Posted by: uss017 | December 13, 2007

Foreign Polls and Surveys

Foreign Polls and Surveys: Reality, Deception and Hidden Agenda

Mirza Rohail Baig

Recently, it had become sort of a fashion to give references to foreign polls and surveys while speculating upon the future of Pakistan and the popularity levels of our leaders. Moreover, reference to polls and surveys were also made with regard to Pakistan’s election process and its consequences. The media religiously quotes these polls & surveys to pursue their specific agenda and give credibility to their rumouring views and specious news. The faith in these polls and surveys is so great that the credulous public does not even bother to check the reliability, funding and intentions of the lobbies behind them.

A survey released by the U.S based International Republican Institute predicted that seventy-five percent of Pakistanis want President Pervez Musharraf to quit. The surveyors also speculated that a major victory for opposition parties could force President Musharraf to step down. Bearing in mind the fact that this 75% was acquired from 3000 individuals, what could be more unreliable?

These polls come out, and presto! The election results are already forecasted and prejudged even before taking place. Some telepathy! The drama begins, with the international lobbies and leaders pressing the current leaders to accept the results of elections, elections which have not even taken place. Diplomatic missionary’s frenzied interactions with the opposition leaders further imprint the impression of U.S. and foreign meddling in Pakistan. The honourable President Musharraf is left to elucidate upon something beyond his control: the up-coming elections!

The credibility of these organizations falls under a huge question mark when they fail to come clean and clear about their affiliations and their loyalty to their financers. Who funds them and for what purpose?

Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute (IRI) is an organization funded by the United States government. The IRI operates as a political organization abroad, providing training and assistance to political parties. One could question the interest of the IRI in elections of other countries and the kind of assistance or leverage it provides to their political parties. Why would Pakistan’s political parties require assistance from abroad, specifically the IRI?

As a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, the IRI plays no part in domestic U.S. politics. Suspicions are raised when we take into account the fact as to why a U.S. organization is not allowed to publish polls and surveys about their own elections, while all along meddling in Pakistani elections?

The majority of IRI’s board, staff and consultants are drawn from the Republican Party. Most of its staff and board have links to right-wing think tanks, foundations, and policy institutes, while many also represent major financial, oil, and defense corporations. Oil and Defense corporations – the root cause of all recent evil wars!

IRI Board of Directors includes the current aspiring U.S. Presidential candidate Senator Mc Cain. No wonder the Republican Party was eager to group with the late Benazir Bhutto and wanted to see the moderate forces together. The IRI was projecting fraudulently the future allies of the Republicans i.e. the PPP in the upcoming Pakistani elections.

The IRI is also accused of training some of the leaders of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti, as well as funding opposition groups in the country in a destabilization campaign in the months leading up the removal of the democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a coalition of Canada, USA and France.

One more survey frequently quoted by our misguided media personnel is the “Terror Free Tomorrow,” which had earlier on claimed that Osama Bin Laden is more popular in Pakistan than President Musharraf. What could be more absurd? It seems more like a devious effort to marginalize Pakistan and distort Pakistan’s liberal image. Above all, our sitting President deserves reverence rather than being compared to Bin Laden.

The advisory board of “Terror Free Tomorrow” also includes the aspiring U.S. Presidential candidate Senator John McCain and its Board of Director includes Andrew Claster. Andrew Claster is also the Vice President of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). Founded in 1975, the PSB offers services to businesses and political campaigns worldwide.

In January 2005, “The Daily Telegraph” revealed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had recruited the services of PSB’s Mark J. Penn in the run-up to the U.K. general election for that year.

Mark J. Penn is the President of the above mentioned polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates (PSB). He also serves as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chief strategist for her 2008 presidential campaign, for which his firm has also received $5 million non-refundable.

As can be seen above, these organizations which conduct and publish these polls and surveys are actively involved in election campaigns for political parties and make huge profits off those campaigns. When they release such biased polls and surveys, the intention is clearly to dictate the minds and behavior of the masses. If the election results come against their calculated projection, the whole exercise is termed as “rigged” and “unfair.” The chanting is then picked up by media all over, discrediting the honest intentions of the government in place.

It would be unfair if we fail to pin-point one other popularly quoted Index, the so-called “Failed States index”. This ‘Failed States Index’ conveniently ranks a stable and economically booming country – Pakistan – with a GDP growth of 6.5%, as a “failing” country.

Since 2005, the United States think-tankFund for Peace” and the magazine “Foreign Policy,” has been publishing an annual index called the ‘Failed States Index’.

The “Fund for Peace” is an independent research organization and it considers: Threat Convergence; or the idea that weak and failing states may contribute to global security threats such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and terrorism.

A few countries may well manipulate the “Fund for Peace” to write off Pakistan as a country proliferating WMDs and label Pakistan as a ‘Failed State’. There have been numerous attempts in the past to label Pakistan as a terrorism supporting state. Hillary Clinton even demanded placing Pakistan’s nuclear assets under U.N. supervision, citing security concerns. It was, therefore, not amusing to witness the U.N. Security Council’s session proceeding within a few hours after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Cutting ties off with the Taliban in 2001 was in the larger interest of Pakistan. Pakistan could not have afforded suicide over the Taliban.

Similarly, “Foreign Policy” is an American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington. Huntington is the same controversial conservative political scientist who, in 1996, provoked great debate among international relations theorists with the interrogatively titled book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” in which he wrote:

Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam – a different civilization, whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.

The intention of Huntington is clear. We Muslims and Pakistanis must not be mesmerized by the false intellects of these polls & surveys. Our blind faith in these polls & surveys will obfuscate our judgment and further deviate us from reality. We must renounce all such polls & surveys which strive to meddle in our internal affairs. Pakistan’s national interest should be held foremost and without compromise! Pakistan First!

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© Musharraf Supporters 2008 All rights reserved

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