Musharraf Era, Martial Law and Major Reforms:

(Muhammad Usman Habib, Sadiqabad)

Musharraf’s era started from 12 October 1999 and ended on 18 August 2008. These almost eight years were very important in the history of Pakistan. Musharraf’s era had positive aspects as well as some of negative. We will discuss his Martial Law and his important reforms and its aftermaths.

Musharraf’s Takeover: (Martial Law)
12 October 1999 was the important day in the history of Pakistan. It was the darkest day for the democracy of Pakistan. This was the day; Musharraf took the charge of the country by enforcing Martial Law and ruled out the democracy. Imposing Martial Law is treason and violation of Article 6 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. This was all due to the hide and seek between that times Government and Army.

Nawaz Sharief wanted to remove General Musharraf from the post of Chief of Army Staff and he tried to do this on that day. When Musharraf came to know all about, he was in Sri Lanka on official tour. Acting immediately, General Musharraf dashed for the Karachi-bound Pakistan International Airlines PK805 flight from Colombo, leaving at 15:45 local time. His Plane did not allow to land at the airport, his plane circling the Karachi Airport almost 200 minutes. At last his Plane succeeds to land at about 19:47 just before ran out of fuel. General Musharraf has since said that the plane had only seven minutes of fuel remaining. All the High Commands of Army did not accept the order of Musharraf’s retirement which was given by that times Prime Minister. At 22:30 the news came, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been dismissed and Martial Law had been imposed and the National Assembly and Senate had been dissolved.

According to me, Nawaz Sharief’s order was out of sense especially when all going well. I think Musharraf’s way of imposing Martial Law was his last option as he tried all possible options to recover the situation but failed. Even, he asked Nawaz Sharief to take back his order but Nawaz Sharief was still stand with his earlier statement. The most important, Musharraf, later on proved good for Pakistan. If we compare Musharraf’s era to the Nawaz Sharief’s era or even the current Zardari’s era then we feel the difference. Today I realize, Zardari rightly says, Democracy is the best revenge; he is taking revenge from the Pakistanis, very well.

Major Reforms and Achievements: ,
The list of the Musharraf’s reforms is given below.
1. Nine world class engineering universities were developed. The cost of building these Universities was over Rs 96.5 billion.
2. In 1999-2000 there were 31 Public Universities. In 2005-2006 there were 49 Public Universities. Air University (established 2002); Institute of Space Technology, IST (established 2002); University of Science & Technology, Bannu (established 2005); University of Hazara (founded 2002); University of Gujrat (established 2004); Virtual University of Pakistan, Lahore (established 2002); etc.
3. Literacy rate in Pakistan had increased from 45% (in 2002) to 53% (in 2005). Education was received 4% of GDP and English had been introduced as a compulsory subject from grade 1.
4. In total, 99,319 educational institutions increased in Musharraf’s era.
5. There were more than 5,000 Pakistanis doing PhDs in foreign countries on scholarship in Musharraf’s era. 300 Pakistanis receive PhD degrees every year, in 1999, the number was just 20.
6. Major Industrial estates were being developed under Musharraf’s vision: M3 industrial, Sundar industrial estate, Chakri industrial, etc.
7. In 1999 what we earned as GDP: we used to give away 64.1% as foreign debt and liabilities. In 2006, what we earned as GDP: we gave only 28.3% as foreign debt and liabilities. We were saving 35% of our GDP for economic growth at that time.
8. According to an IMF report, Pakistan was 3rd in banking profitability in the world. On the IMF chart, Pakistan’s banking profitability was on third position after Colombia and Venezuela. On the same IMF chart, India was on the 36th position and China was on the 40th position.
9. According to the Economic Survey 2005, poverty in Pakistan in 2001 was 34.46%. And after 7-8 years of Musharraf, poverty in 2005 was 23.9%. Thus, poverty decreased by 10.56%. Overall, 12 million people had been pushed out of Poverty in 2001 – 2005!
10. The government was providing Sui Gas facility to areas of South Punjab at a cost of Rs 1.311 billion. A total of 1,138 kilometer gas pipeline was being laid. The districts benefiting from these schemes mainly include Multan, Khanewal, Bahawalnagar, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Vehari and Muzaffargarh.
11. The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sector of Pakistan had attracted over Rs 70 billion investments during the five years (2001-2006) as a result of liberal and encouraging policies of the government. 1,765 CNG stations were operating in the country, in 85 cities and towns. It provided employment for 30,000 people in the country.
12. The economy was the third fastest growing economy after China and India.
13. Five dams were built: Mirani, Subakzai, Gomalzam, Khurram and Tangi.
14. Seven motorways were completed or were under construction.
15. Gwadar, an advanced sea port, was developed.
16. The GDP per Capita in 2007 was $1000.
17. The industrial sector registered 26 percent growth.
18. A historic 100% increase in tax collection (amounting to Rs. 1 trillion) was observed.
19. Revenue collection in 2007/08 was Rs. 1.002 billion.
20. Exports in 2007 were worth $18.5 billion where Textile exports in 2007 were worth $11.2 billion.
21. Pakistan development programs in 2007 were valued at Rs. 520 billion.
22. Foreign direct investment in 2007 was $8.5 billion.

