- By Robert ZeligerRobert Zeliger is News Editor of Foreign Policy.
A just-released Pew poll holds some grim news about the Pakistani public’s views toward the United States. For starters, almost two-thirds of Pakistanis don’t approve of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And only 12 percent had a positive view of the United States in general; while 8 percent viewed President Obama favorably — numbers that put him in the same class as former President George W. Bush.
Some key numbers from the poll, according to Richard Wike, associate director of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.
Bin Laden Raid
63 percent of Pakistanis disapprove of the operation
10 percent approve of it
27 percent don’t have an opinion
18 percent believe the Pakistani government knew bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad.
53 percent had no opinion.
12 percent have a favorable view of America
73 percent have an unfavorable view
8 percent have confidence in Obama
68 percent don’t have confidence in him
In 2008, when the same question was asked about Bush, 7 percent expressed confidence.
12 percent have a favorable view of al Qaeda
55 percent have an unfavorable view
33 percent don’t know
In 2008, those numbers were:
25 percent favorable
34 percent unfavorable
41 percent don’t know
12 percent favorable
63 percent unfavorable
24 percent don’t know
But that displeasure doesn’t translate into support for government action against the groups.
37 percent support using the Pakistani army to fight extremists in the country’s restive regions — a figure that is 16 percentage points lower than two years ago, according to Pew.
26 percent oppose using the Pakistani army to fight extremists.
38 percent didn’t give an opinion.
Military and political leaders
By and large, the Pakistani military remains the most popular institution in the country.
79 percent say the military is having a good influence on the country.
76 percent feel that way about the media
60 percent feel that way about religious leaders
41 percent — the court system
26 percent — the police
14 percent — for President Asif Ali Zardari
View the full survey here.