Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

ملا محمد عمر ہم سے رخصت ہوۓ

In Miscellaneous, Urdu Columns on August 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

ملا محمد عمر ہم سے رخصت ہوۓ-  إِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ – 11813389_897636626990967_4628162187125975554_n
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مسلم تاریخ کا ایک اور بطل جلیل ، مرد کوہسار، مجاہد، جری، بہادر ، دلاور، دلیر، حوصلہ مند،نڈر ،شجاع، مرد میدان، عقاب کوہستان، حریت پسند، طوق غلامی کا منکر، مسلسل برسرپیکار، عزم و ہمت کی ایک لازوال رومانوی کہانی، نقیب حق، راستی کا علم بردار کہ جس کی شخصیت حکمت، دانائ،فراست، عقل مندی اور شجاعت کے جوہروں سے میزن،
اپنے ساتھیوں کا مرکز نگاہ ، مرکز یقین، انکی محبتوں کا گہوراہ۔ الفت کا مینارہ، احترام کا استعارہ، یقین کا منبع ، دو دہائ تک بلا شرکت غیر – ایک متفقہ رہنماء –
تحریک آزادی و حریت کا تابندہ ستارہ، جزبہء ایثار کی لازوال داستان، اپنے فیصلوں میں کوہ گراں اور اپنی جدوجہد میں اولی العزم، حکمت و دانائ کا ایک سیل رواں – ملا محمد عمر – ہم میں نہیں

بقول ایک دوست کے “کچھ لوگ تھے کہ اپنی سب فوجوں، توپوں، طیاروں اور ایٹم بموں کے ساتھ بھی ایک فون کال پر ڈھیر ہو گئے ۔۔ اور ایک شخص تھا کہ خالی ہاتھ ہی زمین کے خداؤں سے لڑ گیا ”

مجھے مرحوم کے دور اقتدار کےبہت سارے دینی و سیاسی تصورات سے شدید اختلاف رہا ہے اور ہے – سخت گیر ، زبردستی مسلط کردہ اسلامی خودساختہ تصورات، خواتین کی تعلیم کو روکنا، جدید زرایع ابلاغ سے کنارہ کشی، حزب وحدت اور شمالی اتحاد سے خوں آشام تصادم وغیرہ – مگر میں امریکی استبداد کے خلاف جدوجہد میں انکا اخلاقی حامی ضرور ہوں –

سمجھنا چاہئے کہ افغان طالبان اور پاکستانی طالبان میں بہت فرق ہے – ایک سراپا جدوجہد – دوسرے کسی ظلم و زیادتی کا رد عمل یا غیر ملکی سازشوں کا شکار یا انکے ایجینٹ -اسلامی دفعات کی موجودگی میں مسلح تخریبی جدوجہد کی کوئ گنجائیش پاکستانی سرحدوں میں نہیں نکلتی – نہ ہم ان کاروائیوں کے حامی اور نہ ہی ساتھی

ملا عمر عزم و حوصلے کی ایک عظیم داستان ہے – امریکی حملے کے بعد اپنا سب کچھ (اپنے مہمانوں کیلئے) قربان کر دینا آسان کام نہیں تھا – زبردست کارپٹ بمباری کا مقابلہ کرنا – پہلے پیچھے ہٹنا اور پھر یہاں تک کہ فوجی لحاظ سے صف اول کی اقوام کے اتحاد کو برابری کی بنیاد پہ لا کھڑا کرنا – انکو شکست خوردہ واپس جانے پہ مجبور کر دینا – 3000 سے زائد لاشیں اور 30 ہزار سے زائد زخمیوں اور اتنے ہی زہنی مریض ان ممالک میں واپس بھجوا کر وقت کے طاغوتوں کو اپنے پیروں میں جھکا لینا اور سر عام رسواء کر دینا – ایک بڑا کارنامہ ہے- تاریخ میں جب بھی اب جدید فوجی حکمت عملی پڑھائ جاۓ گی – وہاں ناممکن ہے کہ ملا عمر کی مزاحمت کا زکر نہ ہو – انکی اسٹڑیٹیجی کی بات نہ کی جاۓ- انکے ساتھیوں کی دلیری کا تزکرہ نہ ہو- انکے ساتھیوں کی جاں فروشی اور سرعت کا زکر نہ و – آج کابل میں بیساکھیوں پہ کھڑی لرزتی کانپتی ایک امریکی حمایت یافتہ مجہول حکومت موجود ہے-جس کا اپنا مستقبل غیر ملکی ، کابل تک محدود طاقتوں پہ منحصر ہے- مرحوم کی سنہرے لفظوں میں لکھی جانے والی جدوجہد آزادی نے دنیا کو دکھا دیا کہ ایمان کیسے کامیاب ہوتا ہے اور تمام انسانی خواہشیں، زرایع اور سازشیں کیسے ناکام ہوتی ہیں- باقی رہے بس نام اللہ کا