Discussion:
According to my point of view, Musharraf’s era was the best era of 64 year history of Pakistan with respect to progress and prosperity in every field of life. Progress was on its peak at that time. He started a plenty of new projects for the development of the Pakistan. He started tax free industrialization to urge the foreign investors. His plan worked and a number of multi-national companies launched in his era. The impact of that was the increasing number of jobs in his era. It was very difficult to find out skilled laborer for small level construction.

If we talk about education, as earlier mentions, his era was the best. He was very education loving. Actually, he was loved of all things that make Pakistan progress, as his slogan, “Pakistan comes First” (سب سے پہلے پاکستان).

But rather all of that, there are main important negative aspects of Musharraf’s era. NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) was one of them. Pakistani Nation was looted under this act. Musharraf legalize this illegal ordinance. According to this, a plenty of loans of parliamentarians, berucrates and politicians were removed by this act. And this was the only act that Musharraf considered his mistake during his period. Another aspect is the pending process of Kala Bagh Dam. If it could complete, a more than half of electricity and water crisis of Pakistan would resolve. But when he was asked about that, he replied that re-establishment of Kala Bagh Dam was the controversial. According to my point of view, that was not the pet logic. If Army killed Akber Bugti in his era, if operation of Lal Masjid could held in his era then why not Kala Bagh Dam re-established in his era? This is the big question mark that what he was thinking about Kala Bagh Dam. Another issue is that he cannot start any practical work on discovered Thar coal which can fulfill over energy requirements for more than one hundred years. Thar coal is the fourth largest coal reservoirs in the world but unfortunately still remain untouched due to administrative crisis.

In long and short, Musharraf’s era was not an ideal but still better than all the other eras of ether democratic or dictatorship eras in Pakistan.

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About the Author: Muhammad Usman Habib

I am writing on social issues of Pakistan. See my notes...
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Reviews & Comments
you discussed about kala Bag dam that why he did not attempted to complete it.... my question is don't you think that it was too controversial .... it will only be beneficial for Punjab and where all three provinces will go.... as all three provinces are against it.
By: Rashid Ali, Dadu on Oct, 16 2015
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Aslam o alikum.. i must say that it will not harm any province. as Sindh highlighted that it will dry their province which is incorrect. technically they will get their demands for ages. khyber pkhatunkhawa highlighted the flood issue, which is not possible in that area due to kala bagh because the said province is at top from the area which is proposed for dam...
By: waqas, lahore on Nov, 10 2015
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he is worst of all selling muslims in the name of terrorist and he may meet his fate
By: ali, islamabad on Jul, 26 2015
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3 Like
pakistan need a person like pervez musharraf.if He come back somehow i will only vote him because he did alot for the betterment of our country.
By: azrakhan, rawalpindi on Jun, 09 2015
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2 Like
Great Leader Perwaiz Musharraf. No doubt...
By: Moheet Masood, Lahore on May, 19 2015
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1 Like
People's of Pakistan Are just slaves AS they have been ruled by some general , A general WHO typically like that ratarted retrd. Musharraf has toppled people of Pakistan's elected mandates several time in the history. Over the years using power and brain washing the masses the power full generals have been ruling and making forces superior than the common tax payers. Ultimate result is total collapse of institutions, no education to common people, to those belonging to middle and Lower middle class joined army as this the only functioning institution left in the country and is available to facilitate youth belong to that class.

