ad info

TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia

Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards


about Asia Buzz  |  more Asia Buzz

Subcontinental Drift: Year of the General, Part One
Musharraf began with promise: he hasn't kept it

October 12, 2000
Web posted at 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 3:00 a.m. EDT

Exactly a year ago today, much of Pakistan rejoiced at the coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power. Fed up with the venality and misrule of successive civilian governments, many Pakistanis believed it would take a military dictator to put their very untidy house in order. Musharraf, they hoped, would crack down on widespread corruption, curb the suffocating influence of feudal landlords, beat back the gathering forces of religious extremism, resuscitate the comatose economy and restore Islamabad's image in the eyes of the world.

Subcontinental Drift: Games Plan
How to improve South Asia's Olympic medal haul
- Thursday, September 28, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Bronze Goddess
An Indian athlete lifts the Olympic gloom
- Thursday, September 21, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Wooden Spoons
More Olympic views from our readers
- Thursday, September 14, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Lame Games
Your theories on South Asia's Olympic shame
- Thursday, September 7, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Olympic Shame
What ails South Asia's athletes? You tell me!
- Thursday, August 31, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Justifying Hate
Faux theories fail to explain the Kashmir dispute
- Thursday, August 24, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Mirage in the Mountains
How Hizb-ul-Mujahideen used its ceasefire to play politics
- Wednesday, August 9, 2000

The story behind today's news from the editors of Asiaweek

From Our Correspondent
Personal perspectives on the news
Read that last sentence again and you'll know exactly why there are no spontaneous street celebrations on the first anniversary of the dictator's power grab. After vowing to tackle Pakistan's pressing problems -- and showing some signs he meant it -- the general quickly backed into the comfort of that old excuse: "These things take time." Not surprisingly, as the plaintive editorials in Pakistan's still-free newspapers suggest, most people are simply relieved that things are not a lot worse than they were a year ago.

The pattern is now all too familiar: tough talk, followed by tepid action and then timid retreat. Consider the general's performance in three key areas:

The Subcontinental Drift message board -- sound-off about the news in South Asia to TIME
CORRUPTION: The regime promised to take on every vested interest and bring to book every crooked politician and public servant. But after jailing deposed Prime Minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and a handful of his cronies, Musharraf has done little. Indeed, there are now rumblings about graft within the military regime and talk of kickbacks in arms deals.

ECONOMY: The general promised efficient tax collection (a task that has daunted every Pakistan ruler) and began a nationwide survey to identify and punish dodgers. But after irate shopkeepers launched a series of nationwide strikes, Musharraf apparently lost his appetite for tax reform. Nor has he shown any stomach for confronting the feudal landlords who hoard much of the country's wealth -- usually by less than legal means -- and pay little or no tax.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Shortly after seizing power, Musharraf made a grand tour of Southeast Asia's Muslim countries, evidently to reinforce the legitimacy of his rule and to raise much-needed loans and aid. To his great embarrassment, he received a lecture on democracy from Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad and a lukewarm welcome elsewhere. Relations with the U.S., Pakistan's old friend, took a turn for the worse with the coup, and things weren't helped when President Bill Clinton, on a brief stopover in Islamabad, pointedly called for restoration of democratic rule. Even China, Pakistan's new best friend, has proved less than enthusiastic to embrace Musharraf.

Next week, we'll look at the things Musharraf has done right. It will probably be a very short piece.

Note: What's YOUR take on Pervez Musharraf's year in power? And what do you expect from him in the year to come? Post your comments on the Subcontinental Drift bulletin board or email Time Asia.

The Subcontinental Drift message board -- sound-off about the news in South Asia to TIME
Write to TIME at
Search for recent Asia Buzz

TIME Asia home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN


Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.