Small plurality of Pakistanis support Bhutto

The throngs of supporters that surrounded Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi before Thursday’s bomb attack demonstrated that the former prime minister still enjoys a good amount of support in Pakistan. The results of a poll just released by WorldPublicOpinion.org and taken in the weeks before her return would seem to bear this out. Half of ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
598594_Bhutto_Oct07_graph1_05.jpg
598594_Bhutto_Oct07_graph1_05.jpg

The throngs of supporters that surrounded Benazir Bhutto's motorcade in Karachi before Thursday's bomb attack demonstrated that the former prime minister still enjoys a good amount of support in Pakistan. The results of a poll just released by WorldPublicOpinion.org and taken in the weeks before her return would seem to bear this out. Half of the Pakistanis questioned supported Bhutto being allowed to return to stand for election. Former PM Nawaz Sharif had roughly the same amount of support. (Sharif was deported to Saudi Arabia after trying to return in early September.)

Bhutto came out on top narrowly when Pakistanis were asked who they thought should lead the country. She polled at 27 percent, with Sharif and current leader Pervez Musharraf tied at 21 percent. With a 3.3 percent margin of error, this is hardly a mandate. Still, it makes the 98 percent of the vote that Musharraf received in the recent presidential election seem even more ridiculous. 

The throngs of supporters that surrounded Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi before Thursday’s bomb attack demonstrated that the former prime minister still enjoys a good amount of support in Pakistan. The results of a poll just released by WorldPublicOpinion.org and taken in the weeks before her return would seem to bear this out. Half of the Pakistanis questioned supported Bhutto being allowed to return to stand for election. Former PM Nawaz Sharif had roughly the same amount of support. (Sharif was deported to Saudi Arabia after trying to return in early September.)

Bhutto came out on top narrowly when Pakistanis were asked who they thought should lead the country. She polled at 27 percent, with Sharif and current leader Pervez Musharraf tied at 21 percent. With a 3.3 percent margin of error, this is hardly a mandate. Still, it makes the 98 percent of the vote that Musharraf received in the recent presidential election seem even more ridiculous. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.