Al-Jazeera poll shows many Pakistanis identify America as 'biggest' threat

Monday, August 10, 2009

A poll commissioned by the news network Al Jazeera in Pakistan has concluded that a majority of Pakistanis believe that Pakistan's largest military aid donor, the United States, is the "biggest" threat to the country today.

The polling was conducted by Gallup Pakistan, an affiliate of Gallup International. Of the more than 2,600 Pakistanis polled 11% believed Taliban fighters to be the biggest threat, another 18% believed neighboring India to be the biggest threat to Pakistan. However, 59% (1,534) of the 2,600 Pakistanis polled believed that the United States is the biggest threat to Pakistan today.

A probable cause of resentment of the United States in Pakistan are the drone attacks, which are opposed by 66% of those polled, according to Al Jazeera. Drone attacks killed four civilians in Southern Afghanistan near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on Wednesday, August, 5. In October, 2006, a drone attack hit a school in South Waziristan killing 80 people causing unrest in Pakistan.

Other results of the poll showed that 67% of Pakistanis polled, oppose U.S military intervention on Pakistan soil. Another 41% support negotiations with the Taliban.

The poll also revealed that some are dissatisfied with the current government of Pakistan, showing only 11% support for the current president, Asif Ali Zardari.

A sample size of 2662 people (52% men and 48% women) across all four Pakistani provinces was utilized for face-to-face questioning. The poll was conducted on July 26 and 27, 2009 and is considered accurate to the 95% confidence level with a margin of error of +/- 2-3%.