Over 80 per cent of Pakistanis believe Taliban and al-Qaeda militants are a “critical threat” to the country, and support the ongoing army offensive in the restive Swat valley, an opinion poll has reported.
“Most Pakistanis now see the Taliban as well as al-Qaeda as a critical threat to the country--a major shift from 18 months ago--and support the government and army in their fight in the Swat Valley against the militants,” a survey report released by US-based World Public Opinon (WPO) on Thursday said.
The opinion poll revealed that 81 per cent of Pakistanis believe the activities of the Taliban and other extremists were a “critical threat” to the country, up from the 34 per cent polled on the same question in September 2007.
Eighty-two per cent said Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda was also a critical threat, exactly twice as many who thought so two years ago.
The poll was carried out by Socio-Economic Development Consultants in Islamabad on behalf of WorldPublicOpinion.org. In the poll conducted from May 17 to 28, it questioned 1000 adults across Pakistan and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.