Pessimism growing among Pakistanis: poll

December 20th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 20 (IANS) Most Pakistanis have a dim view of their country’s future and have no faith in the present government, an opinion poll says.According to the poll by the US-based International Republican Institute, about 88 percent of Pakistanis feel thier country is heading in the wrong direction and 59 percent fear that 2009 will be far worse, reported the Dawn newspaper Friday.

The survey claimed that there was a high degree of pessimism and discontent in Pakistan and a majority of the people have no faith in the present government. The survey was conductd Oct 15-30.

About 76 percent of the 3,500 respondents in the four provinces of Pakistan responded negatively when asked how the government performed on issues important to them. Only 21 percent answered positively.

About 67 percent said that democracy had made no difference to their wellbeing. These ratings are slightly worse than the sentiment in January 2008, shortly before the parliamentary elections of February.

The poll saw an increase in the number of people who felt less secure this year than they did last year, up from 15 percent in June to 78 percent in October.

The high of 85 percent occurred in January in the aftermath of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The growing discontent has also taken a toll on the popularity of political leaders. The average popularity of leaders dropped to 22 percent this time from 43 percent recorded in a June poll.

Only Benazir and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif received more than 50 percent of support.

If there are elections next year, 32 percent will go for the Pakistan People’s Party while 26 percent will back Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). About 30 percent were undecided.

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