What should the priority be now for Pakistan?

August 19, 2008

musharraf.jpgPakistani media have welcomed President Pervez Musharraf’s exit and are urging the coalition government to tackle a worsening economy and extremist forces.

Now that Musharraf’s nine-year reign has come to a grinding halt, what do you think the priority for his successor should be?

Should it be containing militant violence or attending to Pakistan’s mounting economic ills of poverty and corruption? And who do you think is up to the task of replacing Musharraf?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Pakistan’s current condition is currently quite unstable and this means the need for a fair and democratic leader is tremendous. Musharraf’s resignation was long overdue and hopefully, the end of his rule will create some harmony and better socio-economic conditions for the country. Successor-wise, Kiyani is the most likely candidate, and his close relations with the US wont hurt either. Zardari however, is far from ideal.

Posted by Naresh | Report as abusive

The whole situation is tense, and while Musharraf’s resigning was a good thing, it’s going to be tough to predict what happens now. Zardari wouldn’t do a good job, but General Asfaq Kiyani isn’t the right man either. What;s more important to the ppl is for the economic status to improve, and the basic civic amenities and infrastructure to reach the level it should be at.

Posted by Shruthi Rai | Report as abusive

The answer has to be the economy. A year ago western investors were looking at Pakistan as an exciting emerging markets opportunity. It still is, but now wallets are thinner and the perceived political risk is high. The new leader should implement liberal economic policies and be seen to be fighting corruption. Then as global credit conditions improve, foreign investments will start to flood in. Fighting extremism requires stopping people from feeling wronged and that’s a lot easier to do if their standard of living is visibly improving. And effectively governing the tribal areas requires money and foreign support. Being pro-western may not always be a vote winner in Pakistan, anything else however would be doing a disservice to its people.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Pakistan needs to focus on the economy and stop wasting energy on external threats. If its own people are starving, penniless and miserable, then how does it expect to develop as a nation? Especially in light of Musharraf’s resignation, it’s very crucial that the next leader (not sure who the best person for the job would be however) realises that his priorities need to be focused on boosting social and economic conditions and the internal war on terrorism, before tackling external issues.

Posted by Alessandra K | Report as abusive

My opinion differs slightly from the other readers’ views. Looking at matters within the country is all well and good, but if the next leader is not able to ensure that his citizens feel safe from external threats of terrorism, then how is the peace of mind going to be established? Pakistan needs to now strengthen its ties with the US and counter global terrorism.

Posted by Alison Thomas | Report as abusive

After the end of Musharraf’s reign,it is expected that implementation of democracy in Pakistan would successfully be done. his part is essential above all, as to run the country spontaneously objectfully.the country’s administration would require to work independently to take the needful measures for the sake of the country.By extending good relationship with neighbouring countries would pay good dividend to Pakistan definitely.Without encouraging any millitants’ activities and paying attention to other unfair means,today Pakistan badly requires to do something good for the nation. The politics of Pakistan has never been able to overcome the ‘fandamentalistic challenges, which always has brought somehow disturbances in enforcing democracy in the true sense in the country.The present leaders need to be accorded very tightly to handle the disturbing elements in achieving at least a part of success though could be futile.

Posted by PRANAB HAZRA | Report as abusive

Hmm…lets see now –
B.Bhutto becomes PM, robs the country blind (along with hubby, Mr.10%), gets kicked out of power and flees into exile, causing Pakistanis to celebrate, dance and distribute sweets, they hail Nawaz Sharif as their saviour.

N.Sharif becomes PM, robs the country blind (infact, he makes Mr.10% look like an amateur), gets kicked out of power and flees into exile, causing Pakistanis to celebrate, dance and distribute sweets, they hail Pervez Musharraf as their saviour.

Mush becomes president, doesn’t rob Pakistan blind (because there was nothing left to rob after the other two were through), gets kicked out of power and is shortly expected to flee into exile, causing Pakistanis to celebrate, dance and distribute sweets, they hail the combo of Mr.10% and Nawaz Sharif as their saviours.
Deja vu.
Does anyone see a pattern? Why don’t I feel very optimistic?
Why do I get the feeling Pakistan is gonna get it in the shorts, only this time, it will be twice as hard?

Posted by GoDamn | Report as abusive

I agree totally with the previous person’s comment, it rings true and shows the hypocrisy of the nation. How fickle are the citizens and politicians to show support for those who had looted them in the past? In any case can one person can save Pakistan and can that one person bring back proper democracy? The future looks very dark for the country indeed.

Posted by S. Rai | Report as abusive

Pakistan has always and will always be a troubled nation. Its non democratic nature and fundamentally corrupt ways are not going to be dramatically changed just because the person in position of power has now moved on.

Posted by Tony P | Report as abusive

It’s not about whether the next leader will be able to do the job, because the answer in my opinion is it doesnt matter who rules the country, either way it’s not a possible task. The nation is huge, challenging and too weighed in by corruption for the wheels of change to work anytime soon. My guess is that it will be another 10 yrs atleast before we see any big positive changes in the economy.

Posted by Mark Thomas | Report as abusive