Military offensives against militants did little to raise confidence
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism is under scrutiny abroad after al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death, but it is also likely being questioned at home. Nearly half of Pakistanis (47%) surveyed in 2010 said their government was not doing enough to combat terrorism.
U.S. special forces killed bin Laden Sunday at a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 35 miles from the capital of Islamabad. U.S. lawmakers and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are among those saying his whereabouts raise questions for Pakistan.
Terrorism on Pakistani soil in recent years has claimed thousands of civilian and military lives, including at least 30,000 that Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani this week blamed personally on bin Laden. The country's responses to these attacks -- including batteries of offensives against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other militants -- have failed to generate much confidence among Pakistanis. The 37% of Pakistanis who found their country's anti-terrorism efforts sufficient in 2010 was slightly higher than in 2007 or 2008.
Although Pakistani leaders such as Gilani are hailing bin Laden's death as a "great victory," they acknowledge that there could be a backlash against Pakistan and that the fight against terrorism is far from over. Domestic doubts about Pakistan's efforts are now being echoed internationally, providing an important opportunity for the country to reassure the world of its commitment to fighting terrorism and fostering stability to the region.
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Survey MethodsResults are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,030 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in May 2010 in Pakistan; 3,122 interviews were conducted in 2009 and 2,484 interviews in 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.7 percentage points for the 2010 sample, ±2.4 percentage points for the 2009 sample and ±2.1 percentage points for the 2008 sample. FATA/FANA were excluded. The excluded area represents less than 5% of the population. Gender-matched sampling was used during the final stage of respondent selection. Sample coverage improved and there was a change in the data collection agency beginning with the June 2009 measurement. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
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