By : Pervez Musharraf

1. Responsibility. Ensure Security, progress and development of Pakistan and welfare/wellbeing of its people.

2. Security.
a. External Threat
1) Al Khalid tanks for Army.
2) JF 17 Thunder Fighter jets for PAF.
3) AWAC Surveillance aircraft for PAF.
4) Frigates for Navy.
5) P3C Surveillance aircraft for Navy.
6) All missiles tested and proven for nuclear capability.
7) Nuclear arsenal strengthened and protected.
8) Army Strategic Force Command created.
b. Internal threat
1) Law and order in Karachi controlled.
2) Terrorism in Balochistan controlled.
3) Sectarian terrorism controlled.
4) Spread of Talibanisation controlled.
5) Strategy against extremism being implemented.
(Focus on Mosques, books/publications, extremist/militant organization, school syllabus, madrassahs)

3. Progress and Development of Pakistan
a. Economy. Core strategy of privatisation, deregulation and liberalization
1) GDP growth – $63 billion to $170 billion.
2) Annual GDP growth – Around 7%.
3) Per Capita Income – $430 to $1,000.
4) Foreign Exchange Reserves – $0.5 billion to $16.5 billion.
5) Revenue generation – Rs 308 billion to Rs 1 trillion.
6) Debt to GDP ratio – 102% to 53%.
7) Exports – $7.8 billion to $17.5 billion.
8) Remittances – $1 billion to $6.4 billion.
9) Foreign Direct Investments – $400 million to $8.4 billion.
10) Karachi Stock Exchange Index – 900 to 16500 points
11) Annual development budget – Rs 90 billion to Rs 520 billion
12) Poverty reduction – 34% to 17%.
13) Dollar maintained at Rs 60.

14) Declared one of the Next – 11 countries of the world.

b. Communication Infrastructure
1) Roads
 Coastal Highway Karachi – Gwadar 700KMs.
 (M1) Peshawar to Islamabad Motorway.
 (M3) Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad Motorway.
 (M4) Faisalabad to Multan Motorway (Launched).
 National Highway (N5) dualised Karachi to Peshawar.
 Quetta – Zhob – D I Khan road.
 Quetta – Loralai – D G Khan Road.
 Gwadar – Turbat – Rato Dero road (Launched)
 Chitral linking with Gilgit over Shandur Pass.
 Gilgit linked with Skardu via Astore – Chillum – Deosai Plains.
 Lowari Tunnel linking KPK to Chitral.
 Kaghan Valley linked with KKH at Chilas over Babusar Pass.
 Kohat Tunnel.
 Lahore – Sialkot Road.
 Lahore – Faisalabad Road.
 Karachi – Lyari Expressway.
 Karachi Northern Bypass
 Lahore Ring Road.
2) Port. Strategically significant Gwadar Port developed with Chinese assistance.
3) Airports.
 Lahore Airport completed.
 New Islamabad Airport started.
 New Sambrial (Sialkot) Airport.
 Multan Airport expanded.
 Gwadar Airport developed.
 Quetta Airport expanded.
4) Railways.
 Dual railway line project from Peshawar to Karachi launched.
 Over 50 locomotives, innumerable cargo bogies included in the railway fleet.
 About 12 new trains started to ease travel for the common man.
 All Railway stations improved in cleanliness and facilities.

c. Agriculture
1) Irrigation Projects
 Diamer Bhasha Dam launched. 5 maf water and 4000 MW electricity.

Mangla Dam raised by 30 feet increasing 2.9 maf water storage capacity and 100MW electricity.

 New Mirani Dam for Balochistan.
 New Subukzai Dam for Balochistan.
 New Gomal Zam Dam for KPK.
 Kachi Canal from Taunsa to Dera Bugti and Jhal Magsi (Balochistan) over 500Kms to irrigate 713000 acres of barren cotton producing land.
 Thal Canal for Punjab to irrigate 20 lac acres of barren land.
 Rainee Canal for Sind.
 Brick lining of all the 86000 water channels in all provinces of Pakistan at a cost of Rs 66 billion.
 Overal brought 3 million acres of barren land under cultivation.
2) Drain. Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) constructed through Sind taking all the effluent water of Punjab and Balochistan to the sea saving Indus River and Manchar Lake (Sind) from pollution
3) Dairy. Introduced white revolution in Pakistan.
 Introduced unique milk collection and chillers milk storage system in rural areas.
 Brought world renowned Nestle to spearhead white revolution in Pakistan. They opened their biggest milk plant in the world at Kabirwala in Punjab.
 Initiated artificial insemination and Embryo Transfer Technology for genetic improvement of cows for increasing yield of milk.

4) Agriculture Products.

 Increased wheat production from 14 million tons to 22 million tons.
 Increased cotton production from 9 million bales to 13 million bales.
 Introduced rotational loan system through banks for poor farmers.
 Increased loan facility for farmers from Rs 35 billion through ZTBL only, to Rs 160 billion from all other private banks.

d. Energy. Overall 2900 MW electricity added to national generation capacity.
1) Ghazi Barotha hydro electricity project – 1600MWs.
2) Chashma – II nuclear electricity plant – 300MWs.
3) Over 6 thermal electricity plants
4) Neelum – Jhelum hydro electricity project initiated – 1800 MWs.
5) Satpara Power project, Skardu
6) Naltar power project, Gilgit
7) Launched Alternate Energy Project – Wind Farm in Sindh

e. Telecommunication. Brought telecom revolution in Pakistan.
1) Increased mobile telephones from 6 lacs in 2000 to over 7 crores in 2006.

2) Increased teledensity from 2.9% to over 70%.
3) Created millions of jobs in telecom sector.

f. Information Technology. IT revolution introduced.
1) Internet connectivity increased from 40 cities to 2000 towns of Pakistan.
2) Fiber optics connectivity increased from 30 cities to over 1500 towns of Pakistan.
3) 2 megabytes band width cost reduced from $86,000 to $3,000.

g. Industry.
1) Focus on SMEs for increasing job creation and spreading wealth.
2) Core strategy articulated for diversification of products and market.
3) Major industrial parks opened at Sundar (Lahore), M3 (Faisalabad) and Landhi (Karachi).
4) Marble city opened at Hub in Balochistan. Modern technology introduced for mining, cutting and polishing of marble.
5) Auto part industry given a boost as a new export oriented industry.
6) Industrial growth in double figures throughout the 9 years.

h. Culture and Heritage.
1) Quaid e Azam Mausoleum completed to its true grandeur in Karachi.
2) World standard Cultural Heritage Museum opened in Islamabad.
3) World standard National Art Gallery opened in Islamabad.
4) A grand national monument made at Shakar Parian, Islamabad
5) National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) opened in Karachi.
6) A Yadgar monument started at Walton, Lahore in memory of the Quaids’ address to the hundreds of thousands of refugees migrating from India in 1947.

i. Democracy.
1) Local government system launched to empower the people through third tier of government..
2) Political empowerment of women done through giving them reserved seats at all tiers of government.
3) Political empowerment of minorities done through giving them Joint Electorate.
4) Media given independence through liberalization and privatization.

j. Women Rights.
1) Political empowerment.
2) Economic empowerment.
3) Amending discriminatory laws.

4. Welfare/Wellbeing of people.

a. Poverty Alleviation. Poverty halved from 34% to 17%.
b. Job Creation. Millions of jobs created in building and construction, telecom and IT sectors.
c. Education.
1) Literacy level improved from 48% to 58%.
2) National Commission on Human Development (NCHD) opened, who in turn opened 1 lac adult literacy and primary level feeder schools for universalising education.
3) National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC), opened for imparting mass vocational and technical education/shill development.
4) Army opened about 3 vocational training centers for skill development in youth.
5) Higher Education Commission (HEC) created to oversee university education. Their annual allocation increased from Rs 500 million to Rs 28 billion.
6) PhD program in engineering and High Technology launched. Annual PhD output increased from 40 to 800. Overall 3800 students sent aboard for PhD, 300 completed. 3500 doing PhD in Pakistan, 340 completed.
7) No of universities in Pakistan increased from 48 to 130.
8) 6 universities opened in Balochistan.
9) 7 Cadet Colleges opened in Balochistan.
10) 1 University opened in Gilgit.
11) 1 cadet college opened in Skardu.

d. Health. Focus on primary and secondary heath care.
1) BHUs and RHCs activated with Doctors and medicines in the whole of Punjab.
2) District hospitals made fully functional with specialists and required equipment.

e. Price Control – Essential Items.
1) Atta –Rs 16 per Kg. Now it is Rs 36 per kg.
2) Naan – Rs. 2. Now it is Rs. 7.
3) Cooking oil – Rs. 180 per liter. Now it is Rs. 264 per liter.
4) Dal channa – Rs. 39 per kg. Now it is Rs. 115 per kg.
5) Sugar – Rs. 30 per kg. Now it is Rs. 75 per kg.
6) Tea – Rs. 152 per kg. Now it is Rs. 330 per kg.
7) Milk – Rs. 45 per liter. Now it is Rs. 90 per liter
8) Yogurt – Rs. 49 per kg. Now it is Rs. 100 per kg
9) Vegetable – Rs. 25 per kg on the average. Now it is Rs. 65 per kg
10) Mutton – Rs. 265 per kg. Now it is Rs. 520 per kg
11) Urea – Rs. 850 per bag. Now it is Rs. 2,600 per bag

12) DAP – Rs 2,200 per bag. Now it is Rs. 4,500 per bag


Poverty reduced to half in Musharraf’s regime: WB report

Saturday, August 07, 2010
By Mehtab Haider

ISLAMABAD: A World Bank survey has revealed that poverty in Pakistan was reduced by 50 percent on consumption-led growth of the economy under the rule of the former president, Pervez Musharraf.

“The percentage of the people living below the poverty line in Pakistan fell from 34.5 percent in 2001/02 to 17.2 percent in 2007/08,” World Bank said in its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) paper, based on a survey conducted in fiscal year 2007/08. The bank is going to provide $6 billion to Pakistan on the basis of CPS findings.

According to Planning Commission officials, the PPP-led government asked the commission to conceal the results of the survey because the poverty started rising after the Musharraf’s regime.

According to the WB survey, poverty in urban areas fell from 22.7 percent in 2001/02 to 10.1 percent in 2007/08. In rural areas, it declined from 39.3 percent in 2001 to 20.6 percent in 2007/08, it said.

“This progress was a result of growth in real per adult consumption expenditure and declining inequality from 2005/06 to 2007/08,” the report said.

Key human development indicators of educational attainment, health outcomes and unemployment rates also corroborated these figures, the officials said.

The report showed that the pace of poverty reduction varied across provinces. Poverty in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa steadily declined from 1998/99 onwards. “In Sindh and Balochistan, it recorded sharp rises in 2001/02 and 2005/06, possibly owing to weak agriculture performance in those years,” the report said.

The reduction in poverty in KP is particularly noteworthy as officials believe that it was facilitated by higher remittances through both foreign and domestic channels. “The large volatility in poverty suggests that a substantial portion of Pakistan’s population is vulnerable, living close to the poverty line, and could fall into poverty as a result of shocks,” the report said.

The overlap between vulnerable and poor households is low as about 60 percent of the highly vulnerable population does not belong to the poorest 20 percent. This means that a significant share of the non-poor population is as vulnerable as poor households, it said.

The WB report conceded that the gains in poverty reduction may have been partly reversed in the wake of the recent economic crisis.

“Food and fuel prices rose by 23.7 and 18.4 percent, respectively in the review period, resulting in a 21 percent reduction in the purchasing power,” it said.

The 2007/08 household survey results also suggest that poverty started rising towards the end of the fiscal year.

Officials said that the impact of the recent economic downturn on poverty levels in the country will only be known when the next household survey is conducted.

The Task Force on Food Security estimated that poverty headcount increased to 33.8 percent in 2007/08 and 36.1 percent in 2008/09. This means that about 62 million people were below the poverty line in 2008/09.

Data suggests that between 2005 and 2009, over 12 to 14 million people may have been added to the ranks of the poor in Pakistan. This would translate into an increase in poverty from 22.3 percent of the population in 2005/06 to between 30-35 percent in 2008/09,” the report added.

چترال: پرویز مشرف کا حامی نظر آیا

بازار میں لوگوں سے بات کی تو ایسا لگا کہ چترال پاکستان کا واحد علاقہ ہے جہاں سابق صدر پرویز مشرف آج بھی دیگر سیاسی رہنماؤں سے زیادہ مقبول ہیں۔ ہوٹل کے بیرے اور مینیجر سے لے کر عام دوکاندار اور پڑھے لکھے لوگوں تک جس سے بھی بات ہوئی وہ پرویز مشرف کا حامی نظر آیا۔

ایڈووکیٹ عبدالولی نے اس کی ایک بڑی وجہ لواری سرنگ کا منصوبہ بتائی۔’چترال کے لوگ ہر سال موسم سرما میں چھ ماہ تک ملک سے کٹ جاتے ہیں ۔کیونکہ برفباری کی وجہ سے راستے بند ہوجاتے ہیں اور ہم مجبور ہوجاتے ہیں۔‘

انہوں نے بتایا کہ اربوں روپوں کی لاگت سے پرویز مشرف کے دورِ حکومت میں چترال کو دیر سے زمینی راستے سے ملانے کے لیے تقریباً آٹھ کلومیٹر سے بھی زیادہ پہاڑ کھود کر سرنگ بنائی۔ ان کے مطابق لواری ٹنل پر کوریا کی کمپنی کام کر رہی ہے اور کھدائی مکمل ہونے کے بعد اب صرف اُسے ہوادار بنانے اور چھوٹے موٹے کام باقی ہیں۔

’لواری ٹنل چترال کے لوگوں کا صدیوں پرانا خواب تھا جو پرویز مشرف نے پورا کردیا اور یہ منصوبہ ہماری زندگی میں انقلاب لائے گا۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ پرویز مشرف اگر چترال سے انتخاب لڑیں تو آسانی سے جیت سکتے ہیں۔‘

چترال میں معلوم ہوا کہ ایک مقامی لکڑ ہارے سے پرویز مشرف کی دوستی ہے۔ احمد خان نامی اس شخص سے ملاقات ہوئی تو انہوں نے پرویز مشرف سے اپنے عشق کی داستان سناتے ہوئے بتایا کہ ان کی تاحال پرویز مشرف سے چار ملاقاتیں ہوچکی ہیں۔ انہوں نے اپنی ملاقاتوں کی تصویریں بھی دکھائیں۔

