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'Pakistanis think Osama's death bad'

world Updated: Jun 22, 2011 19:01 IST

PTI
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Most Pakistanis do not approve of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in their country, with only 14% terming it a good thing and many believing it will have a negative impact on the already tense US-Pak ties, a new survey has found.

While they do not look upon the unilateral US action favourably, Pakistanis are also uncertain about their own government's role in the military operation that killed bin Laden.

The findings are from a Pew Research Centre survey that finds that anti-Americanism is rampant in the country though it remains more or less at the same level it was before the bin laden killing.

"Most Pakistanis disapprove of the US military operation that killed Osama bin Laden, and although the al Qaeda leader has not been well-liked in recent years, a majority of Pakistanis describe his death as a bad thing. Only 14% say it is a good thing," the Centre said on its website.

The survey also found that many Pakistanis believe the US raid on bin Laden's compound will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the two sides.

Just 12% of the people surveyed expressed a positive view of the US and only eight per cent said they had confidence that US President Barack Obama would do the right thing in world affairs. In fact, Obama's ratings are as low as former President George W Bush's were in 2008.

However, the survey that was done after the raid showed little change in Pakistanis' opinion of the US, as compared to a poll conducted before the Abbottabad raid.

While Pakistanis were found to have a largely negative view of al Qaeda, the anti-India Lashkar-e-Taiba enjoys a slightly greater support.

While just 12% said they held a positive view of al Qaeda, almost 27% have a positive opinion of LeT.

The 12% support for al Qaeda was a drop as against two years back when 18% of those surveyed said they views the international militant network favourably.

Pakistanis also appear uncertain over their government's role in the Abbottabad operation that killed bin laden on May 2, with as many as 49% saying they were unsure about it.

While about 29% said they believed the government authorised the raid, 23% said the opposite.

Only 18% believe the government knew about bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad roughly half but 53% said they did not know.

Also indicating waning support for Pakistan military's anti-militant campaign, just 37% supported the Pakistani army being used to to fight extremists in FATA and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, a significant drop from two years ago when 53% endorsed it.

Fear about extremists taking over the country have also declined -- from 69% in 2009 to 53% now -- who said they were very or somewhat worried about this possibility.