66% of Pakistanis don't believe Osama bin Laden was killed: Poll

Published: May 6, 2011
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A majority of urban Pakistanis believe that the person killed by US Navy Seals in the Abbottabad compound was not Osama bin Laden. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

A majority of urban Pakistanis believe that the person killed by US Navy Seals in the Abbottabad compound was not Osama bin Laden. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

A majority of urban Pakistanis believe that the person killed by US Navy Seals in the Abbottabad compound was not Osama bin Laden.

An online survey focusing on educated respondents in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad revealed that 66 per cent of urban Pakistanis did not believe that Bin Laden had been killed at the compound on May 2. The poll was conducted by YouGov in association with Polis at Cambridge University.

The survey also revealed that 48 per cent of Pakistanis say Bin Laden was not a true Muslim leader, 35 per cent believe he was a mass murderer (42 per cent disagreed) and 35 per cent believed he had declared war on Pakistan (45 per cent disagreed).

Half of all respondents answered in the negative when asked about ties between the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the al Qaeda.

Other results showed that 75 per cent disapproved of the US operation on Pakistani soil, less than a quarter believe Bin Laden had authorised the 9/11 attacks and 74 per cent believed the US government considers that it is at war with the Muslim world and did not respect Islam.

Seventy per cent objected to the government accepting economic aid from the US and 86 per cent were against the government allowing US drone strikes on militant groups in Pakistan.

On the aftermath of the Bin Laden killing, 86 percent expect violence to remain constant or increase and 82 per cent believe there will be a similar outcome in Afghanistan.

A majority also supported the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, with 81 per cent voting in favor of it.

The survey was conducted online from May 4 to May 5 with a sample size of 1,039 Pakistani residents.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • IZ
    May 6, 2011 - 7:34PM

    “A majority also supported the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, with 81 per cent voting in favor of it.”

    And this is why educated Pakistanis are actually more Jahil than the uneducated Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 6, 2011 - 7:37PM

    “May 2. The poll was conducted by YouGov in association with Polis at Cambridge University.”
    This poll done was quite early and its online poll not available to the majority of pakistani’s is it.. I who don’t use internet…I mean 2 out 3 don’t belive that on May 2nd the same day of the event, ironic…
    i saw his picture in YESTERDAY’s JANG.
    What a sham poll in cambrige ? not even in Pakistan. And People took it seriously to publish it.
    I believed Osama was dead when I saw Obama coming out n say that so … in case your thinking i was in those 66%Recommend

  • Asad
    May 6, 2011 - 7:38PM

    What a pathetic waste of time…
    p.s. 1,039 respondents DO NOT represent 66% of PakistanRecommend

  • Y
    May 6, 2011 - 7:40PM

    How can Tribune be so irresponsible in its reporting? The headline says 66% of Pakistanis don’t believe OBL is dead. The text says only urban educated Karachiites were surveyed. Right at the end it says only 1,039 ppl were polled. You don’t have to be a statistician to see the holes here… Is this really front page material?Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 6, 2011 - 7:43PM

    66% of Pakistanis don’t believe Osama
    bin Laden was killed: Poll

    Great, US can stay here then until all of them beleive Osama is dead.Recommend

  • Ameer
    May 6, 2011 - 8:22PM

    These results are really disheartening.Recommend

  • Amena
    May 6, 2011 - 8:51PM

    How about 66% of Pakistanis on Express Tribune’s Facebook page who respond to its polls don’t believe that Osama is dead? :p
    I do believe that’ll be more accurate!Recommend

  • Khalid Aziz
    May 6, 2011 - 8:51PM

    I think the US is waiting for a video to come out saying OBL is alive with him talking and giving out a message. Our conspiracy theorists will begin writing endlessly followed by the release of actual photos and videos of the operations. Then they will all fall down forever.

    Stupid people we are!Recommend

  • May 6, 2011 - 9:21PM

    That would be 66% of those who participated in poll. Oh but true.. words make money.Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 6, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Either osama was killed in Afghan wars or He’s not dead yet, because if America is sure about his death then he must show pictures and videos of operation and throwing him in sea!
    I think, as osama is not showing him to people, so America’s former president Mr.Obama may be thought that osama is dead…!Recommend

  • Sunny
    May 6, 2011 - 9:43PM

    @Asad: You obviously do not know anything about opinion polling. You do not have to drink a whole cup of coffee to know what the taste is like… a sip is enough.Recommend

  • Sunny
    May 6, 2011 - 10:13PM

    @Fahad Raza: hahahaha! Would you even be able to turn a computer on? It was commissioned by the Politics Department of Cambridge University. It was NOT answered by people in Cambridge!!!! oh dear…Recommend

  • Malay
    May 6, 2011 - 10:31PM

    @Fahad Raza

    Why don’t you ask OBL’s wives (3 of them) and the daughter, who the US Special force left behind. In case you don’t know they are in custody of Pakistan authorities, reportedly at Rawalpindi.Recommend

  • 10th
    May 6, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Please stop publishing such useless polls.. 1,039 citizens is what – 0.0005% of the entire population?

