How Pakistanis View US Presence in the region

Pakistanis have long held doubts over US presence
* Gallup poll says 45% think US presence in Afghanistan poses threat to Pakistan
* 33% say anti-terror co-operation mostly benefits US
Daily Times, October 5, 2008

WASHINGTON: Pakistanis were doubtful of their government's anti-terror co-operation with the United States even before President George W Bush authorised US military action inside Pakistan without their government's approval, according to a poll out on Friday.

The poll by the Gallup organisation, taken in June, found that almost half the Pakistanis, or 45 percent, thought the US military presence across the border in Afghanistan posed a threat to Pakistan. Only 17 percent said it was not a threat and more than one-third, 38 percent of respondents, had no opinion or would not answer.

Anti-terror co-operation: The poll found that one in three of the respondents said the US relationship with Pakistan in President George W Bush's campaign against terror mostly benefits the US. Only 7 percent - fewer than one in 10 - said Pakistan benefits more.

More than that, 10 percent, said both sides get nothing from the partnership.

The findings were based on face-to-face interviews, in the first half of this year in Pakistan, with approximately 802 people 15 years old and older. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir region were not included in the poll. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. ap


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