Pew has just come out with its latest opinion poll from Pakistan. I encourage you to go through the whole thing. Here’s a few results that I thought were striking:
For me, I find it very interesting that a plurality of people concede that the government is approving the drone strikes. Looks like WikiLeaks had an effect after all. The question for me is: what does “government” mean? When people hear that word, do they think (a) Asif Zardari and the PPP, or (b) the military and security leadership of the country? Or both?
Let’s move on to the war. Check these two out; people care less about the threat of extremism than they did in 2009 and don’t want to see the military take them on to the same extent as before:
This makes sense, given that levels of violence in Pakistan overall have decreased in the last three years, particularly in major urban centers in Punjab and Sindh. The one area of the country that is still significantly threatened by militant violence is not, as expected, quite as sanguine as the rest:
94% in KP vs 49% in Punjab. I guess Punjabis don’t give a crap about the rest of the country as long as they’re not the ones being bombed? Sorry, is that too harsh? I mean, it wasn’t that long ago when Shahbaz Sharif said this, was it?
Here’s a couple conflicting results. On the one hand, India’s unfavorable rating in Pakistan is up recently (I would ignore the 2010-2012 changes; these are all margin-of-error type changes. The big shift appears to have taken place post Mumbai).
And yet Pakistanis are fairly bullish on more cooperation with India:
Moving on from foreign policy, check out this graph of opinions on our economy.
Asif Zardari, take a bow. I try to give Zardari and the PPP credit when they deserve it but don’t get it, and I try to defend Zardari and the PPP against the often unjustified criticism they face for all sorts of things that are not their fault. But this? This is totally their fault. They have no model for growth whatsoever. None. When it comes to domestic economic policy, these people just don’t have a clue, unfortunately. And it looks like 89% of people have noticed.
This next one makes complete sense, though I’m not sure what “people leaving for jobs” (63%) means. Is that about the brain-drain? Seems awfully high if it is. Must be something else.
Here’s the favorability ratings for our main political and military leaders. Thank god we live in a parliamentary, not presidential, system. Imran Khan is insufferable and stupid enough as it is, can you imagine how much worse it would be if he was in power? The other thing I would note about this is that Gilani is surprisingly popular, given the state of the country.
The police — THE POLICE — is twice as popular as Asif Zardari. There’s really nothing left to say.