    Try including the less-educated class in surveys and see how the results change.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 6, 2011 - 11:25PM

    @Y:
    exactly my pointRecommend

  • Fayexa
    May 6, 2011 - 11:27PM

    What a shot….America can go to any extent for proving its claim which he has been making that Osama is in Pakistan…truly speaking for me there is no Osama at all.Its the only assumption of USA and the only way to get rule on the whole world and just to take control on the Muslim countries by calling them Terriost…And if osama has been killed then USA govt should have revealed the whole operation videos and pictures but they did not because it was a mind game plan to enter in Pakistan as they did with Afghanistan and Iraq and took control on all the major resources like oil etc….Now USA is dreaming to come in Pakistan…Such a pitiful attempt. Recommend

  • hassan
    May 6, 2011 - 11:53PM

    If you show the photo, then they will say it is a fake.

    If Osama’s wife confirms it, then they will say she is a US agent.

    If the daughter says she saw her dad getting a bullet in his eyes, then they will say she is fake too. Or the army will just hide her somewhere.

    When someone refuses to believe, then better allow him to wallow in his beliefRecommend

  • May 7, 2011 - 1:13AM

    if it wasn’t Osama why are Mullahs all over Pakistan in tears!???Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    May 7, 2011 - 2:00AM

    I feel sorry for our people who prefer to live in a state of denial.Recommend

  • amjad
    May 7, 2011 - 2:42AM

    How long this nation, its people and its leaders will live in denial, behaving like ostriches? Remember, in democracy lleadrship come from the people. If that is how you are going to behave, so would b the leaders. Do not blame US for your own stupidities. Seem like top to bottom this nation has turned into nation of morons. (66% represent substantial majority)Recommend

  • Trismos
    May 7, 2011 - 3:04AM

    They are not the only people in the world that don’t believe any ways… there are Americans, Canadians, Aussies, and many more that do not believe the States killed him… Their military video everything from the satellites to the man on the ground, and they show nothing… oh… remember Weapons of Mass Destruction?Recommend

  • Begum Ziabunissah Hamidullah
    May 7, 2011 - 3:14AM

    I dont think the poll went far enough. What about doing a poll of the mentally struggling conspiracy crowd like @Faraz who also believe that Usama was a second tier prophet who was instructed to create mayhem and destroy men women & children in the name of Islam.
    If Alqaeda on their site are accepting the demise of Osama why are the people from Abottabad having such a problem is the high altitude playing tricks on their mind considering he live in their midst for years and they did not have a clue?Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    May 7, 2011 - 6:33AM

    Does anybody even care what Pakistanis think? It has been obvious for some time that Pakistanis live in their own little world of conspiracy theories and denials. This poll only shows that the citizens are ripe for the taking by the Zaid Hamids.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    May 7, 2011 - 6:51AM

    We need some thrash first then we beleive.Recommend

  • Cosmo
    May 7, 2011 - 9:45AM

    @Asad:
    Well, that is exactly like why they teach “statistics” in school and also that is exactly why there is a term called “sampling”. Recommend

  • R. Khan
    May 7, 2011 - 1:59PM

    Nation in the state of denial! They are on the right highway to disaster for destruction. Recommend

  • May 7, 2011 - 5:44PM

    He was dead long time ago, his body double’s face is always changing in videos, getting younger sometimes taller sometimes fatter. Then you have lame excuses about why his beard is turning black. Every leader who leaked info that Bin Laden is dead was shot or killed. Benazir was one of them.Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain Khalid
    May 7, 2011 - 7:33PM

    I think Tribune can conduct more authoritative online poll on different aspect of present scenario than the one reported here.Recommend

  • LOL
    May 7, 2011 - 9:01PM

    The “vocal minority” of idiots that educated Pakistanis claim are so small are actually the majority of Pakistanis – very scary.Recommend

  • Arshad
    May 7, 2011 - 9:38PM

    Survey proves 66% people are dumb, and blind.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 7, 2011 - 9:46PM

    @Malay:
    ask what dude?? What are you playing at??Recommend

  • Begum Ziabunissah Hamidullah
    May 7, 2011 - 10:45PM

    @Moise – do you have inter-personal connections with the Bin Laden family? Are you one of their inner circles confidants? The Latest video of OBL released this morning by the CIA shows him with grey hair and then the “prepared” video with a darkened hair maybe he was hoping the Clairol for hair management products would be convinced to make him their spokesperson like you could be the spokesperson for the nation of constant denial.Recommend

  • Raj
    May 7, 2011 - 11:37PM

    Instead of Pakistanis asking US to provide the proof of OBL’s death, Pakistanis should ask OBL to come alive and prove US wrong.Recommend

  • gen
    May 8, 2011 - 6:23AM

    fool’s paradiseRecommend

  • rk singh
    May 8, 2011 - 3:45PM

    66% pakistanis also believe they are Arabs.Recommend

  • Padma Lalksamai
    May 8, 2011 - 9:27PM

    @Hamza Malik you honestly owe ET an apology. What proof due you present besides a childish rant that MOST Pakistanis believe that OBL was killed ?
    Across the border we do not see any significant data about your fake hypothesis instead we see a struggling democracy where the people are all hungma & hoopla and the state of the nation in deafening decline.Recommend

  • May 8, 2011 - 9:46PM

    @Begum Ziabunissah Hamidullah:
    Sorry but I am skeptic about evidence coming from people who killed 100,708 Iraqis by lying Iraq had WMDs.

    So far stories keep changing, faces especially eyes keep changing for Osama and people who said he was dead before this latest death were killed.

    Why there was no trial?
    Why he had to be killed extra judicially?
    Why there is a need for getting rid of body?
    Why people who mentioned before this get shot or killed?

    Am I suppose to buy the corporate media nonsense like the one magic bullet that changed direction seven times in Kennedy assassination conveniently before he fired CIA officers who put forward killing US and Cuban citizens? Or should I believe in corporate media like adult version of rote learning?

    Source: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/Recommend

  • Padma Lalksamai
    May 8, 2011 - 9:59PM

    @Moise you can be as skeptical as you want and who you choose to believe is your prerogative no one says the war in Iraq was justified and no one will understand why the Bush administration did what they did.
    Why there was no trial?
    So the families of the victims of 9/11 & the millions of our brothers and sisters suffering could be extended to satisfy you?
    Why he had to be killed extra judicially Should he have been killed with kindness the same that she showed the millions he slaughtered?
    Why there is a need for getting rid of body?
    So we could have a shrine for the monster martyr – don’t we all ready have that in our country?
    You do not have to believe anything there are enough conspiracy culture affiliations for you to feed on the important fact he is dead and the world is a better place. Recommend

  • May 8, 2011 - 11:54PM

    It is very convenient to lay blame on Bush and forego any accountability on US policy makers, US military, US intelligence agencies and US citizens.

    Why there was no trial?
    So the families of the victims of 9/11 & the millions of our brothers and sisters suffering could be extended to satisfy you?

    This excuse is hilarious unless one belongs to third reich. Lets try another one.

    Why he had to be killed extra judicially Should he have been killed with kindness the same that she showed the millions he slaughtered?

    Who said punishment with kindness? Extra judicially means without any trial. I want to know his financial backers. How he evaded money laundering systems between continents. Who were his accomplices?

    Why there is a need for getting rid of body?
    So we could have a shrine for the monster martyr – don’t we all ready have that in our country?

    I doubt they can make a shrine in a week till his post mortem is done.

    You do not have to believe anything there are enough conspiracy culture affiliations for you to feed on the important fact he is dead and the world is a better place.
    I dont believe in conspiracy, I want evidences and want to find truth with logic. So far Washington is not helping nor does Pakistani government.Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 9, 2011 - 7:52AM

    Pakistan army is still fighting at Kargil. Bangladesh is not a real country, it is still East Pakistan. Our army cannot surrender so quickly. It is all false propaganda against our army, ISI and right wing Muslims.

    Of course like Saddam OBL has many body doubles. How many body doubles of Saddam were discovered? Who on earth would want to be OBL’s double, when so many people and countries were looking for him? Wake up and smell the coffee. The fat lady has sung. The game is long over. Recommend

  • SARA
    May 9, 2011 - 9:54AM

    9/11 was america’s plan and even osama did that, he got full support from america n israel. on 2nd may, it wudnt be osama, america just want to war against Islam, openly in Pakistan now. so made another lame reason. like he was doing from the beginning.
    osama was america’s agent. our army’s hands are tied up from the beginning.it is a great evil plan of israel n america, which was planned centuries ago. america is also a puppet, its own nation isnt a flourish nation.Recommend

  • malik
    May 9, 2011 - 7:31PM

    The poll is wrong.

    The number of Pakistanis believing that Osama did not live in Pak…. should be at least 98 per cent.Recommend

  • Zainab Mir
    May 9, 2011 - 10:38PM

    So @Sara, you support Osama bin Laden in his vast massacre of Muslims? Maybe you enjoyed his selection of a child-bride as his last wife. Do you honor pedophiles too? Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 10:25PM

    Eighty six percent of Pakistanis do not believe that OBL is dead, but believe that his three wives were residing with some other person in a secret place for the last five years. Majority of people do not want aid from US. It is our habit of biting the hand that gives food. Who provided relief when the country suffered huge floods last year. I think there is something basically wrong with our mindset. Is there any country in the world that support our stand either in foreign affairs or self respect.Recommend

  • Furqan
    Jun 15, 2011 - 11:37AM

    Here are some highlights of the survey, And for all those criticizing the survey just remember all the people commenting here on this website are internet users also :) :

    Some highlights:

    A staggering 66% of Pakistanis think the person who was killed by US Navy Seals was not bin Laden
    74% believe the US government does not respect Islam and considers itself at war with the Muslim world
    An overwhelming 77% of Pakistanis strongly oppose the presence of US troops in Pakistan
    70% object to the Pakistani government’s policy of accepting economic aid from the US
    76% oppose the government’s allowing, or having allowed, US drone attacks on militant groups
    75% of respondents disapprove of US actions in hunting bin Laden on Pakistani soil
    48% of Pakistanis say bin Laden was not a true Muslim leader
    59% of Pakistanis believe that few, if any, senior army officers support the Taleban
    86% of Pakistanis oppose allowing U.S. drone attacks
    81% of Pakistanis support the country’s production of nuclear weapons
    54% feel that the Pakistani military will be very successful in controlling militant groups after U.S troops leave
    62% feel that there was atleast a possibility that senior figures in Pakistan’s military knew bin Laden’s whereabouts
    75% think the U.S. was wrong to bury Bin Laden at sea and should have given him a proper Muslim burial on land
    46% of Pakistanis think that Osama Bin Laden had nothing to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks
    Recommend

  • Omar Haroon
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Personally I’m not 100% sure either if he’s dead (though his family members claim otherwise which I am incline to believe). What I’m pretty sure of though was that he was indeed found near Kakul Academy and probably taken alive instead for questioning; that would be the more sensible thing to do in my opinion. Whether he is alive or dead, though, is irrelevant to me. The US got that sob either way and that’s the only thing that matters.

    Also regarding this comment, “A majority also supported the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, with 81 per cent voting in favor of it”, IZ gave quite an appropriate response to this: And this is why educated Pakistanis are actually more Jahil than the uneducated Pakistanis. Seriously, more nukes?? Are you even aware about the concept of nuclear deterrence? Do you know the risks it poses to maintain? And don’t we have enough internal problems plaguing this nation already that we need to worry about countering the “looming Indian threat”? Or could it possibly be that once everything goes to hell here and all else fails, we’ll simply use that nuclear arsenal to wipe this nation and it’s ignorant “morally” charged people out of existence.Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 24, 2011 - 2:48PM

    The result of the survey is quite on the expected lines since the educated Pakistanis have been fed with distorted history about their origin, history of the past, glory of jihad and wars with India. Moreover, Pak political leaders, moulvis and the vibrant media keep circulating conspiracy theories and religious hatred day in and out, which has made a lasting impact on the mind-set of majority of Pakistanis resulting into decline in thinking process of the society as a whole. Recommend

  • Think
    Jun 24, 2011 - 5:56PM

    Had OBL killed in Abbotabad raid, he wouldnt have been buried in sea in such a haste. Had OBL been caught in Abbotabad, US would not have killed him to extract more information about his network. Moreover, the videos released by Obama are creating more doubts as the ear of OBL watching TV in his compound is different from his ear in other pictures and videos. Who are the witnesses of OBL’s Nikah with Amal Saleh. Can they confirm please? Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 24, 2011 - 9:47PM

    No one believes the lies told by Americans..Iraq and WMD anyone..Only fools will believe the Americans and we have quiet of few of them living in this land…Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Jun 25, 2011 - 4:46PM

    If this is any evidence, there is a distinct disconnect between Pakistan and the rest of the world. An entire population needs to correct course. Recommend

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