Most Pakistanis oppose bin Laden raid: poll

Most Pakistanis oppose the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, with vast majorities upset at the role of the United States and the overall direction of their country, a poll found Tuesday.

The survey by the Pew Research Center found that few Pakistanis supported Al-Qaeda but many were worried about the effects of the secret May 2 raid, which killed the extremist group's leader in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

Only 10 percent of Pakistanis approved of the operation, with 63 percent opposed and the rest undecided, said the center, which conducted face-to-face interviews across Pakistan.

Just eight percent of Pakistanis said they had confidence in US President Barack Obama "to do the right thing in world affairs," a level as low as support for George W. Bush in the last full year of his presidency.

Views also grew more negative about Pakistan's historic rival India.

The poll said 57 percent of Pakistanis identified India as their country's biggest threat when given a choice between New Delhi, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Pakistan initially supported Afghanistan's Taliban but turned into a frontline partner of the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In recent years, Pakistan has been hit by a wave of extremist-linked violence and the United States has mounted a drone campaign against wanted militants.

The poll said 92 percent of Pakistanis were dissatisfied with the direction of their country, with most expecting the economy to get worse in the coming year.

Only 11 percent of Pakistanis offered a favorable view of President Asif Ali Zardari, a civilian who took office in 2008 after a decade of military-backed rule.

But the survey found strong support for the military, a historic power-broker in Pakistan despite criticism after the bin Laden raid.

Some 79 percent described the military as a good influence on Pakistan, with 57 percent holding a favorable opinion of General Ashfaq Kayani, the army chief.

The media also enjoyed strong support, with 76 percent saying it had a positive impact on Pakistan.

The Pew Research Center conducted two rounds of the survey, which interviewed 3,221 Pakistanis. It did not survey some 15 percent of the country due to security concerns.

 

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