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Pak reforms | 'Musharraf a manipulator'

The Economist says Pak Prez may have made the country more dangerous by sabotaging its fragile democracy.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 21:58 IST

Pakistan's economy has witnessed growth of seven per cent under the leadership of President Pervez Musharraf but he may have made the country "more dangerous" by "sabotaging" its fragile democracy and clinging to his job by "manipulation", says The Economist.

A survey on Pakistan conducted by the prestigious international magazine and published in its latest issue says the country's economy has averaged seven per cent growth in the past three years and its stock exchange has risen by 1,000 per cent in seven years while foreign reserves are up and public debts down.

"General Musharraf has generally proved much better at running the country -- and more popular -- than either of his elected predecessors (Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif)," The Economist said in a release.

The survey also acknowledged Musharraf's pledges to crack down on extremism and to promote "enlightened moderation".

But it said these "sensible reforms" have been "partially or corruptly implemented".

Moreover, Musharraf is "clinging to his job by manipulation and with the backing of the army", it said, and "by sabotaging Pakistan's fragile democracy to meet his own ends, he may have made the country even more dangerous".

The magazine said, "Ultimately Pakistan is too big, too fractious and too complicated to be ruled so overwhelmingly by one man."

It would be best for Pakistan if outsiders encourage "Musharraf's flagging reforms with aid money and praise and squarely condemn his anti-democratic ways".