47% of Afghans feel country moving in right direction: Poll

November 10th, 2010 - 12:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Kabul, Nov 10 (ANI): Afghans are more optimistic about the future than they were previously, with 47 percent of those surveyed claiming that Afghanistan was moving in the right direction, according to the Asia Foundation poll.

This is a sharp contrast to 41 percent of people who though in the similar way last year, the BBC reports.

The survey, funded by the US Agency for International Development, reportedly found strong support for President Hamid Karzai’s attempts to engage with the Taliban, but most respondents said that violence remained a serious concern.

Eighty-three percent of people were in favour of President Karzai’s attempts to talk to the insurgents, compared with 12 percent last year.

The findings of the opinion poll are surprising, considering the fact that most Afghans are fighting corruption, poverty and insecurity. Afghans often say they are caught in the crossfire between the Taliban and pro-government forces, the report said.

This has been the bloodiest year in the US-led coalition’s nine-year war against the Taliban, with civilian casualties at an all-time high, it added.

According to the survey, there was falling support for the insurgents and their cause nationally. However in the south and west of the country, at least half the people had some level of sympathy for the militants.

While 47 percent of Afghans in the survey, now in its sixth year, said that their country was moving in the right direction, the remainder either had mixed feelings, or were pessimistic about the state of their country.

Violence and insecurity remained the biggest challenges facing Afghanistan, respondents said. Over half of those surveyed said they feared for their own safety in their local area.

Other major concerns were corruption and unemployment, which is still widespread in the country. Most people now believe that a political, and not just a military solution, would bring peace to Afghanistan. (ANI)

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