Have you forgotten all that Musharraf did for you, Pakistan?

Published: January 11, 2014

Rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens. PHOTO: AFP

It was just another day, on October 12, 1999, in New York City where I was an undergraduate student. Little did I realise then that it was the day that would go down as one of the most controversial days in Pakistan’s history.

It was the day when the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight PK 805, was denied landing rights in Pakistan on its return from Sri Lanka. A detour out of Pakistani territory would have meant an imminent crash of the commercial airliner, due to low fuel, with its 198 passengers on board. Amongst the passengers was none other than General Pervez Musharraf – a man who was to become the country’s first-ever Chief Executive and was destined to bring about some positive social changes in the life of the average Pakistani.

In his book Hijacking from the Ground, Mr Aminullah Chaudhry, then director general Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Karachi, narrated the incident in the following words:

Hijacking From The Ground. Source: Google Books (www.books.google.com.pk)

General Pervez Musharraf was truly a blessing in disguise for all Pakistanis. Whether we dare to admit it or not, Pakistan saw some of its best years in terms of economic progress and social stability under his rule.

I, for one – an average Pakistani – have intermediate needs to worry about which my counterparts in the West often take for granted.

Social security, which forms the hallmark of the democratic and developed governance systems of the West, is absent without a doubt. In the absence of government support, issues such as employment, wages and prices take precedence over treason trials. Although it is critical and vital to get our ‘houses’ of governance in order, usually the systems follow strong social foundations. However, in Pakistan we seem to have it the other way around – a top-down approach – where we aim to develop macro systems of governance without considering the ground realities.

These ground realities are that life and living conditions for an average Pakistani are at an all-time low. Although we saw a moderate rise in living standards during the years of General Musharraf, even those indicators have fallen during the last five years.

Ask any Pakistani and I can bet that they would say that we were more financially sound from the perspective of an average Pakistan then than we are currently.

Over the last five years, the lower-middle class has slipped into further financial decline.

Still don’t believe me?

For a quick comparison, please take a look at the infographic below to put things into perspective. The graph clearly shows that the economic decline only came about after Musharraf vacated the presidential seat. A growth rate of 5.14% is only a consequence of sound economic policies that trickled down to the common Pakistani. Yes, there was probably corruption and most likely, plenty of it. But the living standard of an average Pakistani was also rising.

Source: File

Now compare this with some figures from as recent as 2013 when inflation was at 11.3% in April.

Design: Ali Darab

Moving onto factors other than economic prosperity, I, an average Pakistani, care more about the fact that our literacy rate rose by approximately 11% under Musharraf than about the technical fact that the constitution was held in abeyance by him.

And I can say, without a doubt, that any Pakistani, irrespective of political affiliation, cannot deny the importance of hundreds of kilometres of highways constructed, a decrease in poverty levels by approximately 10% and the establishment of a wide network of universities.

If we look at it from a more macroeconomic perspective, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to approximately $17 billion, and sectors such as manufacturing and IT saw unprecedented growth.  A flourishing manufacturing sector and IT industry translates into jobs and employment opportunities, which in turn, means social security – one of the most fundamental requirements to lower petty crimes and thefts in a society.

Unemployment actually fell during the Musharraf years and rapidly rose during the years termed as ‘democratic’.

As facts tell us, it was nothing but a massive mirage of sorts.

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Moreover, inflation was tightly controlled as illustrated in the following graph:

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Still, in case you doubt statistics reported by local bodies, here is what the World Bank reports about the overall economic performance of Pakistan during Musharraf’s reign.

Source: Musharraf’s Economic Legacy (http://www.riazhaq.com)

Hence, it comes as no surprise that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared Pakistan as the fastest growing economy after China and India during his years.

I don’t know about you but I would pick progress of this magnitude over meaningless constitutional violations any day. Yes, building institutions is important. But strong institutions only result from a process of evolution – they cannot be crafted artificially with superficial doses of ‘democratic governance’.

We may not realise it or we may not want to admit it, but the Musharraf years were more ‘democratic’ – at least for the common man. 

Why, you ask?

Democracy is a mindset

I believe that democracy is a mind-set where dissent from the status quo is not brutally persecuted and suppressed. Democracy is not ‘the best revenge’ – it is the best, period.

Did we not see the rise of electronic media with an unprecedented freedom-of-expression during the years that some term as ‘undemocratic’. The years under Musharraf were far from being undemocratic and the biggest testament to this is the proliferation of electronic media which even had the liberty to take Musharraf himself to task when the need arose. 

Freedom to question the official narrative was officially encouraged

Musharraf also set the precedent for his successors. His years in power set the practise of both, media and people freely questioning those in power without incurring either the wrath of the rulers or censorship. This was a massive achievement in Pakistan’s context and a key pre-requisite for true democratic dispensations. And we must acknowledge General Musharraf for this achievement. 

