U.S. military a threat to Pakistan -poll

October 7, 2008

us2.jpgU.S. government and military leaders worry that  the next attack on the homeland will emanate from western Pakistan, believing al Qaeda to have reconstituted there.

But Pakistanis worry too for their security and their fear is  the U.S. military itself.

A couple of polls on what ordinary Pakistanis think of the  U.S. campaign against al Qaeda makes for interesting reading,  coming as it does ahead of the second  U.S. presidential debate between candidates Barack Obama and John McCain where Pakistan will likely figure high on the foreign policy agenda, as it did in the previous round.

More than four in 10 (45 percent) of those polled by Gallup said the U.S. military presence in neighbouring Afghanistan was a threat to Pakistan.  Only 17 percent said the United States did not imperil their country while a sizeable 38 percent did not have an opinion

Pakistanis appear to be worried about a  U.S. military presence in Asia itself, suggesting the distrust that has crept into the relationship between the two allies runs deep and is not just about the war along the  Afghan-Pakistan border.

Forty-three percent of residents said a U.S. military presence in Asia threatens Pakistan and again only 17 percent said it did not.

Gallup carried out the poll in June, much before the United States intensified cross-border attacks on militants inside Pakistan including the first known ground assault in  September. So, for a significant proportion of Pakistanis  some of those fears are coming true.

Only one in 10 of the respondents said Pakistan’s  cooperation with the United States in the war against Islamist militants had helped their country. A third said it had benefited the United States, Gallup said.

The survey involved face-to-face interviews with 804 people, aged 15 years and older with a margin of error of  5 percentage points.

U.S. troops in Bagram, Afghanistan

A broader, worldwide, BBC poll on the impact of the campaign against al Qaeda published late last month also elicted an interesting and rather  worrying response from Pakistan. 

While the most commonly held view of al-Qaeda in the  23 nations polled was a negative one, Pakistan and Egypt  had different ideas about Osama bin Laden’s organisation.

Some 60% of Egyptians said they had either a positive or  mixed view of al Qaeda.  The BBC suggested this could  be linked to the fact that the group has many Egyptians among its leaders.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, where much of the battle against  al-Qaeda is being fought, just 19% said they had a  negative view of the group.

The findings from Egypt and Pakistan were “yet another  indicator that the US ‘war on terror’ is not winning hearts and minds,” the BBC quoted Doug Miller, from polling agency Globescan, as saying .

Some 24,000 adults across 23 countries were polled for the  BBC World Service between 8 July and 12 September. A  pdf of the poll is available here.

The broader result of the poll was that U.S. efforts at  tackling al Qaeda were not regarded as having been  successful, producing instead a stalemate. Some 29% of people said the “war on terror” launched by  President George W Bush in 2001 had had no effect on  the Islamist militant network.

According to 30% of those surveyed, US policies have  strengthened al Qaeda.



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Bin-Laden is probably the most beloved person in Pakistan, but I sincerely doubt that he is considered as much a hero in the rest of the Islamic world as he was just 5 years ago. The Islamic world has had the time to see for itself what his brand of Islam is, which is to kill, primarily, people who are moslems so that he and his cohorts can form an empire (Caliphate) with HIS version of the Koran as its constitution. 81% of the people of Pakistan versus less than 60% of the people of Egypt would like this to happen.
Pakistan is the much greater risk than any other country especially since it has this megalomaniac philosophy and has nuclear weapons to boot.
In response to the post by Faisal above, mr. Obama said not long ago that he would even invade Pakistan to go after Bin Laden and his henchmen. Therefore, if Faisal’s fears are true, Mr. Obama is more likely to be doing the nuking.

Posted by ClementW | Report as abusive

The problem is islam and the hatred it contains for non-muslims.
Osama and Mullah omar are just followers of this hate filled ideology which is presented to naive as a religion of peace.
No religion of peace asks its followers to kill non-believers.
Till such time this ideology of hate is allowed to propogated the terror attacks will continue.
End this ideology and the attacks will stop.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

well, I seriously doubt Mr. Obama’s judgement on this certian issue.however,I wont be surprised if America chose the course of action as my friend Clemen puts it.I donno if u get my point or not but somebody has to stop.Last time i checked, Western “Civilized” nations took over an entire country just to teach them manners coz they were “uncilvilzed”.That attitude simply adds fuel to the fire.This is the war between two extremes and “we” being a civilian on both sides r paying the price.here my friend,ur talking problems and we all want solutions.As far as ideologies r concerned, they dont die.I being a muslim have a lot of respect for Mr. Gandhi.guess what, A hindu killed em.
Bin laden on the other hand is not much different than Spider Man.Both look good on HDTV.And I seriously doubt if he has any network whatsoever.Media made bin laden as if he’s some kind of frenchise like MC’DONALDS for instance.SEEING IS BELIEVING!!!

Posted by Faisal | Report as abusive

Where is peace in the world? To be honest, U.S. needs to stop invading other countries in favor of oil or other benefits. They need to deal with their own country first and stop talking about Islam in a negative way. People are just brainwashed by the power of media. Look Deep and think for yourself, stop letting others think for you! Peace all

Posted by Shahid | Report as abusive

Hi Pakis,

One simplething everyone knows that Pakistan is not only Indias problem but the whole world’s problem and India does not have to invade pakistan, it is the USA will finish our job today or tomarrow.

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

As per my understanding, the current situation is that Pakistan’s army is not willingly taking actions against terrorists in Pakistan because more than 50% of army favors them(terrorists). Pakistan’s army was always told that they (terrorists) are doing this job for allah and good cause until 9/11. After 9/11, Pakistan’s government changed its position under US’s pressure but this was a big shift of position for army at lower ranks. so lower rank still has the same mindset that these terrorists are good people fighting for a good cause. They still think America is their first enemy. Pakistani Govt does not even have good credibility in lower rank army. In this case, even if Pakistan’s leadership has agreed to take hard actions against terrorists but the force which has to take action does not want to do it. If the action is taken then its a cosmetic patch-up work to show the US that some action is being taken. We have given them money, trainings, moral support and even twisted leadership’s arm but it did not work. Its clear that old strategies will not work in future either because army at the lower rank is not ready to fight with terrorists. In this case, the US has left only with one solution to publically or non-publically attack terrorists inside the Pakistan’s boundary. It is just waste of time and money to wait and see what action Pakistan is taking or will take.

Posted by ska | Report as abusive

Every pakis talking about This thing manytimes .

“Pakistan has survived three wars against India ” ,Come on Folks it is very funny .
Pakistan has not survived three wars against India , pakistan has lost three wars with india and we libarated Bangaldesis and even ocupied 15000 kilometers of pakis land in 2 nd war . but indira gandhi , thum logonko Bhik me dediay. Now u pakis have N weapons that means u cannot threat us, if we strike back , ur pakistan will
be wiped out in half a day. Just remember if we Hindus really hate muslims in india then cannot survive in india for one day.
Do u know how many pakis in North america says that they are from India .
90 % hindus india think that Muslims should have left india while partition .

why they did not leave india?

U guys are asking independent Kashmir yes we will give it on one conditions , all muslims should leave india after independent kashmir , it that ok.
What diffrence it made after we gave independent pakistan, you guys still hate us . Muslims india we call them GADDARS , they live india and eat inidia support pakis because u r muslims .

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive