Americans opinion on Pakistan, Afghanistan hits new lows

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 13, 2011 10:50 hrs

US public perceptions of Afghanistan and Pakistan have sunk to new lows this year, according to a new poll.

Fourteen per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Afghanistan while a whopping 82 per cent hold a negative review of the war-torn country, said Gallup's annual world affairs poll.

For Pakistan, 18 per cent of Americans see the country favourably and 76 per cent have a negative opinion of the key US ally on the war against terrorism.

Pakistan is among those four other countries that have negative ratings at least twice as large as their positive ratings. The other three are Palestinian Authority, Iraq, and Cuba.

"Americans' favourable ratings of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which have generally been low over the past decade, have hit new lows this year. The increasing negativity likely results from those countries' associations with international terrorism, which, in the case of Afghanistan, has resulted in a protracted U.S. military engagement in that country," said Gallup in a report.

Ratings of Afghanistan and Pakistan had peaked in 2005, more than three years into US military involvement in Afghanistan, the report added.

On the implications of Americans' ratings of foreign countries, Gallup said it suggests that the US public is aware of what is occurring internationally.

"Countries that are friendly to the United States and supportive of its foreign policy are generally rated positively, while countries that are unfriendly to the United States and oppose its policies are rated negatively," it added.

The poll results are based on telephonic interviews conducted between February 2-5 with a random sample of 1,015 adults living in the continental US, and have an error margin of 4 percentage points. (ANI)