More Pakistanis have positive feelings towards Qaeda than negative

October 1st, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore , Oct 1 (ANI): A recent worldwide survey conducted by the BBC found that Pakistan was among two nations - the other being Egypt where mixed or positive feelings toward Al Qaeda (22 percent) outweighed negative feelings (19 percent).

The poll conducted by the US-funded International Republican Institute in January found that 89 percent of Pakistanis did not support the US-led war on terror and that figure dropped marginally to 71 percent in June.

According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), in the aftermath of the fresh spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan, including the Marriott hotel attack, more people are seen castigating the increasing number of US incursions on the countrys soil as compared to those who directly condemn the terrorist strikes.

In June, Harvard student Samad Khurram made national news after refusing an academic award by US Ambassador Anne Patterson in Islamabad , citing his disapproval for the killing of innocent Pakistanis in US airstrikes.

Halima Mansoor, a visual arts student at Beaconhouse National University , says, “In the aftermath of the Marriott blasts, it’’s abundantly clear that an ongoing US presence in the country is bad for us.”

Badar Alam, a senior editor with Herald magazine, a leading news monthly, explains: The general sense of Muslims being under a perennial US or Western invasion is one very basic reason people have these anti-US feelings.

Referring to the ongoing US raids that have claimed hundreds of lives in the past year, and caused the mass migration of up to three lakh Pashtun tribesmen into neighboring Afghanistan in recent weeks, Alam says: The mess we have in our own backyard only aggravates those feelings. Many people would have given the US the benefit of the doubt before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq .

This tension extends beyond just the Pakistani public and is adding to the increasing assertiveness of political and military leaders, said the CSM report. (ANI)

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