احمد خان نے بتایا کہ انہیں پرویز مشرف ایک سچے، کھرے اور بہادر انسان لگتے ہیں۔ جب پرویز مشرف پر حملہ ہوا تو وہ بہت روئے اور جب معلوم ہوا کہ وہ بچ گئے ہیں تو انہوں نے چترال شہر کے بازار میں ہر آنے جانے والے شخص کو مٹھائی کھلائی۔ ’میں غریب آدمی ہوں لکڑیاں بیچ کر پیٹ پالتا ہوں لیکن اُس دن میں نے ہزاروں روپے خرچ کردیے۔‘

چوالیس سالہ احمد خان بتاتے ہیں کہ پرویز مشرف نے لواری سرنگ بنا کر چترالی عوام کو خرید لیا ہے اور چترالی اپنے محسن کو کبھی نہیں بھولتے۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ ’پرویز مشرف نے جب ریفرنڈم کرایا تو میں نے اپنے گھر میں پولنگ سٹیشن بنایا۔ میرے دو قریبی عزیزوں نے پرویز مشرف کے خلاف ووٹ دیے اور میں آج تک ان سے بات نہیں کرتا۔‘

احمد خان نے بتایا کہ مرحوم ذوالفقار علی بھٹو نے بھی لواری سرنگ بنانے کا اعلان کیا تھا لیکن انہیں پھر موقع نہیں مل پایا۔ ان کے بقول بعد میں دو بار پیپلز پارٹی اقتدار میں رہی لیکن اس منصوبے پر کام شروع نہیں کیا۔

چترال شہر میں احمد خان ’پرویز مشرف کے متوالے‘ کے طور پر مشہور ہیں۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ پرویز مشرف کی جانب سے سیاست میں آنے کے فیصلے پر وہ بہت خوش ہیں اور اگر وہ چترال سے قومی اسمبلی کا انتخاب لڑیں تو وہ اتنے ووٹ لیں گے کہ ان کے مخالفین کی ضمانتیں ضبط ہوجائیں گی۔

’مجھے پورا یقین ہے کہ آئندہ ملاقات میں، ان سے اسرار کروں گا کہ وہ چترال سے آئندہ انتخاب لڑیں۔انہیں خرچہ بھی نہیں کرنا پڑے گا اور چترال کے لوگ خود ان کی انتخابی مہم چلائیں گے۔‘

احمد خان کا شکریہ ادا کیا اور ان سے اجازت لے کر واپس اسلام آباد کے لیے چترال کے ہوائی اڈے پہنچے۔ چترال کا ہوائی اڈہ دریائے چترال کے کنارے پر تنگ وادی میں واقع ہے۔ چترال کی خوبصورتی میں اس وقت مزید اضافہ ہوجاتا ہے جب فضا سے اس کا منظر دیکھیں۔

Mujhay wo din Yad atay hain

Sir Musharraf Era
Musharraf Era: Ushers in Multi-Nationals Corporations & booms Private sector Business

Mirza Rohail Baig

An effective and successful manager manages his company with whatever resources he/she has, and manages to gear it towards an unprecedented growth and prosperity, utilizing all internal and external factors. Musharraf has proven himself to be the manager for Pakistan!

Multi-National Corporations (MNC’s) provide excellent job opportunities, bringing in the required capital, latest technology, developed human resources, management, quality and safety standards.

1. Dubai Ports World announced on 1 June 2006 that it will spend $10 billion to develop real estate, infrastructure and transport in Pakistan.

2. Emaar Properties announced on 31st May 2006 three real estates developments in the cities of Islamabad and Karachi. The projects, with a total investment of $2.4 billion, will include developing commercial and residential property.

3. Emaar Properties also signed an unprecedented $43 billion deal to develop two Island resorts – Bundal Island and Buddo Island – over the decade.

4. International Petroleum Investment Co., owned by the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, has received approval from Pakistan’s government to build a $5 billion Oil refinery at Hub in Baluchistan. The refinery, which will be Pakistan’s biggest, will have the capacity to process 300,000 barrels of oil a day.

5. 2006: The government is all set to establish an ‘Oil city’ with an investment of $40 billion at Gwadar Port to make it the biggest crude and refined oil storage base in the region. The government has allotted 12,500 acres of land in Gwadar. The Chinese Petroleum Chamber would come up with $12.5 billion investment plan for the project.

6. Canadian Oil & Gas Company signed a $200 million project with Pakistan that would generate 50,000 direct jobs in Sindh. It will explore, develop, produce and commercialize Coal Bed Methane (CBM) in Pakistan up-to 70,000 barrels a day for about 20 years.

7. July 2006: The Government awarded three blocks in the country’s offshore Indus Delta to British Petroleum Pakistan. BP Pakistan (formerly known as Union Texas Pakistan) will explore gas blocks U, V and W, covering an area of 21,000 square km, for oil and gas reserves.

8. Dubai’s foreign investment in Pakistan’s capital markets recorded significant growth in 2006 and more than doubled to Dh1.278 billion ($351.5 million) by June 30th of this year. It stood at Dh554.9 million last year.

9. The KESC has awarded the contract for Phase-I of the 220 MW Power plant to METKA, EPC contractor, a Greek Company of international repute, whereas Phase-II for 565 MW is under process, it has been reliably learnt. The EPC cost of the project is around $186 million including approximately 11 million dollars for chiller equipment.

10. Sept 26: Am Power Company, a Kuwait-based company, intends to build 225MW combined cycle Power project located at the Sundar Industrial Estate at an estimated cost of $200 million.

11. The credit of building the Chashma-2 goes to the Musharraf Government. PM Shaukat Aziz launched work on the billion dollars 325-megawatt plant in Chashma, which is the second to be built at the site with Chinese help. The cost of Chashma-2 is around Rs 51 billion, which also includes Rs20.1 billion foreign exchange component.

12. In the much-awaited, but positive development, WAPDA has finalized a Chinese consortium, China Gezhouba (group) Co Ltd China and CMEC, China (CGGC-CMEC), for the construction of strategically the most important project: 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower. Cost of Construction is above $1.8 billion13. French Renault is establishing a 40-million-euro assembling plant of Renault Logan cars in the country, with the production capacity of 15,000 automobiles per year. This project would attract 40 million euros’ investment and create 600 job opportunities.

14. The automobile industry in Pakistan has made remarkable progress during the last few years. Despite low indigenous base, it has attracted almost Rs100 billion investments. Rs 52 billion has come in direct manufacturing and Rs 35 billon in ancillary industry.

15. Pakistan Suzuki, a leading automobile company, has achieved exports worth $957 million during the last financial year 2005-06, which has been considered by the government as an encouraging sign.

16. The Motorcycle industry in the country is progressing as well since the manufacturing of motorcycles has touched the Rs.0.7 million mark in financial year 2005-06. Crankcase is manufactured mainly by only two companies but their production capacity is approx 6,000 sets per month.

17. Honda Atlas Cars held a Manufacturing Capacity Expansion ceremony of its auto plant. HACPL will increase annual production capacity will be doubled from the current 25,000 units to 50,000 units by the end of 2006. Total investment around Rs1.67 billion.

18. A Manchester (UK) firm called Drillcorer has just moved production of its drills to Pakistan. The result is that it can now sell them for £15,000 rather than the £65,000 it would have had to charge if they were produced in Britain 19. 2005: Brunei government is financing the US$2.6 million training “Institute for Pakistan Foreign Service”. Under construction.