Acknowledgment of mistakes – the good and bad go hand-in-hand

Yes, General Musharraf did make some mistakes – blunders that were too massive to be forgiven or forgotten. And yes, some of those had huge repercussions for the country. But then, who does not err? Is there any human that has never erred?

Other than the divinely appointed prophets and messengers of God, there is no human on earth who is perfect; the good and bad go hand-in-hand. One characteristic trait that I notice in most Pakistanis is that they not only forget their benefactors but they also fail to realise that a system can never be 100% perfect.

However, it is crucial to measure the performance of governments in terms of what they delivered to the people. Most people would agree without a doubt that the most prosperous years of Pakistan were those of Ayub Khan and General Musharraf.

Given all these facts, the question in my opinion is not whether we should indulge in a trial or not. The more pertinent question is whether we can afford it.

It is a classic cost-benefit and Return-On-Investment (ROI) analysis that most business organisations indulge in. After all, a country and its management are not very different from an organisation.

In fact, a country is an organisation by all definitions and practical implementations.

Remember – it was a hijack

The most important thing that we need to remember is that the airliner was officially hijacked without the slightest regard for all the regular Pakistanis who were returning home. This was not a Pakistan Armed Forces aircraft and neither was it a private jet on contract. A diversion of the plane without adequate fuel to sustain the air travel would have caused the plane to crash. Hence, my only question to the people is this,

“Is a treason trial more important than the verdict of death that was officially handed to each one of those Pakistanis on board PK-805?”

Please let us invoke some sensibility and realise that even though General Musharraf did make mistakes, he also made sincere and honest efforts to transform the living standards for an average Pakistani with the little amount of ‘real power’ that he wielded.

The treatment that he is being meted out now makes my head fall in shame and rise in awe simultaneously.

Is this the way to treat a person who actually did something to make my life better?

Is it right to haul him to court under charges that are quite superficial compared to the improvements he brought in the social infrastructure of Pakistan?

What kind of a lesson are we sending to the future leaders of Pakistan – that if you dare to work towards improving the living conditions of Pakistanis, you would not only be prosecuted, but also persecuted and hounded?

While you are in the process of answering these questions, do try and recall that the plane was on the verge of a crash with approximately 198 Pakistani civilians on board.

It may be hard for some to fathom this but rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens.

Considering the sycophants that surrounded Musharraf, it is not only remarkable that he managed to bring about this little improvement to an average Pakistani’s living standards, it is also evidence that the General’s heart was in the right place.

So, on behalf of all Pakistanis who agree with me and those who will hopefully try to understand my point-of-view, this is what I have to say to General Musharraf,

“Dear Sir,

On behalf of all Pakistanis, I apologise to you. This is the least that I could do considering how you worked to make my life better. Thank you for your efforts.”

Rafay Bin Ali

Rafay Bin Ali

A software developer working with financial clients from Toronto. He is currently doing his MBA from IBA, Karachi, and is planning an entrepreneurial set-up in Pakistan. He tweets as @rafayali (twitter.com/rafayali)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Guest

    i am on the verge of loosing my belief on these popular words: The worst democracy is better than best dictatorship.
    And the only reason would be our Civil Dictators!Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    Very true. Pervez Musharraf is a real leader,patriot and visionary that this thankless nation did not give respect. They just started believing all the politicised propaganda against him.Recommend

  • Haris Javed

    i am on verge of loosing my belief on these popular words: The worst democracy is better than best dictatorship.
    And the only reason would be our Civil Dictators.Recommend

  • Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi


    You’ve summed it up perfectly. Musharaf Sb Zindabad!Recommend

  • 007

    Unfortunately, we don’t deserve leaders of Musharraf’s stature and vision. All we deserve is corrupt and self serving politicians to take us to stone age. To make things worse, many of our apparently educated people love to hate Musharraf.Recommend

  • UA

    Ziaul Haq being the best so far? :ORecommend

  • Muhammed Usama Aziz

    I agree that Musharraf start days were best. The economic conditions were much better then present. But it was his greed for power that brought him in this humiliating situation. If he had chosen to step down gracefully, he could be remembered in good words, but he continued to stay in power until pressurized to step down. In the end, it was he who introduced NRO just to prolong his rule and the result was all the good things he done were automatically undone due to his own deedsRecommend

  • Fahad

    Awesome Article ! A slap to hamid meer and co.. Musharraf was the best thing that happened to pakistan!Recommend

  • Zubair Masoodi

    Amazing. Glad to see there are still some good brains out there in the country Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan

    Nice article and I agree to all your points. Indeed Mr. Musharraf has given a lot to Pakistan and Pakistanis. Shame on us that we treat people who gave a lot to us. Even Allah swt does not like ungrateful people.Recommend

  • Zohaib Badarpura

    We need musharaf back…Recommend

  • Paki boi

    finally something to applaud for. Being a business student, I realize how much the economic aspect is important for a nation’s growth. Unfortunately, most media anchors and politicians of Pakistan have little to no knowledge of economics. They talk about everything except for economics. Whereas, the truth is, in today’s world, economics is the only thing that matters. Sadly, our people are illiterate and they hardly care about the economy. They just want to see their favorite players running the show like it’s some sort of sport. Love this article.Recommend