To those who are better off and btw the diffeference is huge. They send their children abroad to study and settle there, ultimately that generation never make back to pakistan, resulting in non availability of skilled and well educated man power in the country. What the country is then left with a few left overs from upper class and a whole bunch of army men well disciplined and fairly well educated on the cost of the tax payers.

These are the same army men, by doctorining, conspiracies and with the assistance of vested interests rule the country making common person a slave to them.

The ultimate result is total isolation from the civilization no production output, either than military hardware I.e

The question is would this ever end?
By: Raja, 180103 on Mar, 25 2015
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This man is father of disasters in Pakistan. No matter how much good he did, and he did plenty along with some great blunders. The after shocks of his actions will forever haunt Pakistan
By: Malik Saad Amjad, Rawalpindi on Jan, 23 2015
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5 Like
President Musharraf was the great leader of Pakistan i agree with all his reforms...the way he run Pakistan is an example for the politicians of this era. Economically President Musharraf make Pakistan better than past days....because he was the part of SSG group of Pakistan.
By: Tanveer hayat zond, chitral on Jun, 02 2014
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only Musharraf knows the art to run Pakistan better
By: kamran, Peshawar on Jan, 09 2014
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2 Like
Gen Musharraf was a leader is a leader and will be leader because they were a tiger like cheif of army staff of pakistan and is one man army.geo musharraf.
By: attaullah, shangla on Jan, 07 2014
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Musharaf is a great leader......... pakistani nation really needs uuu...... thumb up to you sir
By: faryal baber, chitral on Dec, 31 2013
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6 Like
Please sir come back. Dispose the judges. Incorporate illegal and detrimental constitutional ammendments. Please sir come and launch military operation on those who speak against you. We really need you sir. Please come again and fool the general public by attempted creation of Kalabagh dam and essentially segregate teh provinces on ethnic grounds. Please come and award the generals with undue favors and monetary benefits. Please I am begging you to come and set new standards of cronyism nepotism and favoritism by assigning projects tenders to people of your choice. Please come and eradicate mullahs from teh face of this earth. Please come and hand over innocent Pakistanis to Americans. Please come and grant America the free access token by trading Pakistan's sovereignty for $$$. WE AS A NATION REALLY NEED YOU SIR.
What a SHAM!!
By: Khalid, Islamabad on Jun, 13 2013
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9 Like
hmm....undoubtly, sir musharraf gave us the real pakistan but one difficulty is that the peoples of "pakistan" itself work hard.......2 ruin the country, their own country
By: shumaila kiran, karachi on Jun, 09 2013
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1 Like
dil khoon k ansoo roya tha jab hamara asal mohsin 18 august 2008 ko rukhsat hua tha................
By: awais, karachi on May, 28 2013
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1 Like
true
By: hareem, karachi on May, 31 2013
4 Like
We unfortunate nation has lost our best leader(Gen. Pervaiz Musharaff). It seems that we will remain poor till dooms day. Unfortunately our entire population is religious extremist and illiterate. O my Pakistani brothers & sisters For god sake wake up and try to discriminate between good and bad.
By: Syed Atif Hussain, Lahore on Apr, 18 2013
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1 Like
Please Sir come back and handle our economy.... Pakistan and Pakistani's need you... Our leader is eating our country assets... We really need your assistance.
By: Anum Ishaque, Karachi on Oct, 14 2012
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3 Like
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