20. WASHINGTON: Pakistan ranked first among all developing world recipients in the value of Arms transfer agreements in 2006, concluding $5.1 billion in such agreements.

21. 2-12-07: Cement sales by Pakistani manufacturers to local and foreign buyers is expected to have reached 11.848 million tonnes during the first five months (July-November). Exports are expected to grow by 155% year-on-year to 2.531 million tonnes for the five-month period.

22. Pakistan’s Financial Sector is witnessing robust growth in Islamic banking. Two fully-fledged Islamic banks — one local and one foreign-based — have opened 23 branches recently. Bank Islami will be the 3rd Bank. The 4th Dubai Islamic Bank would open around 70 branches. Saudi Arabia would open the 5th Islamic Bank soon.

23. Takaful Pakistan Limited would soon commence operational activities in the country with an initial paid-up capital of Rs200 million and an authorized capital of Rs 300 million. Takaful is a system of Islamic insurance.

24. 14-6-07: Standard Chartered Bank of Pakistan (SCBP) has made a mega investment of Rs 30 billion to grow in a significant way in Pakistan.

25. Pakistan’s leading Edible Oil buyers are establishing 4 new refineries, officials in the industry said. Most of the refineries will be operational by the end of 2007 and they will double Pakistan’s CPO refining capacity of 2,025 tonnes per day. 26. 26-1-07: Canadian Wireless systems developer TenXc Wireless Inc. is partnering with Pakistani company Coherent Designs Pvt. to establish a joint development centre for wireless products in Pakistan’s capital. Global WiMAX market was worth $1.1 billion in 2006 and is expected to grow to $3.3 billion by 2009.

27. The Minister inaugurated ceremony of a software technology park. The high-tech IT park has been set up at Rawalpindi by a leading US IT company MTBC to start its business operations in Pakistan.

28. Capital Investment Overseas, an Abu Dhabi based company, will build a five-star hotel in Lahore, with an estimated investment of Rs20 billion (Dh1.25 billion). The construction of the 602 room hotel will be completed by the year 2011.

29. Saudi-Kuwaiti joint venture, Mid Roc Tussonia Ltd, will invest $3 billion to $4 billion in the next seven years in power generation, refining and real estate sectors in Pakistan. This was stated by the president of the Mid Roc Group, Sheikh Humoud Al-Sabah, at the launching of the joint venture here. Sabah said that his company would set up two wind power generation plants at Mirpur Sakro at a cost of $200 million. 2,500 acres of land has been acquired for this purpose. They will also establish a lube-based oil refinery at Port Qasim, over 500 acres of land, at a cost of $1.5 billion.

30. Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile firm, announced its entry in Pakistan through its subsidiary, Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co, with the commissioning of a new truck and bus assembly unit in Karachi. The plant has a capacity to produce 3,000 vehicles.

Missing you already

Fatima Bhutto (

Pakistan has become a very unusual place. In Lahore, the heart of Pakistani cricket, the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in broad daylight by masked gunmen carrying guns and rocket launchers, because you never know when a rocket launcher will come in handy during an urban attack. The government had been warned of a potential terror threat but, true to form, ignored it. After killing eight people, mostly policemen, and wounding several others including the foreign cricketers, the gunmen ambled leisurely away. They were caught on CCTV camera calmly mounting their motorcycles and surveying the scene before deciding they had other places to be.

Immediately the cacophony of ludicrous claims hit the media. “The attack is to ruin our [the ruling party’s] image,” bellowed Raja Riaz, a Pakistan People’s Party hack. Er, no. “The motive was to damage the state of Pakistan and end cricket here,” said Imran Khan, head of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Er, no. The Pakistan cricket team are perfectly capable of ruining the state of cricket in the country on their own; masked gunmen are not required, thank you very much. Incidentally, on Monday night local police attacked the offices of Khan’s party brandishing Kalashnikovs and pistols. It’s probably not a coincidence that Khan has been openly critical of the Zardari government.

It’s fear. That’s what it is. It’s the state of a nation at war with itself. When vigilantes armed with sophisticated weaponry can attack a team of cricket guests (and there are no guests more esteemed in south Asia) in the middle of the afternoon, what they’re telling you is that no one is above the reach of the terror that has taken over Pakistan. It’s startling how adept this government has been at losing control of law and order, leasing out Pakistan’s stability for an increased role in the war on terror in preparation for the troop surge in Afghanistan, and generally running the country to rot.

“Droned” is a verb we use now in Pakistan. It turns out, interestingly enough, that those US predator drones that have been killing Pakistani citizens almost weekly have been taking off from and landing within our own country. Secret airbases in Balochistan – what did we ever do before Google Earth?

The PPP-led government, hailed as being “democratic”, capitulated to the Pakistan Taliban’s demands for sharia law in the Swat Valley in February. There was no vote, no referendum, nothing. The government, tired of fighting those pesky militants who’ve been burning down Sufi shrines and local girls’ schools, just declared that a part of the country would be ruled no longer by federal law, but by a myopically interpreted and Taliban-approved “Islamic” code. And verily it shall be.

We’ve just had senate “elections”. Of course, there are no actual elections involved: the ruling party puts forward winners and they end up in parliament. On Monday, in a shock move, President Asif Ali Zardari’s former attorney, who defended the erstwhile criminal on corruption and murder charges, was made chairman of the senate. What a gas!

Meanwhile, with Delhi still beating war drums over the November Mumbai attacks, our former dictator/president Pervez Musharraf travelled to India recently, and there he warned our neighbours of an all-out war should they strike Pakistan. He also let us know that he is ready to return to the call of political duty. Outsiders might be confused at this change in the situation – what’s he doing there? Didn’t he resign in August? Here’s the beauty of it all: Musharraf’s re-emergence has many middle-class Pakistanis excited and hopeful. Is he back?! A series of op-eds in a local English newspaper (not highly censored because no one reads them) was titled “Why I miss Musharraf”. When a dictator tickles your fancy, you know something has gone very, very wrong.

So, the mood in Pakistan is one of confusion. How did we come to this? How do we get out?

On the eve of spring, it is the same problems that blight the country’s poor – there is no electricity, there is no potable water, and food inflation continues to rise. The newspapers warned us this week that “load shedding” in the summer will be some 15 hours long, which is not that bad considering the fact that we’re sitting in darkness for 12 hours a day now. Pakistan has long missed its millennium target goals of eradicating polio, largely because we can’t keep the electricity going long enough for the vaccines to be properly refrigerated, so they keep going bad. And we’re a nuclear country, a grossly corrupt one at that.

The press censorship continues unabated with future threats of an absolute blackout on any criticisms of the government safely enclosed within the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act that the parliament is currently sitting on. The bill, which imposes jail sentences from three months (for having an email account not registered in your real name) to the death penalty, and criminalises the acts of “spoofing”, “spamming” and “character assassinating”, will apply to the width and breadth of the country and to any person, regardless of nationality or citizenship. It will crack down on all objectionable – the definition of what is objectionable is typically vague – messages sent via, but not limited to, “electrical, digital, analogue, magnetic, optical, biochemical, electrochemical, electromechanical, electromagnetic, radio electric, and wireless technology”. So any subversive content found on cell phones, computers, or toasters will soon be illegal. Your head should be spinning by now.

