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May 25, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3863

Survey by Pakistan's GEO TV: Half of Pakistani Population Fears Pakistani Nuclear Assets are in Danger; 77% Consider U.S. as Pakistan's Enemy

May 25, 2011
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 3863

Amid the rapidly deteriorating Pakistan-U.S. relations, an opinion survey was recently carried out by Pakistan's independent television network GEO TV to assess the opinion of Pakistani people on major issues, especially Pakistan's relations with the United States, threats to Pakistani nuclear assets in the wake of the unilateral U.S. operation to kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Geo TV network conducted two polls as part of the survey: the first in the month of April, i.e. before the May 1 Abbottabad operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed; the second in May after the killing of bin Laden. The survey was conducted in nine major cities and 42 villages across the country. The cities included Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar, and Quetta.

Those interviewed included males and females over 18 years of age. Excerpts from the survey were published by the Urdu-language daily Roznama Jang, a mass-circulation newspaper in Pakistan. Roznama Jang is also a sister publication of GEO TV network.

Following are highlights from the Roznama Jang report:[1]

Only 7% of People in Pakistan are Happy Over the Killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Only 7% of people in Pakistan are happy over the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, while half of the population is unhappy about his killing, according to a survey conducted by Pakistan's independent Geo television network.

Most Pakistanis do not believe that Osama bin Laden was killed in the Abbottabad operation, and more than half of the population is in favor of negotiations with the Taliban.

Following the unilateral U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden, half of the Pakistani population feels that Pakistani nuclear assets are in danger from a similar unilateral operation inside Pakistan, while 31% believe there is no threat to nuclear assets and the rest do not know about the issue.

The survey revealed that seven out of 10 Pakistani people blame Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari for the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Pakistan on double murder charges and later released under U.S. pressure and reported Saudi mediation.

Seventy-Seven Percent of People Believe the U.S. is an Enemy of Pakistan While Seven Percent Say That the U.S. is a Friend

About 55% of Pakistanis do not agree with the statement that the world has become more secure after Osama bin Laden's killing, while 36% neither agree nor disagree with the statement. As many as 46% of people think that the Abbottabad operation could not have been possible without the cooperation of Pakistan, while 32% say that America did not inform Pakistan and 23% do not know anything about the operation.

While four out of 10 people think that Pakistani intelligence agencies failed to stop the U.S. operation in Abbottabad, 34% say that it was not a failure of security agencies while 25% said they do not know anything.

At least 47% of people consider that after the Abbottabad operation, Pakistan-U.S. relations will become worse; 34% say there will be no effect on the Pakistan-U.S. relations; six percent believe relations will improve, while 13% do not know about the issue.

As many as 77% of people believe that the U.S. is an enemy of Pakistan while 7% say that U.S. is a friend and 16% believe that the U.S. is neither a friend nor enemy. As many as 97% of Pakistanis say that due to increased inflation it is becoming impossible to meet daily expenses.

Among all Pakistanis, Geo TV's 'Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath' is the most watched current affairs show and is watched by 33% of the population, followed by Capital Talk which is viewed by 15% of the population. Geo News is considered the favorite new television channel (it is viewed by 51% of Pakistanis), 59% of people said that it is the best for breaking news and 49% of people believe that the channel best represents Pakistan.

Thirty-Seven Percent of the Pakistani People are not Happy at All with Their Lives; 30% are Somewhat Happy

Eight out of 10 people are dissatisfied with the job President Asif Ali Zardari is doing and only 10% approve of his job performance, while the rest are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Similarly, seven out of 10 people are not happy with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's performance, while 13% of people are satisfied with the premier's performance and the rest abstained.

Three out of four people in Pakistan are hopeless and dissatisfied with the current economic situation of the country, while only 8% are satisfied according to the report. As many as 17% of survey respondents said that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

At least 37% of the Pakistani people are not happy at all with their lives; 30% are somewhat happy, 18% are quite happy and 15% are extremely happy.

More than 60% of the population is not in favor of creating new provinces out of Punjab, the influential and largest province in terms of population. Only 25% favor new provinces, while 15% say nothing. At least 65% people are not in favor of new provinces in Sindh, while only 20% approve making new provinces in the province and 16 percent do not know about the issue.

About 55% of the people consider that Pakistan should have dialogue with the Afghan Taliban, while 24% say no to negotiations with Taliban. Twenty-one percent do not know anything about the issue.

Endnote:

[1] Roznama Jang (Pakistan), May 17, 2011

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