  • Rafay Ahmad

    Well sir, with all due respect, Pakistan was facing nuclear and trade sanctions back in 1990s. So the GDP was around 2.4% in 1999 when Pervez Musharraf sb took over. However, due to 9/11 when Pakistan decided to take part in war on terror, according to rules of UN Paksitan was not eligible for military and economic aid unless the sanctions were removed. And this aid was crucial in the sense that Pakistan would have collapsed otherwise if it went to war! Now this growth would which was 6% in mid 2000s would still have been there even if Musharraf sb wasn’t ruling the state! So what was so special about Musharraf? Better give credit to circumstances!Recommend

  • Murtaza M.Tambawala

    Absolutely true….all those who are sane and have love for Pakistan share the same feeling. BravoRecommend

  • zahra mohib

    This article made me cry ,.. So beautifully summed up,. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Us this how you treat your leader who made Pakistan a prosperos country unlikevthose so called rulers who did nothing than destroy us. I pray for GM. May he once again come into power and punish all these dogs and make Pakistan a prosperous country once again.

  • Waseem

    Few points to ponder:

    1. Flight planning is a complete subject which include fuel intake, alternate route, alternate destinations … for the safety of the passengers. All commercial airliners has to follow these strict rules to be operational. FYI:

    The normal fuel load for an airplane is something like this:-

    Fuel to get from the origin to the destination
    Fuel to get to alternate
    45 mins of flying time
    Contingency fuel( for unseen circumstances)

    2. Alternate destinations are usually chosen reasonably at a distance and it is not very uncommon for them to be 600 miles away!! so that if the weather at the destination is not appropriate for landing it can safely enter another weather zone!!!!

    3. under clause 62(2) of Civil Aviation Rules, 1994 DG CAA had the right to close the airport

    4. NS being the elected prime minister can thus has a right to close the airport if he so wishes and DG CAA was to follow him

    5. Had the airplane not hijacked by the then army chief who was present inside the cockpit, the pilot would definitely take the plane to the alternate destination.Recommend

  • Ismail Suleman

    We need Musharraf to be the leader of Pakistan againRecommend

  • usman

    His era was better,very better than whats happening now a days.Recommend

  • Waseem

    Spot on. And also wonder why every time during military rule the economy ‘performs’ better? – the answer is simple: we sell ourselves…. remember the american attorney’s remarks about Pakistanis?
    This may create a simulacrum of progress and economic stability but can only be attributed to the cash flow that we receive in aid like beggars in lieu of selling our national interests.
    Further, can you cite the increase in production, building of national mega projects of infrastructure etc… for economic strength? Clearly not. energy crisis that we are in today is a result of poor planning and during that decade. In fact not a single MW was added to the national grid in that decade!!!Recommend

  • Pro Pakistani

    Well, I have to say that in the context of what Nawaz is trying to do over treason trial against Musharraf today he (Musharraf) should not have make National Reconciliation Order for corrupt and insincere politicians rather open the corruption cases against Benazir and Sharif’s previous administrations. That would be the justice they deserve. I support Musharraf and pray for health and May Allah again elect him as our ruler. Ameen! Long Live Musharraf Long Live Pakistan! Sab say pehle Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Raza Ali

    Nonsense dressed up in stats. Prior to 9/11 Pakistan had abysmal growth and unemployment rates even compared to the 90s. I’m just three years Musharraf increased the unemployment rate by 50℅ and brought the growth rate down to 1℅. It was a story of progressive decline until Americans decided their man in Afpak was worth a little money (same story as Zia).
    Compare before and after 2002

    Growth rate: http://www.indexmundi.com/pakistan/gdp_real_growth_rate.html

    Unemployment: http://world-economic-outlook.findthedata.org/l/4237/PakistanRecommend

  • Pro Pakistani

    Musharraf had the ability to make the most of the circumstances that were during 9/11 in favor of Pakistan in the form of economic prosperity and he is the only one that maintained balanced relations with the US and other countries. The problem with us is that we focus on more negative qualities and ignore positive ones and don’t recognize our heroes and respect the patriot leaders. May Allah direct us to the right path Ameen.Recommend

  • جہانزیب حسین قریشی

    Height of ignorance!
    He has given you multiple comparisons not just one to give you sight of what Musharraf did for Pakistan, and you’re still complaining??? And if for a moment we agree to your point, still Musharraf is better than all these political leaders because he didn’t rob the nation, and has no corruption charges on him, so for me and many others, he’s still a great leader.Recommend

  • unbelievable

    The engine which sustained economic improvements under Mushy was largely fueled by American aid – he turned over a few Al Qaeda, promised major military campaigns (which never happened) and used the enormous sums of American money to fuel the Pakistan economy. Unfortunately – broken promises can only be excused for so long and by the time he left office the American’s had wised up and the economic results under Zardari show the impact.Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    Again yellow journalism. Musharraf was called inside the cockpit because the plan wasn’t “ALLOWED” to land and then the alternate destination landing was also cancelled by Nawaz Sharif himself,so get your facts straight.

