7 in 10 Pakistanis consider religious extremism to be a major threat

March 14th, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by ANI  


New York, Mar. 14 (ANI): Most Pakistanis believe that the consequences of religious extremism are going to be terrible for their country and people, a new survey has revealed. According to a poll conducted by Pew Global survey (IRI) global research in 2008, 72 percent Pakisatnis said they were concerned about Islamic extremism in their country, while 54 per cent said they were very concerned about it, the Dawn reports. Pakistanis concern rated highest in percentage among the eight countries, which were surveyed. The question was asked to the citizens of Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Turkey. In October 2008s IRI poll, sixty percent Pakistanis had characterized religious extremism to be a serious problem, but most people were averse the idea that the Pakistani military should combat extremist groups. Just 38 per cent of Pakistanis supported using the Army to fight extremists in NWFP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). About one-third said they would like to see the Army confront al Qaeda, while 52 per cent disagreed with this view. However, support for military action had increased since IRIs previous poll in June 2008, when just 27 per cent wanted the Army to fight extremists in tribal areas. Around 22 percent said army should fight al Qaeda, while twenty percent felt this way about the Taliban. The October poll also revealed that more than half of Pakistanis supported the government cutting a deal with radical groups. 54 per cent agreed with the statement I support a peace deal with the extremists, while just 35 per cent disagreed. In the June poll, 64 per cent had supported a peace deal and only 18per cent had opposed one. The earlier survey conducted in 2004 had found that roughly four-in-ten Pakistani Muslims said suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians could be justified to protect Islam from its enemies. However, in April 2008 only five per cent citizens justified it. (ANI)

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