Public support for Musharraf plunges to lowest level since 1999

November 14th, 2007 - 2:16 am ICT by admin  
Pakistanis believe that the General’s popularity began to wane after the filing of a reference by lawyers against him on March 9 this year.

According to majority, one would find a huge difference between Musharraf’s popularity in October 12, 1999 and October 12, 2007. During 1999, because of the President’s strong position his seven-point agenda was welcomed by the mass, however, today he himself accepts that he has lost his popularity to a large extent.

Sher Wali Mohmand, a schoolteacher in Charsadda, told Daily Times that the reports of a deal between Musharraf and former premier Benazir Bhutto had benefited Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif.

Mohmand went on to say that the promulgation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-2007 would result in Musharraf losing his public support further.

A student at the Peshawar University’s History Department Anwar Zaib said that Musharraf’s popularity graph took a nosedive when he broke his promise made to the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) that he would leave the office of army chief on December 31, 2004.

“I dislike Musharraf as a political leader. He should have remained as an army chief,” Zaib said.

Farmer community is also upset with the President’s way of tackling politically and economically sensitive issues.

Sher Mohammad Khan, a farmer from Mardan district, told the daily that the General’s support among the masses has plummeted after he carried out a military operation against the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa students.

The soaring inflation rate has also played its role in declining public support for him, Khan added.

Some believe that Musharraf earned hatred after the military operations in Waziristan.

Mohammad Afzal, who runs a transport business, said Musharraf earned himself public hatred when he launched military operations in North and South Waziristan Agencies in the ‘war on terror’.

Even the intelligence agencies have reported a phenomenal rise in the popularity of Sharif, who might rise to the helm of affairs if he returned to Pakistan, Dr Alam Mehsood said.

On the other hand, some are of opinion that Musharraf is still the best leader of the country.

Ali Marjan, a shopkeeper in Saddar Bazaar, said that the President remained the most popular leader in the country.

Musharraf completed his eight years in power on October 12. He took charge of the President’s office on June 20, 2001 and later held a referendum on April 30, 2002, in which he was elected as president for five years. (ANI)

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