انہوں نے کبھی ناموری کی زندگی نہیں گزاری – گوشہ نشینی اختیار کی، احتیاط کا دامن چھوٹنے نہیں دیا – نہ کبھی بلند و بانگ دعویٰ کیا – اپنی زمیں پہ رہے۔ وہیں جدوجہد کی، وہیں مشکلیں سہیں اور اب اسی زمین میں دفن ہو گۓ – رعب اسقدر کہ دو سال تین ماہ تک صرف نام ہی چلتا رہا – آدھے سے زائد افغانستان کو پنجہ استبداد سے آزاد کرو الیا- دنیا کی تمام ٹیکںولوجی فیل اور ایمان کامیاب رہا

بقول رعایت اللہ فاروقی کے “وہ اپنے حصے کا کام کر بھی گئے اور منوا بھی گئے۔ وہ ایسے وقت میں دنیا سے رخصت ہوئے جب ان کا دشمن اپنی ایک لاکھ پچیس ہزار میں سے ایک لاکھ سے زائد فوج شکست کھا کر نکال چکا۔”

ہم انکی مغفرت اور بلند درجات کیلئے دعاء گو ہیں

بڑا مبارک جہاد ہے یہ، سحر کی امیـــــــــــــــد رکھنا زندہ
نہ چین ظلمت کو لینے دینا -شبوں کی نیندیں اڑاۓ رکھنا

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جنت کے گمراھ متلاشی

In I Hate USA, Islam - A Study, pakistan, Pakistan History, Pakistan's Ideology, Urdu Columns on April 14, 2011 at 1:47 am

شہباز بھٹی کا قتل، امریکی سازش

In Blashphemy Law - An Islamic Perspective, Clsh of Civilizations, pakistan on March 6, 2011 at 3:12 am

Flogging my sentiments – A Perspective

In pakistan on April 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

By Dr Awab Alvi

In April last year, Pakistan witnessed the revelation of a shocking video showing a woman in NWFP being flogged in public for having illicit relations with her father-in-law.

It was recorded from an amateurish, low-end mobile camera and shows a despicable act being committed in the name of public justice. The video was released by prominent women’s rights activists and underwent intense analysis by some flamboyant media personalities. A few suggested, even then, that it might be staged.

Regardless of its dubious authenticity, it was looped continuously on television screens and was shown repeatedly by every channel in every country, further maligning our tattered reputation.

The female activists who released this video took a bit of a drumming after the media adjudged these videos to be fake, but they stood their ground, using this ‘evidence’ to bring forth issues of maltreatment of women in these areas, while the Islamic apologists preferred to avoid addressing this uncontrollable menace in some parts of their belief system.

Only a few days ago the whistleblowing video was questioned yet again as a report published in a national daily claimed that the source who had laid claim to its authenticity backtracked and allegedly stated that the video was staged in an attempt to defame the Taliban at the behest of an Islamabad-based NGO.

Retrospectively, the immediate beneficiaries were the hardliner Taliban themselves, who could have used this video to instill fear amongst the growing liberal elite of Pakistan, giving them a warning for a possible Sharia compliant way of living based on the Taliban’s narrow interpretation of the religion.

A case against the women’s rights activists to have faked this video does not stand valid as they are well-respected leaders and their ethics cannot be distorted. Their only compulsion was to report this video and raise awareness about a genuine problem amongst rural women in Pakistan, caught on tape for the first time, which was brilliant use of mobile technology.

