DATE=10/18/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN - COUP - REACT(L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-255190 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Most Pakistanis are cheering their new military regime, which overturned the government of the country's democratically-elected prime minister last week in a bloodless coup. As Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad, people see the political upheaval as a chance to resolve the social and economic problems that have plagued Pakistan. TEXT: Pakistan's new military leader says he will not allow the country to revert to what he calls the "era of sham democracy" that marked the rule of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. General Pervez Musharraf outlined his plan to improve Pakistan's economy and political system in a broadcast speech to his nation Sunday. He says those who have defaulted on loans or evaded their taxes must return the nation's wealth, or face punishment. The general's comments appear to have struck a chord with many Pakistanis. On the streets here in Islamabad, and in the capital's shops, people are beginning to speak of the future in hopeful tones. /// TARIQ AHEMD ACT IN URDU, IN AND FADE UNDER /// Tariq Ahemd, who sells chickens in Islamabad, welcomes the military takeover. He says he believes General Musharraf will address the problems of society, unlike previous governments. Aziz Khan, a businessman in the capital, says the military should be able to perform better than the elected governments. /// KHAN ACT /// The nation has experienced that democracy has been failed in this country. All politicians are corrupt. They have looted the [national] money. That is our money. /// END ACT /// Mehmood Ali comes from a village where people are happy about Prime Minister Sharif's dismissal. /// MEHMOOD ALI ACT IN URDU, IN AND FADE UNDER /// Mr. Ali says no government has ever followed through on promises to bring electricity to his village. In his view, Mr. Sharif is typical of all politicians, who make promises but never deliver on them. Although most Pakistanis appear to support last week's military takeover, some say they do not believe the country's new military rulers are going to make a difference in their lives. /// DIALOGUE ACT WITH TWO SHOPPERS IN MARKET /// [1st Person] Nothing [is] different. Because whoever ever has come as yet, even the martial law came before as well. Nobody made any difference. Pakistan remains there where it was. It may get a little better but probably it will get more worse. [2nd Person] I have seen the previous governments and whenever a new government comes, they just blame the previous government. So what I think is that faces change but things really don't change. /// END ACT /// Since 1988, all of Pakistan's democratically-elected governments in Pakistan have been dismissed, amid charges of corruption and mis-rule. Governmental corruption has plagued Pakistan throughout its 52-year history, and analysts say the country's chronic problem of inadequate education has only made the situation more difficult to solve. Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is a social commentator in Islamabad. He says support for the military government is evidence of the deep disenchantment of the Pakistani people. /// HOODBHOY ACT /// The present government has a lot of good will on its side at the moment because the problems are so deep and endemic to this society. I think it [the army] will not be able to solve them by itself. It will have to bring the rest of society along with it. And eventually, or rather very soon, handing over the real power in this society to the elected representative of the people. /// END ACT /// Political observers are concerned about the future of democracy in Pakistan because, in his speech, General Musharraf did not specify how long he plans to stay in power. But he has established a National Security Council to run the country, which he says will work towards restoring democracy. (Signed) NEB/AG/WTW 18-Oct-1999 13:13 PM EDT (18-Oct-1999 1713 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .