Around 95% of Pakistanis expressed a favourable opinion of Saudi Arabia in a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
The survey was conducted in 39 countries covering 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013 to assess how various countries view the kingdom.
While the Pew survey revealed that Saudi Arabia’s standing has slipped substantially among Middle Eastern publics, it also found a record high of favourable views of the kingdom in Pakistan.
None of the respondents from Pakistan expressed an unfavourable view of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the survey revealed that favourable opinions of Saudi Arabia have risen up by 8 percentage points in Pakistan from 2007 to 2013.
The survey results showed that opinions on Saudi Arabia had not soured in other predominately Muslim countries outside of the region, especially Pakistan.
On the issue of protecting the liberties of its citizens, half or more in Pakistan (65%) said the Saudi regime protects personal freedoms within its borders. The same opinion is held by Jordan, Egypt and Senegal.
In the Middle East, overall opinion of Saudi Arabia varies widely.
Among its neighbours, Saudi Arabia is viewed favourably by clear majorities in Jordan (88%) and Egypt (78%). Only about half of Palestinians (52%) have a favourable opinion of the desert kingdom, although positive views are more prevalent in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip (58% favourable vs. 40% unfavourable) than the Fatah-dominated West Bank (48% vs. 45%).