The culprit may be an evil triangle between an NGO, our propaganda machinery and a local intelligence agency, all desperately wanting to sway public opinion behind military action which they were already committed to initiate. It is relevant to point out that April 2009 also happened to be the start of the Pakistan Army’s Operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat.

The military may have leveraged the release of this video to create fear among people and make them wake up to the murdering revolutionaries who may have come knocking on the gates of Islamabad. The calculated timing of this media hype must have influenced the moderates on the edge the liberal elite was convinced anyway into demanding and accepting army action in Swat.

It is not the first time that carefully planted intelligence or false reports of an incident have been used to swing public perception. The Vietnam War, which resulted in more than two million deaths, was started using the ‘Gulf of Tonkin incident’ and it was revealed recently as to have been totally fabricated by US agencies.

More recently, the US stands guilty of having furnished fabricated pieces of nuclear documents from Niger to convince the American public and the world of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, resulting in more deaths than in Vietnam on a non-existent premise.

The whole thing smells bad.

We must separate the argument that the Taliban are carrying out such acts from the false imagery used to make a mockery of our judgment potential.

The perpetrators of this dangerous game must unequivocally be brought to justice.

Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/7242/flogging-my-sentiments/

Paving righteousness (Rast) and salvation (Nijat)

In pakistan, Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

By Rehan Ali

The road to righteousness (operation rah e raast) and subsequent salvation (rah e nijaat) is laden with gravestones of the sons of the soil. Last April, especially after the peace deal, people were hopeful for a peaceful resolution and prevention of exhaustive military engagement. A video exhibiting harrowing flogging of veiled woman was widely circulated on the digital waves. The matter was picked up by Guardian, BBC, The Hindu and ANI (Indian newswire service). Later, national mainstream media also propagated the heinous treatment of a girl. The media unanimously quoted Samar Minallah, a documentary film maker and anthropologist, who spent two years in Swat region during the 1990s.

Declan Walsh of the Guardian wrote “The Guardian received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s. It has been passed between Swat residents by mobile phones. Ms Minallah said the punishment had been inflicted within the last 10 days, following the signing of a controversial peace deal under which the provincial government ceded control of the valley’s judicial system to the militants.

Declan Walsh, hinting militant influence to be deepening in Pakistan, describes the video in The Guardian as “The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly. ‘Please stop it’, she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. ‘Either kill me or stop it now’. A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera, a voice issues instructions. ‘Hold her legs tightly’, he says as she squirms and yelps. After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant”.

Walsh’s narrative was picked up by all the papers except for Dawn, which changed the ending describing it as “The public flogging continued for several minutes, after which the wailing girl is dragged by a group of armed men to a nearby building.” Although, it was clearly visible that the girl took off on her own, shedding dirt of her clothes before hurriedly going into a mud house.

There were clear abnormalities in the video as the girl with heart rendering cries, after receiving 34 hits gets up, sheds dirt off her veil and runs inside a mud house. Sensationalism took over rationale and our media run the 2 minute piece without checking for authenticity. Later there were plenty of hue and cries from the civil society, which took to the streets, condemning the incident and asking severe action against the perpetrators.

Quoting Minallah and other sources, the media reported that the girl was punished on suspicion of having had an illicit relationship with a married man. She did not receive a trial. “The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour,” said Minallah. The woman’s brother is among the men pinning her down, she added. “It’s symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local society, that he has done it for the sake of religion.”

“This video is being widely circulated because the Taliban want people to see it. They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace deal because this is something they ideologically believe in,” she was quoted as saying. Minallah said she feared Talibanisation would spread across Pakistan. “I have distributed this video because I feel people are in denial. They don’t want to believe what is happening.”

BBC’s Addul Hai Kakar, jumping on the band wagon and citing relatives of the male victim, reported that “Relatives of the man involved in the incident told the BBC he had gone to the house of the girl in the village of Kala Kalay to do repairs as an electrician, but militants accused him of having a relationship with her. They dragged him from the house and flogged him before punishing the girl, his relatives said. After the incident, the Taleban forced the couple to marry and instructed the man not to divorce his wife. His relatives say he has been left mentally scarred.”

There were condemnation from the governing quarters with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordering police and government officials from the north-western Swat Valley to bring the girl to court the coming week. Both the President and Prime Minister were shocked and asked the local officials to provide complete report of the incident and arrest the perpetrators.

Interior Affairs Adviser Rehman Malik was stated as saying, “We are investigating the matter. But sometimes anti-state elements make fake or artificial footage or images to bring disrepute to Pakistan.” NWFP minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the surfacing of the video footage was a conspiracy. Speaking at a press conference in Swat, provincial Minister Iftikhar Hussain alleged that an NGO activist, Samar Minallah, had released the video as part of a conspiracy. He said her brother had been a provincial minister in the government of Gen Pervez Musharraf. The minister said the incident was condemnable and should be investigated, but at the same time flashing it several months after its occurrence raised suspicions.

Malakand Division Commissioner Syed Mohammad Javed was quoted by local media as saying that the incident shown in the video clip had not happened in the Swat valley and that the accents of the people heard speaking in the video were not those of the region. “This fabricated video clip is a conspiracy to sabotage the Swat peace deal between the Taliban and the NWFP government,” the commissioner said after his visit to the Kala Kalay village where the incident is alleged to have taken place.

Recent arrests of the central characters of the video revealed that it was staged for a PKR 500,000. During operation in Malakand division, the law-enforcement agencies had arrested the children who were present in the video while a resident of Swat was apprehended by Kohat administration. “The children and the arrested man revealed that the video was ‘fake’ and said that it was made on the demand of Islamabad-based NGO which provided him Rs0.5 million,” it is revealed.

The report also confirmed the arrest of the women who admitted to have accepted PKR 100,000. Citing sources it was further revealed Sources revealed that woman who was flogged in the video was also arrested and she revealed that she had received PKR 100,000 while PKR 50,000 was given to each child. Sources said that the NGO produced the video to defame the country’s integrity and respect.

Exposed! Ms. Minallah reiterated with very bold and highly emotional rants, her recently published article scrutinizes the revelation. “The article does not bear the name of a journalist. It does not specify the name or identity of the ‘Swati man’ who claims to have made the video. It does not give the name of the NGO that supposedly paid the ‘local actors’ for acting in the ‘fake’ video. If all these were paid actors, does that imply that the Taliban leaders who admitted that the incident had happened were paid too?”

Highly charged and emotional she goes on to write “At a time when the entire country was under the threat of militants, I not only brought the attention of the country to this video but also condemned it at the risk of my own life. Much to the disappointment of many ‘professional conspirators’, the video was made by the Taliban and not by me”.

She explains that her role was merely to bring it (video) to public attention. “No NGO made millions by ‘launching’ the video because the video was already on mobile phones and the internet since weeks. The only thing ‘added’ to it was open and clear condemnation from me,” she adds.

However the role of Muslim Khan is also commendable, as he ensured the credibility of the video through his statement “She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross,” quoted by the Guardian.

Public opinion is divided, to some these Talibans’ are home grown barbarians, preaching their backward and extremist interpretation of Islam. Some say they are mercenaries funded by the Indians and Northern Alliance (Afghanistan). Americans gave us enormous aid and weapons and they want us to use them, more damagingly against our own people, is another widely held belief. The conflict was well suited to our American friends, as they saw it a chance to not only engage our military but also make us use our defense inventory.

The conflict has depleted many of our resources and the country has lost a good number of souls – both soldiers and civilians. There is a growing concern at the length of the operation. Rational thinker are advocating dialogue as a means of ending the conflict others. The road to righteousness (operation rah e raast) and subsequent salvation (rah e nijaat) is laden with gravestones of the sons of Pakistan. The lengthening conflict in the backdrop of above debate has baffled many a brains. What is righteousness and if large scale deaths and bombings is righteousness than would there be salvation in this life and the hereafter?

People of the area, the principal loser, never wanted any of this and are weary of this conflict. A simple conversation with any Pashtun, working in the urban Karachi or Lahore, will serve as an insight into the conflict. They all have harrowing tales of war to share real happenings to their kith and kin back in the war zones. However, it’s the liberation front, a group of educated and urbanized brand of thinkers, savvy of western praise and in some cases funding, wants to wipe the area clean. Willing to shed as much blood as necessary provided it is not theirs.

Swat flogging: How dajjali system works?

In Clsh of Civilizations, pakistan on April 6, 2010 at 3:28 am

A master piece by Dr. Jawwad Khan

If you ask me about working of dajjali system, i would say that it works by using three tools:
1) Deception
2) Exaggeration
3) Control.

Deception:

An important tool of the state affairs especially of super powers like USA. The implications are huge as America is always rule by war profiteers.We saw many time US officials and media telling lies coherently. There are many examples like Hiroshima, Nagasaki nuclear bombing based on Pearl Harbor attacks. We saw this whole Vietnam war was fought on a false report. In the modern days the events like 9/11,when the whole drama was staged with careful analysis and study and used for series of war.
Exaggeration:
Using all modern resources of telecommunications and making the event look horrible and terrible and creating an atmosphere necessary to make some big decisions and finally achieving goals. Make the common man believe that what is happened is the worst thing in the entire history of the nation and if not countered proper use of force ,will result in extreme degree of damage and devastation. For this purpose fear is created in the hearts and mind. Like recently we saw the use of gruesome beheading videos. Where no one could ever know the real identity of those killers.

Control:
Control the general population, their psyche, mood, way of thinking and setting some new thresholds required to achieve the goals. Setting new social standards and areas of prime importance that make people unaffiliated with state affairs and live in their own utopia. This makes the control easy and helps adopting uninterrupted and unquestioned criminal policies.

Why I am talking about dajjali system? Because toswat floggingday I found in news about the inquiry ordered by senate chairman regarding the release of fake video which  sparked a nationwide protest and anger. The  resentment was unprecedented. people protested on the streets of the big cities like Karachi and Lahore. This issue was picked by all human rights and women rights organization and used effectively. The hue and cry developed due to this incident helped Pakistan Army to launch an decisive and deadly strike against Taliban. Hundreds of people died. Millions became homeless and displaced in other parts of the country.

That video footage of alleged flogging was claimed to be captured through a mobile camera of one of spectator and later on released to the national media by NGO from the behalf of Samar minullah almost 1 year ago.

After coming out from initial shock some tried to analyze the video and observed some flaws in the whole drama.
1) The ANP spokesman Mr.Zahid Khan was the first on media to express the reservations against the authenticity of the video tape. According to him the women enjoy a much greater respect in Pakhtoonwali and this kind of incident is shocking, strange and against the pakhtoon traditions.

2) Spokesman of Taliban, Muslim Khan verified this incident.
3) Many including me believed that the video is fake and commenting on teethmaestro i said:I bet even the most powerful man can not stand and run like that after flogging.as a doctor i can tell you that she was flogged on the gluteus maximus (the muscle which play an important role in standing from lying position). Look again the way she stood up ran towards room. It is 100% fake”

4) Timing of the video was interesting because the video helped in sabotaging Swat peace deal and create an environment which made the army operation inevitable and acceptable for all Pakistanis.

Now after 1 year we discovered that video was fake. In recent development Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday said he has ordered an inquiry into media reports about a “fake” video of a girl being flogged in Swat, allegedly financed by a non-governmental organization, which surfaced just before the launch of Operation Rah-e-Rast.

According to a media report, a resident of Swat, who claimed to have “manufactured” the video, revealed he had received Rs 500,000 for doing so. It said the girl who was shown being flogged in the footage was also arrested, who revealed she had received Rs 100,000. Before the operation, an Islamabad-based NGO financed the preparation of the video, which showed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan members publicly flogging a girl, the report quoted the resident as having said.
The questions arise from recent discoveries that:
1) What were the motive of the Samar Minullah and the NGO behind this fake video beside earning enough money?
2) Who were the prime beneficiaries of the outcomes of the video? was it Pak army or some other powers.
3) Isn’t too dangerous and risky to have a knee jerk reflexes just by watching a video on TV screen? Once this dajjali method is used successfully and can be used again.

This method (deception, exaggeration and control) is growing and evolving with the age of globalization. World has become a village. Every major and minor event in the world is pushing us in a specific direction. The direction of complete obedience and control of the people, giving the false sense of freedom and just a few social liberties. I sincerely believe that world is being prepared for the DAJJAL.

Reality about South Punjab Conspiracy – Wrong Perception(Urdu)

In pakistan on July 31, 2009 at 6:37 pm

South punjab

Opinion Polls : Militancy in Pakistan: A View from the Provinces

In Opinion Polls on July 31, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Source : http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brasiapacificra/629.php?nid=&id=&pnt=629&lb=bras

pakistan-south-waziristan-taliban-fightersPakistani_soldiers_army_news_06072007_001Most Pakistanis now see the Pakistani Taliban as well as al Qaeda as a critical threat to the country–a major shift from 18 months ago–and support the government and army in their fight in the Swat Valley against the Pakistani Taliban. An overwhelming majority think that Taliban groups who seek to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan.

However, this does not bring with it a shift in attitudes toward the US. A large majority continue to have an unfavorable view of the US government. Almost two-thirds say they do not have confidence in Obama. An overwhelming majority opposes US drone attacks in Pakistan.

These are some of the results of a new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll conducted May 17-28, 2009. The nationwide map pakistanrandom sample included 1000 Pakistani adults, selected using multi-stage probability sampling, who responded in face-to-face interviews. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent.

“A sea change has occurred in Pakistani public opinion. The tactics and undemocratic bent of militant groups–in tribal areas as well as Swat–have brought widespread revulsion and turned Pakistanis against them,” comments Clay Ramsay, research director. However, he adds: “It’s crucial to understand that the US is resented just as much as before, despite the US having a new president.”

There has been a huge increase in those who think the “activities of Islamist militants and local Taliban” are a critical PUBLICthreat to Pakistan–a 47 point rise to 81 percent, up from 34 percent in late 2007. If the Pakistani Taliban were to gain control of the country, 75 percent say this would be bad (very bad, 67%)–though only 33 percent think this outcome is likely.

pakistancover2Seventy percent say their sympathies are more with the government than with the Pakistani Taliban in the struggle over Swat. Large majorities express confidence in the government (69%) and the military (72%) to handle the situation. Retrospectively, the public leans (by 45% to 40%) toward thinking the government was right to try to make an agreement in which the Pakistani Taliban would shut down its camps and turn in its heavy weapons in return for a shari’a court system in Swat. But now 67 percent think the Pakistani Taliban violated the agreement when it sent its forces into more areas, and 63 percent think the people of Swat disapprove of the agreement.

On the Afghan Taliban, an overwhelming 87 percent think that groups fighting to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan. Most (77%) do not believe the Afghan Taliban has bases in Pakistan. However, if Pakistan’s government were to identify such bases in the country, three in four (78%) think it should close the bases even if it requires using military force.

Public attitudes toward al Qaeda training camps follow the same pattern. Those saying the “activities of al Qaeda” are a critical threat to Pakistan are up 41 points to 82 percent. Almost all (88%) think al Qaeda should not be allowed to operate training camps in Pakistan. Though 76 percent do not believe there are such camps, if the Pakistani government were to identify them, 74 percent say the government should close them, with force if necessary.

This striking new public willingness to see the government directly oppose Taliban groups and al Qaeda owes little or nothing to an “Obama effect.” A 62 percent majority expresses low confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in world affairs (none at all, 41%). Only one in three (32%) think his policies will be better for Pakistan; 62 percent think they will be about the same (26%) or worse (36%).

Views of the US remain overwhelmingly negative. Sixty-nine percent have an unfavorable view of the current US government (58% very unfavorable)–essentially the same as in 2008. Eighty-eight percent think it is a US goal to weaken and divide the Islamic world (78% definitely a goal). The US Predator drone attacks aimed at militant camps within the Pakistani border are rejected by 82 percent as unjustified. On the war in Afghanistan, 72 percent disapprove of the NATO mission and 79 percent want it ended now; 86 percent think most Afghans want the mission ended as well.

Asked about the nation’s leaders, a large majority–68 percent–views President Zardari unfavorably (very, 50%), but–unlike the recent past–there are multiple national leaders whom most do view favorably. Prime Minister Gilani is seems untarred by negative views of Zardari and gets favorable ratings from 80 percent of Pakistanis. The restored Chief Justice Chaudry is very popular (82%), and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif is extremely popular (87%). The leader most associated with the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Sufi Mohammad, is viewed positively by only 18 percent of Pakistanis.

