then moving forward to correct them. The same results can definitely be achieved through
democratically appointed PM's but we haven't seen any so far. People need to see results and not fake promises and I think he's keeping his promises. Best wishes!
Instead of spending resources on the country's problems, the Pakistani Government is spending more on the military and the arms race. It's the same problem with India too. Politicians and military generals are trying to take advantage of this and make their own profits.
Pakistan is in dire straits. It is now virtually bankrupt and needs stronger leaders, ones that can use their heads. Musharraf has promised a lot, but delivered little. He has helped Pakistan become more isolated from the international community. The failure of Musharraf to tackle the country's acute financial crisis and his inability to improve the corruption problem has made him a man of words. India on the other hand, has been achieving so much. If Pakistanis don't do something to have a more efficient government, the nation will collapse.
Sohaib Ansari, Pakistan
I think it is a bit naive to have expected that General Musharraf could have brought any monumental change in one year to a country that had been pushed steadily towards anarchy for 53 years. What the General and his team have done is to put the right mechanisms in place, something which no Government in the past had either the guts or the imagination to do.This should be a source of great hope to all educated and thinking Pakistanis. Nawaz Sharif forfeited his claim to be a democratic leader when, with his knowledge and connivance, a bunch of his party henchman attacked the Supreme Court of Pakistan and its judges.
I think it was wrong for the General to take over the country. He may have good intentions and plans. However, he like everyone else should go through the electoral process. He must remember that, he who gains power through violence will lose it sooner or later.
Military government is better for Pakistan, regardless of what the world says.
What difference does it make to
the common man anyway? If the
military government fails, the
country collapses; if it succeeds,
the generals get to keep looting
for some more years, and then the
country collapses. Nothing
will really change until military
spending is cut significantly.
Anything short of that only makes
the machinery of loot and oppression
Faisal Khan, UK
To figure out if conditions in Pakistan have improved or deteriorated since the army imposed dictatorship, one has to look at few basic things:
The answers to all the above questions is unfortunately NO.
And there's no hope of returning to democracy either!
Probably his unconstitutional take-over helped reduce political and economic chaos a bit, but it has also inflicted heavy wounds in the institutional system of Pakistan that will surface as soon as he is out of power.
One year on, Pakistan is deeper in debt, subject to deteriorating foreign relations with all countries and the economy is smaller. Pakistanis have fewer human rights, women are abused and "honour" killed more frequently. Drug abuse is up, suicides are up and even basic goods are not in the shops and markets. The justice system has been corrupted and the army has infiltrated every section of society. Those that can afford to are leaving Pakistan in droves. Not exactly a resounding success, but then again who expected any different?
I live in Canada and visited Pakistan after a gap of about one and a half years. I have found life over there much easier and free of tension after the military coup. Before that, there was an air of uncertainty and fear. On the face of it, the military government seems to have achieved what many political governments had not - the return of thus far elusive law and order. But military take-over is not a panacea for every ill our country faces. In fact it creates a political vacuum which extremist parties - religious and linguistic take full advantage of. So when the political process returns to the country for the umpteenth time, these parties may hold sway stronger than ever. Nevertheless, the average Pakistani is justified in asking what democracy has given him either.
Prasad Shetty, India
Yes, changes are evident. Pakistan is more isolated in the world community and the poor get poorer.
He has set Pakistan back by 20 years
As long as the General and his fellow countrymen are preoccupied with India, there will be no progress made in Pakistan. The General should focus his efforts on improving conditions within Pakistan instead of meddling in Kashmir.
Mohammad Alam, USA
In the past year no relief has been given
to the business community, let alone the
common man. Foreign Investors' confidence
has been shattered by the Government
of Pakistan. Even local investors are making
exit strategies. The rupee depreciation
is a clear indicator of the Government's
failure to attract or even restore investors' confidence.
The army government is far better and far more responsible than the political bandits who have plundered Pakistan. At least a sincere attempt is being made to right the wrongs done over the past ten years.
Under Nawaz Sharif and earlier under Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan was moving towards disaster with its unity threatened. Both Sharif and Bhutto used the country to enrich themselves and exploited divisions in Pakistani society to further their hold on power. Even though Musharraf was criticised for coming to power through a coup, he and the army had no choice. This may be Pakistan's last chance to put its house in order.
If you know a country such as Pakistan well, then you can very comfortably come to the conclusion that it will take years of dedication to overcome the stagnation that has persisted for so long. The source of corruption is deep within the structures of Pakistan, and rooting it out is not a project for one year or even two.
The West in its criticisms of Pakistan, must realise that the common man only wants to have
a secure life, a good job and prosperity. If the "democratic" politician failed in that
respect, than the only other actor on stage is the military. I have been back to visit Pakistan
off and on since the coup and the people at least have a sense of peace in the cities now,
compared to the times of Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, when one could barely feel safe after sunset!
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