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Pakistanis consider the Taliban to be a greater threat than India: Survey

In a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 52% of Pakistanis said they consider the Taliban to be a bigger threat to their country than India. However, 45% maintained that India was the greater danger for their country, while 3% did not respond to the survey. These results contrast strikingly with a similar survey conducted in 2009, which showed that 59% of Pakistan’s residents considered the US to be a major threat, while 18% believed India was a threat and 11% considered the Taliban a threat.

A Times of India report in 2009 states that Pakistanis were afraid that the US wanted to control their country’s strategic assets and many blamed them for the violence in South Waziristan instead of the Taliban, though many believed the offensive was necessary. The report also mentions that in the 2009 poll, the major question being asked was whose war Pakistan was fighting, Islamabad’s or Washington’s. Furthermore, in that year, Pakistan’s army and Taliban militants launched offensives against one another, with Peshawar being the worst affected. The Pakistan Taliban’s attacks on a school in Peshawar last month seems to have changed attitudes. In the present survey, 2,607 men and women in rural and urban areas of the four provinces of Pakistan were surveyed. 

Although the numbers indicate that Pakistanis consider the Taliban to be the greater threat (52% vs 45% towards India), India is still perceived to be no less threatening. This can be seen in the Pakistanis’ reaction to Indians in the aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre; there were reports of Pakistanis blaming India for the attack. 

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