WorldPublicOpinion.org is a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Calvert Foundation.

Pakistani Public Turns Against Taliban, But Still Negative on US

In Opinion Polls on July 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Latest Survey released on July 1st by World Public Opinion

Source: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brasiapacificra/619.php?nid=&id=&pnt=619&lb=

Most Pakistanis now see the Pakistani Taliban as well as al Qaeda as a critical threat to the country–a major shift from 18 months ago–and support the government and army in their fight in the Swat Valley against the Pakistani Taliban. An overwhelming majority think that Taliban groups who seek to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan.

However, this does not bring with it a shift in attitudes toward the US. A large majority continue to have an unfavorable view of the US government. Almost two-thirds say they do not have confidence in Obama. An overwhelming majority opposes US drone attacks in Pakistan.

These are some of the results of a new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll conducted May 17-28, 2009. The nationwide random sample included 1000 Pakistani adults, selected using multi-stage probability sampling, who responded in face-to-face interviews. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent.

“A sea change has occurred in Pakistani public opinion. The tactics and undemocratic bent of militant groups–in tribal areas as well as Swat–have brought widespread revulsion and turned Pakistanis against them,” comments Clay Ramsay, research director. However, he adds: “It’s crucial to understand that the US is resented just as much as before, despite the US having a new president.”

There has been a huge increase in those who think the “activities of Islamist militants and local Taliban” are a critical threat to Pakistan–a 47 point rise to 81 percent, up from 34 percent in late 2007. If the Pakistani Taliban were to gain control of the country, 75 percent say this would be bad (very bad, 67%)–though only 33 percent think this outcome is likely.

Seventy percent say their sympathies are more with the government than with the Pakistani Taliban in the struggle over Swat. Large majorities express confidence in the government (69%) and the military (72%) to handle the situation. Retrospectively, the public leans (by 45% to 40%) toward thinking the government was right to try to make an agreement in which the Pakistani Taliban would shut down its camps and turn in its heavy weapons in return for a shari’a court system in Swat. But now 67 percent think the Pakistani Taliban violated the agreement when it sent its forces into more areas, and 63 percent think the people of Swat disapprove of the agreement.

On the Afghan Taliban, an overwhelming 87 percent think that groups fighting to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan. Most (77%) do not believe the Afghan Taliban has bases in Pakistan. However, if Pakistan’s government were to identify such bases in the country, three in four (78%) think it should close the bases even if it requires using military force.

Public attitudes toward al Qaeda training camps follow the same pattern. Those saying the “activities of al Qaeda” are a critical threat to Pakistan are up 41 points to 82 percent. Almost all (88%) think al Qaeda should not be allowed to operate training camps in Pakistan. Though 76 percent do not believe there are such camps, if the Pakistani government were to identify them, 74 percent say the government should close them, with force if necessary.

This striking new public willingness to see the government directly oppose Taliban groups and al Qaeda owes little or nothing to an “Obama effect.” A 62 percent majority expresses low confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in world affairs (none at all, 41%). Only one in three (32%) think his policies will be better for Pakistan; 62 percent think they will be about the same (26%) or worse (36%).

Views of the US remain overwhelmingly negative. Sixty-nine percent have an unfavorable view of the current US government (58% very unfavorable)–essentially the same as in 2008. Eighty-eight percent think it is a US goal to weaken and divide the Islamic world (78% definitely a goal). The US Predator drone attacks aimed at militant camps within the Pakistani border are rejected by 82 percent as unjustified. On the war in Afghanistan, 72 percent disapprove of the NATO mission and 79 percent want it ended now; 86 percent think most Afghans want the mission ended as well.

Asked about the nation’s leaders, a large majority–68 percent–views President Zardari unfavorably (very, 50%), but–unlike the recent past–there are multiple national leaders whom most do view favorably. Prime Minister Gilani is seems untarred by negative views of Zardari and gets favorable ratings from 80 percent of Pakistanis. The restored Chief Justice Chaudry is very popular (82%), and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif is extremely popular (87%). The leader most associated with the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Sufi Mohammad, is viewed positively by only 18 percent of Pakistanis.

WorldPublicOpinion.org is a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Calvert Foundation.