A recent poll of Pakistanis revealed President Musharraf’s popularity had sunk to a new low with only 21% of respondents supporting him. In September, 2006, over 60% of the people of Pakistan were in favor of their president, but violence and his maneuvering to maintain power has resulted in a massive deflection of support. Over half the population rejects his plan to share power with former president Benazi Bhutto and 70% believe he should step down as head of the armed forces if he wishes to be president.
Musharraf is trapped in a double bind. If he displays a strong pro-American stance, he loses a segment of the population, but if he abandons American support, he is unable to accomplish certain military goals. At the core of this dilemma is the need for Pakistan to become a vibrant democracy and have economic development that will provide jobs and hopes to millions.