Pakistani lawyers burn an effigy of US President Barack Obama to condemn US-led deadly airstrikes on two checkpoints on the Afghan border in November 2011. (File photo)
Three-in-four Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy country, a new survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project indicates.
The Pew survey, which was published on its website on Wednesday, said that last year 69 percent used to hate the US but in 2012 the figure jumped to 74 percent.
The survey also showed an exceptionally low regard for US President Barack Obama among Pakistanis. They believe Obama is as bad a leader as former US President George W. Bush had been during his final year in office.
US-Pakistan relations have been strained over the civilian casualties caused by the non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, and over a number of other issues.
Under intense public pressure, Islamabad closed the border crossings used to transfer NATO supplies to US-led forces occupying Afghanistan in November 2011 after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in US-led airstrikes on two checkpoints on the Afghan border.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since the US-led war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but it also unleashed forces of extremism and terrorism in neighboring Pakistan.
In addition, the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey also showed that former cricket star Imran Khan has remained the most popular politician in the country. More than 70 percent of the people offer a favorable opinion of Khan, who leads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice or PTI). This is basically unchanged from last year, but up considerably from 2010.
Khan’s stance on US war on terror, which he calls a war of terror, his strong views on CIA’s drone attacks in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, which the US has been carrying out since 2008, his struggle for the rule of law, justice, equality, and the eradication of corruption, have endeared the PTI leader to the people of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, approval ratings of President Asif Ali Zardari and his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have plunged badly. Only 14 percent view Zardari favorably, down drastically from 64 percent in 2008.