    Please stop misguiding the nation.Recommend

  • Rafay Bin Ali

    Thanks for your comment, Waseem. However, please answer this, even if we assume your points to be correct, does that still mean the airport can be shut down in the light of knowledge that there is not sufficient fuel? I think the answer would be no.

    Nothing takes precedence over loss or potential loss of human life. If rules were not followed, then the appropriate procedure was to allow the plane to land and then take it from there. Rules and procedures are made for convenience of humans.Recommend

  • Rafay Bin Ali

    Thanks for your comment, Rafay. You have asked a hypothetical What-if question that we can only speculate upon.Yes, it could probably have been anyone but in reality it wasn’t just anyone – it was General Musharraf :) See, I can only talk based on what history has recorded. Engaging in speculation would get us no where :).Recommend

  • Omer Siddiqui

    True that

    Musharraf ZindabadRecommend

  • Taurus

    I do not agree with u because he voilated the constitution of pakistan. Absolute power currubts absolutely.Recommend

  • Raees Kamil Jan Baigal

    Under which rule he made New Chief while the sitting Chief was not in Country Mr. Waseem. can you share the Cluase of any creating Institutional Clashes, which is is again going to doRecommend

  • Muhammad Ilyas

    I like pervaiz Musharaf 1000 time more than Nawaz sharif.Prevaiz Mushraf himself says that all those people who like Imran khan , they all like him. he is right. This is the main reason than Imran has taken his place. I was happy when Nawz went and Pervaiz Musharf came. I dislike such justice system where no poor get relief. every rich person is protecting every rich. or more powereful person or protecting more powerful . Where is no justice for Faisal Kamran NAB officer. and not justice for each and every is in lower position while his compitator is in higher position.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    If he had made blunders like every human being then he had to suffer like everyone else. Justice is above all.Recommend

  • Shah Chanpeer

    Ofcourse, the alternate destination was somewhere in India (Rajhasthan) even if we include the additional fuel. But the point is he was not allowed to land on the country where he was COAS. Strange!! Shame on the Govt. who did not allow it. Such a coward political govt of NawazRecommend

  • Aamir

    I agee with you bro, Allah bless Musharaf for his contributions to pakistan. If pakistan grows with such economic growth rate then situation would be completely different.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    Sir please don’t apologize on the behalf of whole Pakistan because not every Pakistani defend Musharraf so irrationally like you.Recommend

  • Shah Chanpeer

    Right! NRO was his faux pas. However, his performance in the following 5 years was still better than other civil governments. One cannot say 100% that he had an intention just to remain in power. May be he had it, but he also wanted to benefit and uplift Pakistan. He blundered while allowing corrupt political parties to take part in the political process. But he had a big pressure from the international powers like KSA, USA etc to ligitimize the democractic elements in Pak. He had no choice to avoid PPP, PMLN, afterall he had to rely on politicians of Pakistan and not from any other place. Unfortunately, our political parties are magalomiacs who just want to plunder the country and run away.Recommend

  • Waseem

    For all Musharraf apologists who are not driven by racial hatred and bias I would urge them to read the account of 12 October 1999 through independent observers eye. One such account is given by Owen Bennett Jones of BBC in his book: Pakistan: Eye of the Storm. A brief excerpt would make things clear to the seekers of truth. (http://pakteahouse.net/2013/03/24/tale-of-musharrafs-coup-in-1999/)

    This would give flavor of how civilian govt. works under the yolk of these Khakis!!!Recommend

  • az

    if you read carefully, the flight was not allowed to land anywhere in Pak!! the question is, why the hell NS wished to close the airport by putting at stake the lives of 198 Pakistanis? was he drunk or something??Recommend

  • Murtaza M.Tambawala

    Whatever the case,I would prefer Musharraf over these corrupt politiciansRecommend

  • http://ligerlabs.com/ Fahad Uddin

    He is the best!Recommend

  • Romana Khan

    very well put… thanks for the reminder !Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    Agree. But you only mention positive things done by mushraf. Let me ask some Question:
    Who is responsible for 50,000 people killing and still continue?
    Whose policies make the Pakistan a dangrous place to live, even to visit?Recommend

  • adnan

    One word – CONSTITUTION! Had Musharraf or any prior military rulers respected it, let the things turn out themselves, let civilians make mistakes and learn from them on their own without intervening by today things would have been pretty smooth for civilian rulers as well. Look at India. Their leaders failed but system developed, constitution was followed and no general intervened their. As a result they are a thriving democracy without help of any Military intervention.

