For a big majority of Pakistanis, the single most critical issue of their country is energy crisis while terrorism figures very low on their list of problems, shows a gallop survey.
According to the survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), 42% respondents said electricity is the single most important issue facing Pakistan; while 21% said inflation, 12% said unemployment, 10% said terrorism and 3% each cited law and order, corruption and poverty as the most crucial issue. Only 1% considered gas/petrol shortage as the single most important issue of Pakistan.
In their rating of institutions, 89% of respondents voted for the army, 80% for the media, 66% for government schools, 63% for courts, 67% for government hospitals, and 29% for police. 60% respondents chose the National Assembly, 50% chose the present government and 49% favoured the opposition.
While rating the performance of the federal government, 10% respondents said it is ‘very good’, 48% said it is ‘good’, 22% rated it as ‘bad’, 11% rated it as ‘very bad’ and 9% did not reply.
Rating the performance of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) provincial government in Punjab, 23% said it as ‘very good’, 50% ‘good’, 14% ‘bad’, 7% ‘very bad’ and 6% did not respond.
The performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa received a ‘very good’ status from only 9% while 40% ranked it as ‘good’, 20 % deemed it as ‘bad’, 8% as ‘very bad’ and 23% did not respond.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government in Sindh was rated as ‘very good’ by 7% people; while 27% called it ‘good’, 27% ‘bad’, 21% ‘very bad’ and 19% did not respond.
The coalition government in Balochistan remained the most underperforming government in the country as only 6% people called it ‘very good’. 24% people rated it as ‘good’, 24% ‘bad’, 12% ‘very bad’ and 35% did not respond.
Sixty-four per cent of Pakistanis termed local government elections ‘very important’ for the country and suggested that they should be held next year.
Sixty per cent respondents thought that political parties do not reach out to women, while 48% said the political party they support does not respond to their needs at the local level.
Eighty-one per cent of the people surveyed responded that Pakistan is heading in the wrong direction; while 49% said their personal economic situation would get worse.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2013.