Domestic support for Pak Army drops: US poll

Published: June 23, 2011

A survey of 3,221 Pakistanis shows 37% of them support military action. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Domestic support for the Pakistani Army’s campaign against militant groups has waned in recent years, a poll by a US group has found, showing deep-rooted opposition among the Pakistani public to the US.

The findings of two Pew Research Center surveys of 3,221 people found that just 37 per cent of them supported using the army to fight militants, which was 16 per cent lower than two years ago, according to Pew.

The surveys also showed that most Pakistanis – 63 per cent – disapproved of the secret US raid in May that killed Osama bin Laden, with 55 per cent describing it as a “bad thing”.

It was not clear if the respondents disapproved of the killing of the al Qaeda leader, who has not been popular in the country in recent years, or the secret US raid which many people saw as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Only 12 per cent of respondents had a positive view of the US and only 8 per cent had confidence in President Barack Obama “to do the right thing in world affairs”, Pew said.

‘Overwhelmingly popular’

But Pew said despite criticism after the Bin Laden raid, the military remained “overwhelmingly popular”, with 79 per cent of respondents saying it had a good influence on the country.

Views of al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban as threats have fluctuated over the years. In 2009, 61 per cent of Pakistanis viewed al Qaeda as a threat, dropping to 38 per cent in 2010 and rising to 49 per cent after Bin Laden’s death.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government rejected the findings and labelled the poll as an exercise that undermined democracy and wrongly portrayed the Pakistani people’s struggle against terrorism.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd,  2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • S
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:08PM

    Misleading title (though I wish it were true!): The article goes on to say that “Pew said despite criticism after the Bin Laden raid, the military remained “overwhelmingly popular”, with 79 per cent of respondents saying it had a good influence on the country.”Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Pakistanis are proud of Pakistan Armed Forces. Our forces are passing through toughest time where they will have to choose between US and Pakistani National interests. We have complete faith that our leadership will come out succeeded of this turmoil. They will always find love of the nation no matter what.

    A small increase in annoyance of the nation is due to miss-communication of the picture by western lobbied media which always forgets to act responsibly. Recommend

  • Good guy
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:53PM

    No choice for pakistan people, whether Pak army loose all war against India, USA, Taliban , etc. By any mean they have to support their Army , if they have to live in Pakistan……Recommend

  • Awais
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:09PM

    There is no doubt that recent incidents that took place last month has brought drastic reduction in Pakistan Army popularity. However, the nation is united and understands the despicable pervasive situation. In the wake of present scenario, there is need to keep our nerves and opinion under control. There is need to show harmony and unanimity on all isuues. The nation is well behind Pak Army and determined to safeguard its esteemed institutions. Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 4:10PM

    Very scientific.Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Jun 23, 2011 - 7:24PM

    great job to divide the military from the people by the CIA and the US government. this should not be allowed to happen. the army is the pride of pakistan. it defends us and protects us from those wishing to harm us. we should not let its follies and proapanda against it get in the way. Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 7:41PM

    Is this wishful thinking of a tribune staff member or an exercise in journalistic incompetence?……………..Nowhere does the article give any polling evidence for a drop in support for the PA…….The only figures given suggest the Army has a 79 percent approval rating, which translates into fantastically huge support for the army.Recommend

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