    Yes economy worked and everything but when you disregard the law you deserve to be treated according to the LAW.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    One major problem that Pakistanis have with Musharraf is his ethnicity. He humiliated Nawaz Sharif who is a Punjabi and therefore people of Punjab are siding with Nawaz to take revenge from what they think is a low life mohajir. If Musharraf was a Punjabi then he would have been saved from this kind of humiliation.Recommend

  • Saif

    ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’Recommend

  • Saleem Ahmad

    Musharraf era was much much better than this so called democracy where many innocent persons are killed every day.Musharraf was economy builder and peace maker of Pakistan.BRAVO MUSHARAF.Recommend

  • Ali khan

    Nice try Rafay. As an MBA student you should know better. Musharraf may have done some good things but that doesn’t justify the enormous problems he created. Military dictatorship is simply wrong. The military should stick to its job, protecting our borders and our security. That’s Recommend

  • raw is war

    Musharraf’s figures were mostly cooked up.Recommend

  • Pharell

    “Meaningless constitutional violations”


    “Democracy is a mind-set where dissent from the status quo is not brutally persecuted and suppressed”

    True yet it is also a system of government which wasn’t present during his reign.Recommend

  • Rationalist

    While these statistics look good on paper but the author has not mentioned the other side of the picture.

    1. Circumstances during Musharraf’s era: Pakistan became the non-NATO ally and as a result a lot of financial aid poured into Pakistan. Just compare the situation of Pakistan in two periods, Oct 1999 – Aug 2001 and Sept 2001 – 2007. I still remember he had to beg President Clinton for a “stop over”.

    2. The great increase in the number of percentages is because all of those developments came from a low base.

    3. Most of the developments were in Services sectors e.g. Telecom that is not sustainable.

    4. Increase in the terrorism in Pakistan due to some of his “mistakes”. As a result the loss from Terrorism has offset the growth of Musharraf’s era.

    5. He followed the policies that were designed in Nawaz Sharif’s era e.g. Telecom policy of Pakistan was suggested by Goldman Sachs in 1998. Musharraf used the same policy as the guideline.

    6. NRO: His “reconciliation” gave a second life to the corrupts of the country. I literally cried on that day when he gave “Amnesty” to these corrupt politicians.

    7. List goes on and on..

    While Musharraf did a lot of good things but those were like developments on steroids that showed some short term results but failed to build the base for the longer term. I personally believe he was sincere until 2002 because he took some great initiatives and assembled a good professional team around him. But after that he became politically corrupt just like everyone else in our country.

    p.s. I have no political affiliation with any party.Recommend

  • Momin

    while i do not essentially disagree with any economic indicator, the fact that a military dictator overthrew a democratically elected government cannot be ignored irrespective of what was to follow. A key point to make under the economic growth chart is that all military dictators were strongly backed by the United States (initially), and incase of Musharraf (post 9/11) led to significant FDI (foreign direct investment) based growth. This was a temporary boost and lasted as long as we complied with the US foreign policy agenda. As for the PIA flight highjacking, Gen Shahiz Aziz (a very close Musharraf aid and one of the key official who took part in the military coup) in his new book ‘Yeh Khamoshi Kahan Tak’ confesses that the military coup was pre-planned months ago, and the airplane detour had nothing to do with it.Recommend

  • Sana Mujataba

    Musharraf kidnapped my loving uncle whose whereabouts are still unknown. I for one, want him to face his deeds!Recommend

  • UM Sadiq

    Musharaf was better then Nawaz and Benazir combined.
    His greatest mistake was blindly following America to war. But in his defense, Nawaz and BB had made sure that Pakistan was at its weakest point, and at that point economic sanctions would have crippled us.

    And ofc the creation of PmlQ. They were sell outs. Marvi Memon anyone?

    If only Musharaf had sided with IK. Instead of creating a PmlQRecommend

  • trolley

    As an Indian , I am a tad confused , of the latest Elected Heads of Pakistan , why is the performance of Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister compared with Asif Zardari who was the former President ?

    For comparing apples with apples shouldn’t Nawaz Sharif be compared with Mr.Gilani and similarly Asif Zardari be compared with Mr.Mamnoon , the Prime Ministers and Presidents respectively ?Recommend

  • Ahmad Rouf

    People need to understand that you cannot compare democratic governments with periods of military or dictatorial rule in Pakistan. Democratic set ups were not even allowed to complete their terms whereas military rulers went on ruling us for decades with complete authority. It is true that during times of military rule Pakistan experienced some stability, therefore was able to perform better as a country. We never got that stability during a democratic set up! It is time that we realize that the army has NO business in running the government.They should try and first do a good job on the borders rather than meddling in affairs that are not theirs to handle; be it Ayub Khan, Zia-ul Haq or Musharraf.Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    Decentralisation was one of the best steps to improve proper governance,which only Pervez Musharraf did.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmad Siddiqui

    Better check out Musharraf foreign assets in case you doubt his corruption.Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    What a rhetoric,for the love of god stop politicising this matter. According to this logic PPP should bring out the best results of GDP because they allowed extreme intervention of of the US in to the country,which Musharraf didn’t allow. only 8 to 10 drones were used during his tenure,and that too when the deal was that they would be for surveillance only,no deal was signed on the drone attacks either. The US broke our “Gentleman’s Agreement” and then Musharraf personally went to the US and decided to end the “Gentleman’s Agreement’ but the PPP government gave anything that the US asked them to give and allowed 20 plus drones in their first year of power.

    Not even Musharraf’s greatest enemies can call him corrupt,the thing is he didn’t eat any money of the nation and he actually spent it where it was required,he brought in decentralisation which was an excellent concept for governance. Terrorism existed since Zia’s time,just for your information it is just that these are those same terrorists that were then armed with the advanced weaponry of the time,if anything Musharraf made a ton of effort to get rid of terrorists and extremists. Had 9/11 not happened things would have been different but 9/11 affected not just the US but the world.

    Pervez Musharraf saved Pakistan strategically,he also paid off the IMF loan. Think about it,which politician has been able to do that,the democratic government has brought the IMF back in to our affairs. The projects weren’t a failure but the leadership that came after him were absolutely corrupt and had no concern for the well being of the people,that is why the projects failed when he wasn’t in power.

    When your administration isn’t strong then projects fail,the administration during Musharraf’s tenure was strong. That is why we were progressing and were the third fastest growing economy.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmad Siddiqui

    And thats what we call ignorance….Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    The constitution is in two parts. First it is to save the state and then follow the other rules,if it is a matter of saving the state then the first option would be taken in to consideration first.

    That is what happened during the Musharraf takeover,every politician at the time endorsed it and supported it and gave sound reasoning for it. Nawaz Sharif was failing miserably,we were being called a failed state and he was creating a situation that was leading towards the civil war.

    Let us not forget why the take over happened,it was because of Nawaz Sharif’s actions on the flight with 198 to 200 passengers including Pervez Musharraf,not allowing it to land anywhere and the plane was low on fuel. You are forgetting the reasons and just focusing on the words without even understanding them on the deeper level.

    India is successful with their democracy because they are willing to work for the country. Sure the politicians are corrupt there as well but when it comes to the “NATIONAL INTERESTS” of the country they all are on the same page,that isn’t the case with our politicians. Our politicians are so selfish and self centred,that they wouldn’t care if the country is completely destroyed from every angle so then the army has to interfere to save the state.

    Pervez Musharraf gave immense prosperity on every level to the people of Pakistan because he was clean and absolutely not corrupt,even his greatest enemies can’t call him corrupt.

    Think about everything.Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    We got rid of the IMF and the government was “Actually performing” during his tenure,please don’t spread yellow journalism.Recommend

  • immortal_soloist

    Actually he was not their man at all.

    Employment did increase during Musharraf’s time and I know plenty of people that got their jobs and education during his time,you can keep spreading yellow journalism but the truth of the progress during Musharraf’s tenure will remain the truth.

    He saved Pakistan strategically,unfortunately your sorts won’t realise it soon enough and once you do it will be too late.Recommend

  • Usman

    Oh really??? I am still waiting for justice to be served to Shahzaib Khan and victims of Raymond Davis and various other politically associated criminals.
    It doesn’t mean that GM should also be forgiven. But justice should be equal for everyone. Unfortunately, in our country it is NOT above all, thanks to Cheap Justice and The so-called democratic leaders!Recommend

  • Tahir

    This is absolutely correct analysis. The establishment should stop the case against Musharraf and bring harmony in political circles.Recommend

  • Sam

    I think author missed the point. Gen Mushrraf is not being tried for his 1999 actions, but what he did in 2007. Btw, just because economic indicators were better under his regime does that mean he should be let off for breaking the law, suspending the Constitution and staging coup against his own government?Recommend

  • A. Khan

    Cannot forgive him for passing NRO to save his own skin. And we got 5 years of Zardari as a gift.Recommend

  • Tanweer Haral

    I’m surprised at immaturity of writer. The so called development was due to 9/11 happening, what miracles did he manage before 9/11….zilch. Musharaf uprooted an elected government while he was removed by Prime Minister as per constitutional powers after the ill-planed Musharaf’s Kargil fiasco which shamed us in world’s eyes, didn’t achieve anything and pitted civil vs. military (remember Air & Nave chief did not have an knowledge about it), it was plain treason as no civilized country allows that. He got SC give him 3 years to rule, LFO approved by political bribes and threats to justify his misrule. Gave us gifts of energy blackouts, militancy, bomb blasts, ill planed economic agenda. Human rights were trampled, tax base not increased. Not a single mega dam built, nepotism at peak, not a single major PSE privatized and the list is endlessRecommend

  • http://hammadsiddiquiblog.com/ Hammad Siddiqui

    Thoughts are driven by media, particularly TV. Most anchors are anti-Musharraf. Hence a lot of people, particularly in three provinces of Pakistan are thinking on these lines. Moreover, there is illiteracy in the country. People are affected by bad economy, but keep quite, people are affected by bad law and order, but do not speak!Recommend

  • jibran

    Oh please cut it. Musharraf years were one of the worst Pakistan had. PeriodRecommend

