Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has been declared as the most popular leader, based on the findings of a survey conducted by the Global Attitudes project of PEW Research Centre.
According to the survey, seven out of ten Pakistani respondents offered a favourable opinion about Khan, while the favourable ratings for the leader increased by 18 percentage points over the last two years. The survey also revealed that Khan enjoys incomparable popularity among the youth.
On the other hand, President Asif Ali Zardari’s popularity went significantly down to 14% as compared to 64% in 2008, and popularity of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif dropped to 62% from 79% in 2009.
A majority of the respondents (97%), aware of the drone attacks, believe that the strikes have a negative impact on the country. “Those who are familiar with the drone campaign also overwhelmingly believe the attacks kill too many innocent people (94%). Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they are not necessary to defend Pakistan from extremist organisations.”
The survey says that PTI’s stance on drone attacks and its stand against the war on terror might be the reason of his popularity among the overwhelming majority of the people.
State of affairs
According to the survey, about nine in ten people (87%) are dissatisfied with the country’s state of the affairs and the direction it has taken. Around 89% describe the national economic situation as “bad”.
Nine in ten consider crime and joblessness as the top national concerns, and a vast majority (86%) considers terrorism to be a major concern for the country. Nearly three-quarters are concerned about corrupt political leaders (78%) and illegal drugs (76%).