Osama, US losing support among Pakistanis

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 19, 2008 08:35 hrs

New York: The United States and Osama Bin Laden have reached a new low in support among the Pakistani population, a Pew Global Attitudes report has said. The results of the polls released on Friday manifested that confidence in Osama bin Laden to do the right thing regarding world affairs had also dropped, from 51 per cent in 2005 to 34 per cent, Dawn reported.

“On balance, more Pakistanis express a negative than a positive view of the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” the report said. “One third of Pakistanis hold an unfavourable view of the Taliban (33 per cent) and al-Qaeda (34 per cent). Roughly a quarter hold a favourable view of both groups while many Pakistanis do not express an opinion about either.”

Unsurprisingly for a country that has been hit by a series of bomb attacks, the report showed a steady decline in the numbers saying that suicide bombings can often or sometimes be justified - 81 per cent of Pakistani respondents said suicide violence can never be justified. Seventy-two per cent said they were concerned about religious extremism in Pakistan.

Among the other attitudes projected in the report was an enormous level of support for Saudi Arabia. Among Pakistani respondents, 97 per cent held positive views about Saudi Arabia, up from 87 per cent a year ago - quite interesting given that Pakistan has traditionally looked at China as its most loyal ally.

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