  • BK

    “Other than the divinely appointed prophets and messengers of God, there is no human on earth who is perfect.” Correction: Only Allah is perfect; the prophets were humans and they also made mistakes which are highlighted in the Qur’an. Even Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s mistakes have been pointed out in the Qur’an — of course Allah forgave the mistakes, but to say that anything besides Allah is perfect is wrong.Recommend

  • Rationalist

    Actually we (the Pakistanis) believe that Zardari was running the show while Mr. Gilani was just a puppet. Similarly this time Mr. Sharif is calling the shots whereas Mr. Mamnoon is just filling the seat. That is why we call the earlier government as Zardari government which is technically incorrect because just like India, in Pakistan Prime Minister is the man (or the woman).Recommend

  • Atuq

    Dear Mr. Waseem,, plz correct your history knowledge,, American attorney gave the remakrs of handing ovet of amail kansi and it was nawaz era,, and remember what economic progress was there under Ayub and how fast progress was of PIA under AM asghar khan,,, so plz get in touch with realities and problems were also there but compare the pathetic state in political era ,, Recommend

  • Qaral Shams
  • Parvez

    You have only looked at one side of the picture. The structural damage he did by not doing what he should…..and more importantly could have done, was far greater.Recommend

  • Saif

    We wish!
    We wish we could forget all the havoc the military dictators and their partners in crime (civil bureaucracy, courts, mullahs, discarded and discredited politicians) have wreaked on poor Pakistan!
    Unfortunately the woulds are so deep, fresh and painful, we will not be able to forget all the “favours” done by all the “saviors!”
    The very same “healers” keep digging wounds in name of “cure.”
    Rest asure they will never be forgotten!Recommend

  • Rafay Ahmad

    Well sir, I am glad that you agreed to what I said. I just wanted to highlight the GDP and Growth part. No wonder Musharraf is bold and knows how to tackle the situation. But giving him credit for something which appears to be inevitable is not wise.Recommend

  • Dumbo

    Public always forget what their leaders do for them. I salute Musharraf, he did a lot for Pakistan. But this cheap public always love fraud politicians and fake leaders. Shame on them.Recommend

  • Reality Bites

    Very Nicely written, but bro it is the history of Pakistan, every person who wants to do some thing good in the betterment of this country we disgrace him.
    When General Pervaiz Muharraf was doing privatization, all these so called democratic parties was on the point he is selling Pakistan, now whats going on…
    He had a plan, he had a team of brilliant visionary minds and he knows better how to use them. Now these democrats has no plans, they even don’t know what to do with the country and its people. They can only introduce useless schemes…
    Nothing can be change until and unless these democratic traitors are in Pakistan.
    Allah help Pakistan and Pakistanis i!i!i!i!Recommend

  • Syed

    This is an excellent article. All genuinely educated patriots are absolutely and whole heartedly with Musharraf. The deep concern of all patriots, who are sincere to Pakistan and the people of Pakistan, has been rightly depicted. We should say that Urdu proverb, “Ulta chor kotwal ko dante”, is coming true? These fraud degree gangsters called politicians grabbed power by fraudulent sale / purchase of votes and constituencies, under the cover of democracy are trying to humiliate a real patriot. They have themselves made a mockery of their so beloved constitution, by not adhering to its clause 62 & 63. Not a single constituency out of thousands can claim to have absolutely fair voting and honest counting of votes.
    Resultantly 80 % of assembly members are fraud degree holders, ineligible due
    to fraudulently tax evading and criminal background. All these chaps have been
    sucking the blood of Pakistan and people of Pakistan and purchasing castles in
    UK, France and Dubai and have installing steel mills and sugar mills in Saudia
    and India. Do you call it democracy? We call it fraud and cheating the whole
    nation. We should be ashamed of ourselves for getting award of “Most Corrupt Nation” and disgracing Pakistan, people of Pakistan and the Muslims as a nation all over the world. Now these frauds are calling Musharraf a “Ghaddar”, who saved the country from these scavengers.
    The funniest and most tragic part is that the humiliation of ex Chief of Pakistan Army, in the name of “Ghaddari” is being enjoyed equally by the Indian Hindus and
    Pakistani politicians and judges. Should we, the general public take it that
    Pakistan Army Chief did Ghaddari or booted Indian Hindus, Pakistani politicians
    and judges equally? Secondly, a court formed by two aggrieved parties, with the judges who are also aggrieved specially
    this chap Arab, is looking biased and revengeful to common people like us, then why this is not being observed by the other judges who are claiming to provide justice through this Kangaroo Court?Recommend

  • K Alam

    thanks for reminding with facts and figures!Recommend

  • Ahmed London

    I totally disagree with author . What about price Pakistan is paying now? More than 50000 people dies , international investment almost vanished and most importantly security and foundation was put on risk . Musharraf received millions of dollar . If he had spent only 10% money on Pakistan infrastructure that’s not big deal .
    Secondly the price Pakistan is paying due to Musharraf acts is unbelievable . It’s sadden me when some so called educated people come out and defend people who have done more harm to Pakistan . I think we should make him example whoever breaks the law of Pakistan will be punished . Recommend

