Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf handed in his resignation Monday, leaving many wondering about what his legacy for Pakistan may be.
Musharraf’s departure is a victory for democracy, Pakistan specialists agreed on FRANCE 24.
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“It’s the first time when all parties are united regardless of their differences, which have been used for such a long time to divide and rule,” said Khalid Farooki, European affairs correspondent for the Pakistani network GEO TV.
Regardless of what one may think of his politics, Musharraf led the country through important changes, said Laila Bokhari, a Pakistan specialist at the Norwegian Defense Research Institute in Oslo.
“We have to remember that Musharraf has lived through a number of very challenging years in Pakistan,” she said. “He lived through the post-September 11, 2001 period. The last few years unfortunately have been very difficult. He has made a number of mistakes and that is why he is resigning today.”
Musharraf brought women into Parliament but cracked down on journalists. He took a strong stance against the Taliban insurgency on the Afghan border but failed to curb Pakistan’s economic decline.
“It is very unfortunate Musharraf will be remembered for his bad things,” says Farooki. “He imposed a state of emergency on the country. He broke the rules of the constitution. He sacked the judges.”
Looking to the future, analysts agree that with Musharraf gone, the ruling coalition still faces an uphill battle in agreeing on a future course for the country. “With their common enemy gone, if their personal things come up it will be a disaster for the country,” said Syed Mahmoud Hashmi of the Pakistan Muslim League.
But the first step should be to get rid of the constitutional amendments made under Musharraf, said Bokhari. “They [the ruling coalition ] need to bring the mandate of the president back to what the constitution says so that he has limited power and respect the will of the constitution. If we can agree on anything it’s that it will be the first real test of government.”