Most Pakistanis oppose bin Laden killing | Pakistan Today

Most Pakistanis oppose bin Laden killing

Pakistanis largely disapproved of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, with a majority believing the al Qaida chief’s death was a bad thing and relations between Washington and Islamabad would suffer as a result, the findings of two Pew Research Center surveys said.
The surveys reflected widespread anti-Americanism in Pakistan and showed a deep pessimism among Pakistanis about the future of their nation and the calibre of their leaders. Roughly nine in 10 Pakistanis said they were dissatisfied with the direction the country was heading in. The surveys were part of the Pew Center’s Global Attitudes Project. The first was conducted from April 10-26 among 1,970 Pakistanis.
The second was taken May 8-15 among 1,251 Pakistanis and was nearly identical to April’s poll except that it also included questions about bin Laden. The surveys showed that the army remained widely popular, or at least more popular than the country’s civilian leadership, despite allegations of incompetence or complicity from many quarters vis-à-vis the presence and subsequent killing of bin Laden in the country.
Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani received a 52 percent favourability rating in the May poll, down from 57 percent in April. Despite the bin Laden raid, 79 percent of Pakistanis believed the military had a positive influence on the country. President Asif Ali Zardari’s approval ratings had plummeted to 11 percent from 20 percent a year ago, the surveys showed. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who has generally fared better in public eyes than the president, also saw his ratings fall to 37 percent from 59 percent in 2010.
In contrast, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif (approved by 63 percent) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan (approved by 68 percent) remained widely popular, while a smaller majority (51 percent) gave Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry positive ratings. The May survey found that 63 percent of Pakistanis disapproved of the bin Laden raid, while 10 percent approved and 27 percent gave no opinion.
More than half (55 percent) saw bin Laden’s death as a bad thing, 14 percent saw it as a good thing, while around one-third expressed no opinion, and of those surveyed, 51 percent said relations between the US and Pakistan would worsen as a result of the raid. According to the polls, just 37 percent of Pakistanis supported using the army to fight militant groups in the lawless tribal regions. However, just 12 percent viewed al Qaeda in a positive light, while both Pakistan and Afghan Taliban groups received favourability ratings of less than 20 percent.
Twenty-seven percent of Pakistanis surveyed viewed Lashkar-e-Taiba favourably, while 37 percent viewed it unfavourably. In fact, 57 percent of Pakistanis polled said they saw India as a bigger threat to their country than the Taliban or al Qaeda.

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