August 28, 2009

Far More Pakistanis Now View the Taliban Unfavorably

70%

Over the past year, there has been a 37-point increase in the number of Pakistanis who hold unfavorable opinions of the Taliban and a similarly large increase in negative views of al Qaeda.

While Pakistanis have had a long-standing concern about Islamic extremism in their country (69% currently worry extremists could take control of the country), they were less worried about specific groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban. That has changed over the past year. In 2008, only 34% of Pakistanis had an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, but negative views of the terrorist organization rose 27 points this year to 61%. Only 9% of Pakistanis now have a favorable view of al Qaeda, down from one-in-four last year. Opinion about the Taliban has also become far more negative, with fully 70% now expressing an unfavorable view of the group, an increase of 37 points over the year. The increasing negativity towards these groups, however, has not translated into better opinions about America. Most Pakistanis still view the U.S. as an enemy (64%), only 16% have a favorable view of America and, unlike in much of the world, there is little confidence in President Obama (13%). Read More