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Rediff.com  » News » 8 in 10 Pakistanis against US partnership: Poll

8 in 10 Pakistanis against US partnership: Poll

October 01, 2009 12:18 IST

Notwithstanding the huge monetary assistance that the United States is planning for Pakistan to help the troubled nation fight extremism and reduce anti-America sentiments, a majority of Pakistanis are still against the US being a partner in Islamabad's fight against terrorism.

According to a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute, a Washington- based group, about 80 percent of Pakistanis are against the US assistance in Pakistan's fight against terrorism.

The percentage of people voting against the US has increased by 19 percent since the last survey conducted by the institute in March, The New York Times reported.

The opinion poll also revealed that 76 percent of Pakistanis are against their government's decision to assist the United States in carrying out drone strikes against extremists based in the country's lawless tribal region along the Afghanistan border.

Analysts believe there are many factors behind such discontent among Pakistanis despite Barack Obama's intense efforts to reach out to various Muslim nations.

"Most Pakistanis are exposed to the popular media and to extremist clerics who provide this perception. The American side of the story is not available to the people," said renowned Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan.

"The American military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq colored Pakistani views of the United States. The United States is seen as an occupying force and moving unilaterally against Muslim nations," he added.

Concerned over the depleting public support in Pakistan, the Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, has ordered an overhaul of the public diplomacy programs and was sending several highly experienced diplomats to Pakistan, the newspaper quoted a senior US official, as saying.

Source: ANI