Survey results: Who has been Pakistan's best ruler?

Find out who scored high (and low) on our Rulers of Pakistan survey.
Updated 05 Sep, 2018 01:05pm

Ahead of the 70 year anniversary to mark Independence, asked its readers to rate past rulers of the country based on their time in power.

A snapshot survey conducted online in July this year listed each ruler with a rating scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) for respondents to vote on.

The results, reflecting the views of's audience, is arranged in order of best to worst ruler below.

Respondent demographics

A total of 18,544 readers took the survey

1 - Liaqat Ali Khan

Highest ranked ruler of Pakistan based on an average of total responses

  • Liaqat Ali Khan was ranked number two (under Ayub) in KP, Punjab and 'Others' within Pakistan.

  • He was also ranked number two (under ZA Bhutto) by Balochistan respondents.

2 - Ayub Khan

Received the highest percentage of 'Excellent' votes (27%)

  • Ayub Khan was ranked the number one ruler by KP and Punjab respondents, slightly beating Liaqat Ali Khan.

  • Balochistan respondents ranked him two points below the average (from 2 to 4).

  • Unlike all the other locations, Balochistan had no military rulers in its top three.

3 - Pervez Musharraf

  • Musharraf was ranked two points lower than the average (from 3 to 5) by Balochistan respondents.

  • He was also ranked one point lower in KP and Punjab.

4 - ZA Bhutto

Last ruler to have a score above 'Average (3)' from total responses

  • ZA Bhutto was ranked the number one ruler by Balochistan respondents. In Balochistan, unlike all other provinces, the top 3 ranked rulers were all civilians.

  • He was ranked one point higher (from 5 to 4) by KP and Punjab respondents, beating Musharraf.


5 - Benazir Bhutto

  • Benazir was ranked third (up two points) by Balochistan respondents.

6 - Malik Ghulam Muhammad

7 - Nawaz Sharif

  • Nawaz was ranked one point higher (from 7 to 6) by Punjab and Balochistan respondents.

8 - Ziaul Haq

  • Zia was ranked slightly higher (6 instead of 8) by KP respondents.

  • He was ranked slightly lower (9 instead of 8) by expats.

9 - Iskander Mirza

10 - Yahya Khan

  • Yahya Khan was ranked bottom (from 10 to 11) in KP and Balochistan.

11 - Asif Zardari

  • Zardari ranked the worst ruler in all locations except KP and Balochistan, where he rose one point, beating out Yahya Khan.