  • Not true

    Musharraf left as President until August 2008 and Pakistan had a forex crisis already by November 2008 requiring IMF bailout. This disproves your stand.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Zardari= Sonia. Gilani= Manmohan Singh.Recommend

  • H

    totally agreed.Recommend

  • Necromancer

    A very good article and truly mush was a leader for Pakistan but he still broke the Law and every one at that time of (12-Oct-1999) Judges, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Military, lawyer, Journalist should all be prosecuted. A country is made by providing justice and sentencing the criminals or traitorsRecommend

  • dr. khan

    Musharraf days were the best for Pakistan! As an average Pakistani back then I felt secure, I had inumerous oppurtunities for scholarships abroad which I cud avail without any source orvcorruption. I ws economically stable.. as bcuz of stable dollar I could pay my foriegn exam fees n manage daily stuff. If I had any issue whatsoever in my city all I had to do was email/ letter to my neighborhood nazim or even mayor mustafa kamal back then n it wud be done within 48 hours. As a Professional there was a boom of job opportunities in Pakistan n v the educated middle class were actually proud n willing to serve our motherland while stayin in our motherland. Now alll the friends educated middle class want to run out of pakistan simply they dont hav jobs if they do they know they cant survive without facing any corrupt person..I feel highly insecure cant even stand on road for 5 mins lest someone tries to snatch my stuff or worst bomb blasts/ kidnaping/killing on the spot by some ameer abba ki begri hui aulad no justice etc etc. If this pathetic inhuman condition is wat democracy gifts then in my humble opinion Pakistan deserves staunch leaders like Musharraf. Pakistan first! Recommend

  • raj

    it would be a total nonsense when people blame a guy who paved the way for a better future when the guy they chose (PPP or PML-n) were unable to continue the legacy for better future on the path of success.. Mushraff started off well, gave rights to media freedom.. put a huge some on education.. economy increased, inflaton decreased, average pakistani was happy.. Your next leaders were unable to show the courage to continue good work that musharaf started and now you are blaming him for the future. Come on.. If people start blaming Mandela for whatever crimes South Africa is doing then you won’t have good leaders in the world.Recommend

  • raj

    Average common man pakistani does not care about what you said… he is concerned about his family. Musharaf era gave him prosperity and this era is not. End of storyRecommend

  • Aquef

    I’m willing to flush the constitution if a common man like me gets what musharraf gave us.Recommend

  • Sadia Sheikh

    Agreed. What good will putting Musharraf on trial achieve?? Will it boost economy, or stop terrorist attacks, stop corruption, reduce poverty??
    They are just making him a scapegoat while the real villains walk freeRecommend

  • Jamal Saddozai

    Sitting in Canada you have the audacity to speak for Pakistanis.Next time speak for Pakistan when you spend an entire year I Pakistan.Recommend

  • Shafiq

    No Sir, I have not forgotten a thing. He took a solmn oath of office in front of all great and small. He reneged on it and the rest is immeterial. He is not a man to be trusted. He will do anything moral or immoral to save his neck. Therefore he is a dangerous toour country.

  • Changez

    What’s special is that all of it didn’t end up in his pockets.Unlike the 7.9 billion

    from the Kerry-Luger bill that just disappeared.Recommend

  • Syed Owais Mukhtar

    If he was so good, why he lost badly in elections? Cuz he was disliked! N one likes the rates of dollar down when your people are killed.Recommend

  • جہانزیب حسین قریشی

    You better check out the list of “highest paid speakers of the world”, if you doubt his honesty with Pakistan =)Recommend

  • جہانزیب حسین قریشی

    hey there i’m not agreeing to your point because as i said above this blog contains multiple comparisons and after seeing all of them anyone will agree that Musharraf’s era was better than all these democratic govt.s and its not only just because of these sanctions.. Unemployment in his era didn’t decrease because of these sanctions, infrastrusture didn’t improve bcz of these sanctions, living standards of pakistanis was improving during his Era, and there are several other comparisons in this blog other than just these sanctions thingRecommend

  • raj

    and who are the men to be trusted.. Zardari or Nawaz ? that you people chose againRecommend

  • raj

    Check it again.. he is doing MBA from IBA karachi.. think before you speakRecommend

  • raj

    the structural damage was done by the opposition who used public and media to go against him. if you think realistically, musharaf did not fine any one who could continue his legacy of good work esp in education sector. As a poor nation, only education can help us prosper and he surely did try to provide that. Just because the next leader wanted people to be as poor as possible, we cannot blame musharaf for thatRecommend

  • raj

    Yes and what did other so called democratic leaders did with Pakistan. Pak has long history of problems with democracy just because of one simple problem.. lack of education and mushraf did try to give it to ppl. its just that we do not deserve good quality of life and continue to run after those cunning rulers of yoursRecommend