SWAT Analysis

Has the government changed at the close of last Thursday? At the face of it yes, but actually it is just change of faces, which everybody knows, in President-General Musharraf’s government. All through the last seven years the local and foreign leaders and media rightly labeled it so, although according to the constitution it should have been Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s government.


At best we can say the play “Pakistan 1999-2007” was produced, directed, written and acted by Musharraf and presented by military establishment.  The Act 1 started on a dramatic note of plane hijacking and what not. But before its end 9/11 happened which changed the direction and luck of the play. It was left as the only show in town so it extended and it is still going on. Act 2 was played in 2002-07 with a huge cast. PM Aziz played the side hero. And now it appears that the climax is gradually unfolding with the hero hell bent on hara-kiri. The finale musical score has already started to bring an end to Musharraf’s play. Any other ending would not be accepted by the Pakistani audience.


President Musharraf could have given the play a happy ending, but he messed up with the script by adding the conflict with judiciary early this year. Plus the urge of dragging it is killing. There onward he lost the grip on the script, and the compulsion of the twist in the story started dictating the end. Popular dictum is: ‘End justifies the means.’ I think ‘What we think is an end is actually a beginning of another end which is dictated by the means.’


Nevertheless it’s time to look back dispassionately and attempt SWOT analysis of the Musharraf government. The new government after election will have to build further on the strengths, address the weaknesses, counter the threats and cash on the opportunities inherited by it.


Inheritance — strength


Ø    Economic growth

Ø    Higher expenditure on infrastructure projects

Ø    More foreign investment – direct & portfolio

Ø    Reduction in poverty (government claim10%, according to World Bank 5%)

Ø    77% Exports growth in six years 2000-01 to 2006-07

Ø    Completion of  elected government tenure

Ø    Improved relations with India

Ø    Better relations with USA, EU and China

Ø    Rise in literacy rates

Ø    Holding of two local bodies elections

Ø    Revamping the colonial local government and administration system

Ø    More jobs

Ø    Availability of credit to middle and low income groups

Ø    Opening of electronic media to private sector


Liabilities — weakness


Ø    Incapable system to curb terrorism

Ø    Poor law and order condition

Ø    Inability to control rising religious extremism in the country, particularly in areas bordering Afghanistan

Ø    Rising discord in provinces – Balochistan crisis

Ø    Could not get agreement on NFC

Ø    Could not evolve consensus on Water Distribution accord

Ø    Rising income inequality

Ø    Poor governance

Ø    Slow implementation of the approved infrastructure projects

Ø    Failure to meet the growing electricity demand of the country

Ø    High current account deficit

Ø    No respite in lower level corruption

Ø    Unemployment still out of control

Ø    Worsening relations with civil society

Ø    Poor handling of judiciary

Ø    Poor education standard


Bequest — opportunities


Ø    To impress on the world that Pakistanis support democracy, independent judiciary and not dictatorship

Ø    To show the world that the civil society is strong and capable of countering Talibanisation in democratic dispensation

Ø    To show that in democracy individuals are dispensable

Ø    To build on the economic base developed in last few years

Ø    To resolve the inter-provincial issues and develop harmony

Ø    To convert the economic gains in better income distribution system

Ø    To build good relations with the neighbouring countries by stopping interference in their internal affairs

Ø    To develop friendly Afghanistan and India policy

Ø    To revamp our policy to the West

Ø    To utilize the demographic dividend which Pakistan enjoys today



Challenge — threats


Ø    Rising terrorism & Talibanisation

Ø    Rising lawlessness

Ø    Destruction of higher judiciary credibility

Ø    Rising instability because of confrontation with the opposition

Ø    Economic slow down

Ø    Strengthening of dictatorship

Ø    Worsening of Pakistan’s image abroad

Ø    Economic aid and trade squeeze from the West


Now looking at this one can say that except for the happy economic scene, political and internal security scenes have been gory and full of conflict. And the Act 3 is heading to a tragic end. If the street protest gathers momentum it would be difficult for the loyalists to continue their allegiance to the President.


Once he would become civilian it would be easier for these loyalists to ditch him. The opposition, civil society and the judiciary will then be redeemed. The country is at a juncture when it needs national consensus and democratically elected leadership to steer it out of the storm. One person cannot hold it together under a sham democracy and elections. So good-bye Mr. President! (ayazbabar@gmail.com)

  1. #1 by Jennifer Lancey on April 15, 2008 - 1:42 pm

    Hello there. I was sent a link to your blog by a friend a while ago. I have been reading a long for a while now. Just wanted to say HI. Thanks for putting in all the hard work.

    Jennifer Lancey

  2. #2 by Babar Ayaz on July 24, 2008 - 2:48 pm

    Thanks for your interest. I look forward to my readers comments

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