Pakistan is in a dire situation. Religious extremism, violence and a faltering economy have made the state of affairs here decidedly grim. Joe Biden and John Kerry see American dollars as the only way of helping Pakistan stave off extremism; but Yankee aid donations and senatorial money will not help us now. It is estimated that President Zardari and his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, stole between $2bn and $3bn from the country’s treasury during their two previous stints in power. Now Zardari has claimed his personal wealth to be somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8bn. Nawaz Sharif, leading coalition partner and head of the Pakistan Muslim League, declared his fortune to be not as grand, at only $1.4bn. You do the maths.

Economic way forward for Pakistan

Written By: Honorable Shaukat Aziz, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan
source :

2009: When I was asked to write a piece on the economic way forward, I hesitated at first because I felt that with a new government in place it is better that we leave the way forward to the new economic managers, rather than play the role of back seat drivers and provide unsolicited advice. But the mountain of criticism of the previous government policies from all sorts of arm chair critics, ranging from retired bureaucrats and economists of the cold war era, who still believe in the supremacy of state management of the economy and for whom Venezuela and Bolivia are the new role models, to Islamists who feel that the entire western global economic system is doomed and we need to chalk out a new paradigm – convinced me that perhaps the time had come to analyze the past and set the record straight, assess the current situation and contribute to the debate on the way forward.

Now that we have the political parties of the nineties back in power it can be instructive to examine a few economic indicators of the nineties with the past eight years and draw inferences. Since the economic growth numbers have been challenged by the critics. I will use numbers that are not subject to disagreement. So for example, if the GDP growth numbers are being challenged, than other growth indicators that the public can understand can show the reality. The official GDP growth from around US $ 65 billion in 1999-2000 to US$ 165 billion in 2007-08 (a factor of 2.5 times) is challenged as being fudged, but growth of credit to the private sector over the same time period from Rs 1 trillion to Rs 2.5 trillion, again a factor of 2.5 times, cannot be challenged.

The data shows that while electricity consumption grew by 1300 Gwh per year in the decade of the nineties it grew by 3750 Gwh per year from 2000 to 2008 a factor of 2.8 times. Gas consumption grew by 20 billion cft per year in the nineties compared with 80 billion cft per year from 2000 to 2007 a factor of four times. The revenue collection by FBR increased from Rs 300 billion in 1999 to over one trillion in 2008. Foreign investment that averaged around $ 500 million per year in the nineties touched over $ 8 billion in 2008 alone. Remittances that were around one billion in 1999 have crossed six billion in 2008.

Development spending that was US$ 1.5 billion in 1999 touched $7.5 billion in 2007. Exports that were $7.5 billion in 1999 reached $18 billion in 2007. Foreign exchange reserves that were around a billion dollars in 1999 reached over 16 billion in 2007. Stock market index that was around 1300 in 1999 touched its highest level of 15700 in April 2008 a factor of 12 times that placed the KSE as one of the best performing stock markets of the world. The exchange rate showed remarkable stability over the past eight years. Credit rating improved from selective default in 1999 to B+ and B1 by 2007.

Since the February elections, and the advent of the new government economic indicators have sharply deteriorated. The Currency has fallen by 25 percent against the Dollar, the stock market index has fallen by 6700 points from its peak in April leading to an asset value loss of 43 percent amounting to loss of market capitalization of around US $ 40 billion; the largest loss in the history of Pakistan. This loss of confidence in the economy of Pakistan has been unprecedented. We can trace the loss of confidence by the foreign investor by examining the spread on the US dollar global bonds that we issued in May 2007. These bonds were issued at the start of the lawyers movement and its associated turmoil. The bond was a huge success with over subscription; of seven times amounting to $ 3.5 billion while we were seeking only $500 million. The spread was 180 basis points above US government ten year securities. As the lawyers movement continued to gain strength in mid 2007, the spread on the bonds jumped to 300 basis points in July and 400 basis points by November when the emergency was imposed.

In December when BB was assassinated the spread jumped to 600 basis points. However, after the elections, the investor community welcomed the peaceful transition by pushing the spread down to 500 points. The stock market also reacted favorably and reached its highest point of 15700 in our history in April, 2008. Since then our chaotic politics and lack of focus on economic issues has led to the collapse of the stock market to 9000 points and the spread has jumped to almost a 1000 points. So what events produced these results, between April and now.

In the previous government, we had been highly successful in crafting a very positive brand image of Pakistan as one of the fastest growing emerging economies in Asia. After our exit from the IMF program and successful reforms, investors favorably compared Pakistan to India, China and Vietnam. Every time we did a road show, we were highly successful in our endeavors whether it was the OGDC flotation or UBL GDR or Euro bonds or large privatizations, investors flocked to our offerings. We were a success story in the international financial markets and most of our issues became benchmark issues.

Unfortunately, this Government has not been able to maintain Pakistan Brand rather it has eroded considerably. In this erosion the first stone was foolishly cast by our erstwhile finance minister Mr. Ishaq Dar who displayed incredible irresponsibility and immaturity in lambasting the Pakistani economy in front of the global media; at a time when the global investment community was looking towards the new government for its economic vision and future strategy the new finance minister harangued them on how bad the Pakistan economy was. In spite of this onslaught, the rating agencies maintained their ratings until as in their words the new government comes up with its economic game plan. The new government was at this time caught up in utter confusion on the economic direction of the country with rapid changes in the finance setup and revolving finance ministers.

This lack of focus was disastrous for us as against this back ground our financing plan included a number of financial market transactions totaling around $ 4 billion that were ready for the road shows. These included the National Bank, Habib Bank, and KAPCO. The exchangeable bond issue of OGDC, and the strategic sale of PSO shares along with management control. With the stock market at an all time high the transactions would have been a great success and the road shows would have generated tremendous good will for the new government and would have highlighted the smooth transition that happened in Pakistan. It would have been a great opportunity to showcase Pakistan in front of the international investment community. Instead, in an inexplicable move the Government cancelled all the transactions. Pakistan directly lost desperately needed inflows of $ 4 billion and with the rising oil import bill, this loss placed a huge pressure on the reserves and the currency. Indirectly the loss was probably twice as much as foreign investors withdrew to the sidelines and domestic investors moved their investments overseas. It might be mentioned that while the government failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity, The MCB bank taking advantage of the great valuations on the stock market in April 2008 privately placed some 20% of their equity with a Malaysian bank for a cool sum of $ 850 million.

If the Government had acted similarly, it could have generated sufficient flows to prevent the meltdown which ensued. Reserves drawdown would have been avoided, the spread on our international bonds would have narrowed down to May 2007 levels, borrowing from the State Bank would have been halved and the government would have had a stable environment for tackling the oil import bill and food inflation. Our current predicament is clearly a creation of our current economic miss-management. A few heads should have rolled because of this incredible lapse.

What could have been done in April/May 2008 with the market at 15700 points cannot be done in September/ October 2008 with the market at 9100 points. The international markets are closed to us. We have to wait until our markets get back to their historical levels and investor confidence is restored. How will this be achieved? The biggest challenge for President Zardari is to restore the eroded Pakistan Brand; back to its original luster and in the process revive the investment flows that can sustain our growth going forward.

First, while we should be on the right side of the world in the war on terror, the world should seriously help us in our endeavor to build a better economic & future for our people. The new president has to focus on the economic issues facing the country. His international trips to China, Saudi Arabia, Gulf, USA, UK, should promote Pakistan economic interests as a pivotal objective. He should not only promote government to government economic cooperation but also promote private sector to private sector interaction with these countries. We need strong, immediate and implement able commitments of around $5 billion balance of payment support from these countries. In addition, their leadership at the highest levels should support international moves to promote our economic growth and stability. Better and preferential access to EU and USA markets, greater quotas for labor and deferred payments for oil in Saudi Arabia and Gulf region. A full calendar of investment conferences and single country exhibitions need to be carried out under the direction of the president. The promotion of exports and investments has to be the major focus and objective of the President. If we can generate foreign investments greater than last year level of $ 8 billion and export growth is revived to healthy double digit levels we would start coming out of the current malaise.

Second, it is clear that Pakistan growing trade and current account deficit is being driven by ever escalating oil prices. With the oil bill crossing $12 billion a year there is no option other than passing the full prices to the consumers and eliminate the burden on the budget. This will also help in promoting conservation and improving energy efficiency. Unfortunately, the transition to a new government took place at a time of unprecedented increase in global fuel prices.

For example at the time of elections, oil prices were around $80 a bbl whereas by July 2008 it had reached $140 a bbl. While we had planned to limit the fiscal deficit to be under 6 percent and largely financing it from non state bank sources, including commercial bank borrowing and non debt sources. The new government ended up with a much higher deficit level and financed it totally from the state bank. We have now reached a stage where the issue is no longer energy availability rather it is energy affordability. We have almost 20000 MW of power generation capacity but we are only using 12000 MW because the Furnace oil used for thermal generation has become extremely expensive and beyond the ability of Pepco to pay for. As a result, available capacity is not being used leading to load shedding.

The exorbitant power price increase can only be avoided in the short run if transmission and distribution losses are dramatically curtailed and in the medium term we substitute imported fuel with domestic sources. Thermal power based on imported oil costs around Rs 16 per unit (Kwh) whereas hydel power from Kalabagh would cost Rs 2 per unit. The power from Thar coal will cost around Rs 8 per unit. While Kalabagh can be completed in five years, Technical problems with Thar coal can delay its availability indefinitely. If the mega Kalabagh Dam is launched in 2008 it will not only jump start the economy; it will also be seen as President Zardari’s gift of Hydel Power to Pakistan just like PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Gift of Nuclear Power to Pakistan thirty five years ago.

Third, as far as inflation is concerned it will start coming under control as global oil and food prices filter through the economy. Our Inflation index is heavily weighted in favor of food energy and commodity prices. So it is highly sensitive to these prices. Since global energy and food prices are easing the same should be felt in Pakistan in the days to come. Pakistan’s inflation is a supply side and cost push phenomenon and further monetary tightening would not help. Instead, a tighter fiscal policy with a lower deficit target and phasing out of borrowing from the state bank will help. At the same time in this period of great change we should ensure that the poor of the poorest are able to cope with the changes particularly higher food prices and social safety nets are made fool proof so that nobody in Pakistan stays hungry.

Fourth, for the first time after 2nd world war agriculture commodity prices have moved in favor of the farmers. We have to ensure that we pass on this benefit of higher global prices to our farmers by deregulating agriculture prices. The only other incentive our farmers need is predictable water supply. This can be ensured by building more water reservoirs and better water management so that farmers can move from unpredictable subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture. Study after study in the sub-continent has shown that large multi-purpose dams are the quickest way out of poverty. With oil prices at $100 per barrel and destined to double over the next decade there is no way, other than developing our full hydel potential quickly to usher in a new green revolution and providing sustainable global advantage to our economy of cheap hydel power.

Fifth, we should stop cribbing about the Consumer economy. Pakistan is a large country with 160 million people and 100 million under the age of 25. With dependency, ratios going down we can reap a demographic dividend over the next several decades. While these youngster have to be prepared for the work force they are already becoming a huge engine of growth for our markets that are growing at fabulous rates to meet the demands of these Pakistani baby boomers, Just like in Europe and South Korea after the 2nd world war, our baby boomers will be the back bone of our middle class and will determine the growth of our economy over the next 40 years until they start to retire. This gives our businesses an historic opportunity to grow and produce the goods and services the population needs. In an era when world is facing a crisis of aging populations we are blessed with opportunities of a young and dynamic population. In this regard consumer financing which has become a butt of criticism has just scratched the surface.

In our country, consumer finance is around 5 % of GDP whereas in the developed world it is over 100% of GDP. Consumer financing has a long way to go and along the way it will continue to be one of the engines of growth for us. Any ill founded moves to curtail the consumer economy will hamper the growth of our businesses. We are now going beyond textiles into engineering, electronics, chemicals, food processing, construction materials, real estate and many other sectors based on our domestic markets as these markets continue to expand we will reach economies of scale that will make our producers and the large associated vendor industry competitive on a global scale and the same producers will be the base for diversifying our exports into more sophisticated and fast growing sectors of the world. Ultimately, if our law and order permits and our national psyche adopts rules of globalization, and globalization as our road to prosperity we will become one of the workshops of the world along with India and China.

Sixth, there are hundreds of infrastructure projects at various stages of implementation including the National trade corridor, Neelum Jhelum hydro power project, KKH upgradation, Urban renewal in Karachi and Lahore, mass transport projects, airports, Baluchistan road network, Gawadar port, industrial parks etc., these projects have to be completed on time and scope. The last government also created an Infrastructure project development facility (IPDF) that needs to be fully utilized so that we can bump up (almost double ) our expenditure on infrastructure particularly hydel projects through public private partnerships.

Seventh, the FBR has to continue generating revenues for the government to carry out the nation building programs. Last year a target of over 4 trillion rupees was set for FBR within the next ten years, four times the current levels reaching about 16 % of GDP. Along with a target of 4 percent of GDP for education expenditures with 1.5 % allocated to university education. The education strategy was based on providing universal access to primary education, retaining enrollments into secondary education and technical and vocational training and improving standards at the college and university levels. Nine new engineering universities in collaboration with European, Korean and Chinese universities were in the pipeline. Going forward we should focus on quality improvement through a big push forward in teacher training, curriculum development and public private partnerships at the primary and secondary schools level and continued efforts to upgrade the universities and hopefully achieving the setup of the new engineering schools. The national vocational and technical education commission (NAVTEC), has gone through its learning curve, and can now be used to upscale its programs to give technical and vocational training a quantum jump.

Eighth, in the financial sector we have created a world class banking system with our banks featuring amongst the leaders in Asia. The Quality of our bankers is second to none and can work in any global setting. The challenge is to further increase the reach and competitiveness of the financial sector with Microfinance playing a much greater role. Our microfinance frameworks are the best in the world and a strong base has been established which can grow manifold to bring financial services to the masses. The growth of the financial sector will continue at a sizzling rate as the financial sector expands into consumer and housing finance, rural and agriculture finance and development of debt and bond markets, growth of mutual funds, pension funds and other savings instruments.

Ninth, in the competitiveness area we must continue to deregulate and privatize the economy to create a vibrant and competitive economy. Second generation reforms in economic management have to be continued. An essential pillar of a private sector led market economy, the Competition Commission has to be given financial independence and allowed to work unhindered. The competitiveness support fund, business support fund, agriculture support fund, Khushal Pakistan fund, smeda etc. have to be used to implement reforms that help the market economy become more productive and competitive from the grass roots level up to the corporate level.

Finally, Pakistan needs to continue to grow at 7 to 8 percent to create the 3 to 4 million new jobs per year needed to accommodate our youth and create a dent in poverty in our lifetime. We cannot embrace isolationism, jihadism or any other form of global confrontationist movements. Instead, we have to build on our successes, unleash the potential of our people, exploit our competitive advantages, take advantage of global finance, integrate with global markets, and continue building a dynamic market economy with world class infrastructure to achieve our growth objectives. This is the recipe for the future and the way

Salar e Millat Pervez Musharraf

Early Years
Musharraf was born in Daryaganj in Delhi, India, but moved with his parents to Karachi, Pakistan during the partition of India (1947).

Family background
Both of his parents attended college; his mother’s major was English Literature. She worked for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and retired in 1986. Musharraf’s father, a graduate of the Aligarh University in India, served in the Pakistan foreign service and led a distinguished career. He retired as a Joint Secretary in the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. Musharraf spent a part of his childhood in Turkey, while his father was a diplomat there, and speaks fluent Turkish.

Musharraf attended Karachi’s Saint Patrick’s High School, Karachi finishing high school in 1958, before going on to attend Forman Christian College in Lahore.

Military training
In 1961, he joined the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. A graduate of the Command and Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defense College, Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf also distinguished himself at the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom. His supervisor, commenting on his performance remarked in his report: “A capable, articulate and extremely personable officer, who made a most valuable impact here. His country is fortunate to have the services of a man of his undeniable quality.”

Military Career
He was commissioned in artillery regiment in 1964. He fought the 1965 war with India as a young officer and was awarded Imtiazi Sanad for gallantry. In 1967/68, he was promoted to Captain. He also achieved the Nishan-i-Imtiaz (military) and the Tamgha-i-Basalat. He has also been on the faculty of the Command and Staff College, Quetta and the war wing of the National Defence College, Pakistan. He volunteered to be a commando, and remained in the Special Service Group for seven years.

He also participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 as a Company Commander in the Commando Battalion. He has had the responsibility of commanding artillery regiments and an armored division. On promotion to the rank of Major General on January 15, 1991, he was given the command of an Infantry Division and later of a prestigious Strike Corps as Lieutenant General on October 21, 1995.

Musharraf has served on various important staff and instructional appointments during his career. He has also been the Director General Military Operations at the GHQ from 1993 to 1995. He rose to the rank of General and was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan on October 7, 1998 when Pakistan’s army chief, General Jehangir Karamat was forced to resign after calling for military representation in a National Security Council of Pakistan. He was given the additional office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) on April 9, 1999.

On September 15, 2004, Musharraf backed down from his commitment to step down as Army Chief, citing circumstances of national necessity that he felt required him to keep both offices.

The Nawaz Sharif administration
In 1997, Nawaz Sharif was elected Prime Minister after his party, the Pakistan Muslim League, won the national elections with a large majority. Sharif’s party obtained enough seats in parliament to change the constitution, which he amended to eliminate the formal checks and balances that restrained the Prime Minister’s power. The Prime Minister defeated challenges to his growing power, led by President Farooq Leghari and Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, both of whom were forced to resign – the Chief Justice did so after the Supreme Court was stormed by Sharif partisans. After military chief Jehangir Karamat proposed the creation of a National Security Council to serve as a forum for interaction between top civilian leaders and the chiefs of the armed services, he too was dismissed by Nawaz Sharif, and Musharraf was appointed in his place.

Coup d’état
On 12 October 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered Musharraf’s dismissal and replacement by a family loyalist, ISI director Khwaja Ziauddin. Musharraf, who was out of the country, was returning to Pakistan on a commercial airliner. Senior Army generals refused to accept Musharraf’s dismissal. Sharif ordered the Karachi airport closed to block the landing of the airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In a coup, the generals ousted Sharif’s administration and took over the airport. The plane landed with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed control of the government. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled. The existing President of Pakistan, Rafiq Tarar, remained in office until June 2001. Musharraf formally became President on June 20, 2001, just days before his scheduled visit for the Agra Talks with India.

Supreme Court orders elections. National referendum extends Musharraf’s presidency to 2007.
On May 12, 2000 the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Musharraf to hold general elections by October 12, 2002. This posed a legal problem for Musharraf: after the restoration of democracy, he could be charged with the capital offense of overthrowing the government. For the purpose of defending against such a charge, and to assure the continuity of his presidency, Musharraf exercised his presidential prerogative and held a referendum on April 30, 2002, asking voters to approve an extension of his presidential term to a period ending five years after the October elections. He won the referendum, despite a boycott by anti-Musharraf political parties, which disputed the results and the voter-turnout statistics. At the time, independent polls put Musharraf’s approval rating at 55% to 67%, and political analysts felt that if voter turnout was lower than expected, it had been affected by apathy rather than opposition to Musharraf. However, his opponents refused to accept the results, and stridently denied the legitimacy of his presidency until he was elected as President twenty months later, on January 1, 2004.

General elections were held in October, 2002 and a pro-Musharraf party, the PML-Q, won a plurality of the seats in the Parliament. However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralyzed the National Assembly for over a year. The deadlock ended in December 2003, when Musharraf made a deal with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal party. With that party’s support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to muster the two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment, which retroactively legalized Musharraf’s 1999 coup and many of his subsequent decrees.

Electoral College victory
In a vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, Musharraf won 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, was “deemed to be elected” to the office of President until October 2007.

Controversy over being both President and military head
A pro-Musharraf party, the PML-Q, won a plurality in the elections of October 2002, and formed a majority coalition with independents and allies such as the MQM. Nevertheless, the opposition parties effectively deadlocked the National Assembly, refusing to accept Musharraf’s presidency and his Legal Framework Order. In December 2003, as part of a compromise with the main Islamist opposition group, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, (MMA) General Musharraf said he would step down as Army Chief by January 1, 2005. In return, the MMA agreed to support a constitutional amendment that would retroactively legalize Musharraf’s coup, and restore some formal checks and balances to Pakistan’s system of government.

In late 2004, however, pro-Musharraf legislators passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both offices, and Musharraf announced that he intended to hold on to both.

Views and perceptions of Musharraf

General Pervez Musharraf, President and Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, addressing the UN General Assembly on November 10, 2001

Musharraf is considered a moderate leader by Western governments. Many believe that Musharraf is sincere in his desire to bridge the Islamic and the Western worlds, and has previously spoken strongly against the idea of the inevitability of a ‘clash of civilisations’ between them. Musharraf’s emotional ties to the United States may be conjectured to be significant since at least two close members of his family live there: his brother, a doctor, lives in Chicago, and his son lives in Boston. His son has a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and works for a benefits-consulting firm in Boston. Musharraf’s only other child, a daughter, is a graduate of the National Council of Arts in Lahore and is an architect. Musharraf’s elder brother, who was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and a Civil Service officer in the Government of Pakistan, and also worked at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome before retiring.

Musharraf’s views considered relatively liberal
Musharraf was raised in a family that is considered liberal by Pakistani standards. Unsequestered and unveiled, the women of the family are and seen and photographed in public. His mother worked for the ILO and was friends with well-known Pakistani liberals. His daughter is an architect.

Shortly after coming to power, and on numerous occasions afterwards, Musharraf expressed admiration for the secularist reformer of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, outraging religious anti-secularists in the country.

Musharraf has been open to making economic reforms and to modernize Pakistan. He is considered to be a modern, British-style officer – liberal views were very common among the officers of the Pakistan army before Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s rule, who often trained in the United States.

Musharraf with United States President George W. Bush

Since his involvement as a senior officer of Pakistan’s special forces during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Musharraf has had excellent personal relations with several sections of the US security establishment. Following his coup in 1999, US President Bill Clinton called Musharraf to express his concern [1] about the coup and his desire for stability in South Asia. Instead of returning President Clinton’s call ,Musharraf called General Anthony C. Zinni, then head of CENTCOM. Addressing him as “Tony”, Musharraf explained his reasons and intentions, and General Zinni defended Musharraf in the media.

Following the September 11, 2001 Attacks Musharraf has worked closely with President of the United States George W. Bush in the “War on Terror”, causing discontent, for various reasons, among some sections of the Pakistani population.

Shortly after the events of 9/11, Musharraf gave a watershed speech [2] on Pakistan Television in which he pledged his and Pakistan’s support to the United States in its war on terrorism. Though the rise Taliban was largely an independent phenomenon, there exists an impression that the Taliban regime is a product of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of Pakistan. After the Taliban had come to power in Afghanistan, Pakistan did maintain friendly relations with it, as it seemed to be war-torn Afghanistan’s best hope for stability. Stability in Afghanistan would allow the establishment of trade with Central Asian countries, and also reduce the number of refugees pouring into Pakistan from Afghanistan. To casual outside observers, the new policy seemed to be a sudden 180-degree turn from the old one and Musharraf’s support of Operation Enduring Freedom was judged to be an indicator of Musharraf’s sincerity by analysts at think tanks like the Brookings Institute.

After Musharraf’s swift and strategically sound decision to cease Pakistan’s support of the Taliban, Pakistan cut the Taliban’s oil and supply lines, provided intelligence and acted as a logistics support area for Operation Enduring Freedom. Analysts said that Pakistani support for the USA was indispensable in defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Musharraf speaks fluent English and has given many interviews and speeches on various US and European TV channels and other media. He has spoken at a number of think tanks, for example, the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, in June 2003. Right-wing Islamic parties in Pakistan have expreesed opposition to his support for the US-led war on terror. After the US invaded Iraq without a UN resolution, the surveys showed a decline in international public approval for its actions. Musharraf has bluntly refused to send any Pakistani troops to Iraq without a UN resolution.

Popularity in Pakistan
A widely-quoted Pew Center poll says of Musharraf:

Pakistanis expressed highly favorable opinions of their president; 86% rate him favorably, and 60% view him very favorably, by far the highest rating of any leader in the survey.
Several other independent polls, including polls by well-known organizations such as Gallup and the BBC, have also indicated that Musharraf has the support of a majority of the Pakistanis surveyed.

Assassination attempts
On December 14, 2003, General Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly-guarded convoy crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi. It was the third such attempt during his four-year rule. 11 days later, on December 25, 2003, two suicide bombers tried to assassinate Musharraf, but their car bombs failed to kill the president; 16 others nearby died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windshield on his car. It was suspected that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists – al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri had publicly called for his assassination. It has been reported that Amjad Hussain Farooqi is suspected of being the mastermind behind these attempts, and there has been an extensive manhunt for him.

Elections during Musharraf’s administration
On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002, Elections for local governments took place in 2001. Elections for the national and provincial legislatures were held in October 2002, with no party winning a majority. In November 2002, Musharraf handed over certain powers to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister of Pakistan, who in turn appointed his own cabinet.

The General;Pervez Musharraf

On January 1, 2004 Musharraf won a confidence vote in the Electoral College of Pakistan, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56% majority, but many opposition and Islamic members of parliament walked out to protest the vote. As a result of this vote, according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, Musharraf was “deemed to be elected” to the office of President. His term now extends to 2007. While Musharraf’s 2002 referendum on his rule had been heavily criticized and dismissed by critics, his electoral-college victory has received much greater acceptance within and outside Pakistan.

Prime Minister Jamali resigned on 26 June 2004, and in his place the National Assembly elected Shaukat Aziz, a former Vice President of Citibank and head of Citibank Private Banking. The new government was mostly supportive of Musharraf, who remained President and Head of State in the new government. Musharraf continues to be the active executive of Pakistan, especially in foreign affairs.

Nuclear proliferation
After the disclosure of nuclear proliferation by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s bomb, Musharraf denied knowledge of or participation by Pakistan’s government or army in this proliferation. Dr. Khan a national hero, was arrested, despite domestic criticism. Musharraf continues to enjoy the strong support of the White House and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A.Q. Khan has been pardoned in exchange for cooperation in the investigation of his nuclear-proliferation network.

Peace overtures with India
Musharraf was Chief of Army Staff at the time of Pakistani incursions into the Indian-held disputed territory of Kashmir (Kargil sector), in the summer of 1999. Pakistani forces were ordered to retreat, some sources say, after huge pressure on the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from the American President, who feared the conflict could turn into a nuclear catastrophe. However, a book co-authored by ex-CENTCOM Commander in Chief, Anthony Zinni asserts that Musharraf was the voice of moderation who persuaded Sharif to withdraw.

In the middle of 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to solve the Kashmir dispute. Both India and Pakistan have the tactical capability to launch nuclear strikes on every major city within each others’ borders. The two countries are continuing to aggressively increase their nuclear capabilities by producing more nuclear weapons, and improving their missile technologies by routinely conducting tests of ever more sophisticated missiles.

Recent developments
Musharraf said he would prefer some kind of “international guarantees” for implementation of any pact reached with India on the Kashmir issue, which he wants to be settled in a year’s time. In July of 2005, he started another wave of crackdown of people perceived to be extremists within the country.

Pakistan was safer under Musharraf

Pakistan was safer under Musharraf: Former CIA official
4 Mar 2009, 1942 hrs IST, IANS

LONDON: A former CIA official, who headed its Bin Laden unit, says the Lahore terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers is a direct result of the
West’s insistence on replacing Pervez Musharraf with a democratically-elected president in Pakistan.

Michael Scheuer, who headed the (CIA) Central Intelligence Agency’s counter-terrorism unit dedicated to tracking down al Qaida head Osama bin Laden, also said President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent ceasefire deal with the Taliban in parts of the Northwest province was to blame.

He said the state of Pakistan “is approaching failure, and we really have ourselves to blame for this. Much of the problem that Pakistan has had in the last year is the result of our insisting that democracy return to the country.”

“The result of democracy was putting in Zardari… It is a very tenuous situation and a very bad government to be in charge in that situation,” Scheuer told BBC on Tuesday.

The former CIA agent said the Zardari government was “making various kinds of deals with the tribes in the hope that they will turn west towards Afghanistan and stop bringing their violence to Pakistan proper”.

“This is just another step on the road toward hell if you will.”

Scheuer added: “We are getting to the point [where] unless the Pakistani generals intervene again, you really could have a failed state.”

His comments came after International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat revealed Tuesday that ICC security advisers had warned of the risks of playing cricket in post-Musharraf Pakistan.

“I know for a fact that post the regime change in Pakistan, once Musharraf went”, the advice the ICC got from its security advisers was that they had more confidence under the previous regime, Lorgat said.

“And that’s one of the reasons why we were not confident about holding the Champions Trophy” in Pakistan, he added.

The Champions Trophy was moved away from Pakistan in a January meeting of the ICC.