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Majority of Indians support use of military against terrorism

Majority of Indians support use of military against terrorism

Washington: More than three-fifth of Indians support use of military force to defeat the scourge of terrorism, according to a latest Pew Survey released today which said that about half of the respondents disapprove of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy.

“With roughly half (52 per cent) the Indian public worried that ISIS poses a major threat to their country, about six-in-ten Indians (62 per cent) believe that overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world. Just 21 per cent say relying too much on such force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism,” said Pew Research Center in its report running into 40 pages.

While 68 per cent of the respondents feel that India is playing a more important role in the world than it was doing 10 years ago, the Pew Research Center in its annual survey, which was conducted among 2,464 respondents from April 7 to May 24, said half of the respondents disapprove of Modi’s management of India’s volatile relationship with Pakistan.

His Pakistan policy is approved by just 22 per cent, said the survey which was conducted in the months after the terrorist attack at the Pathankot Air Force base coming from across the border.

“Notably, however, more than half of BJP supporters (54 per cent) and a plurality of Congress party adherents (45 per cent) disapprove of the prime minister’s handling of relations with Pakistan,” the report said.

In the handling of China, supporters of Modi’s own party, the BJP, are more likely than adherents of the Congress party to favor his conduct of bilateral relations.

Pew said Indians are ready to support more defence spending.

Across party lines, more than six-in-ten (63 per cent) think the country should increase spending on national defence, just six per cent want to decrease it and 20 per cent want to keep it at current levels.

Notably, Indians who see China’s growing military power as a very serious problem are more likely than those who see China’s growing military power as a less serious threat to favor increased military spending, it said.

According to Pew, the Indian public’s satisfaction with the direction of the country has increased 36 percentage points since 2013, the year before Modi took power.

The survey found that Indian public’s ciews on the economy have improved by 23 points.

And belief that today’s children will be better off financially than their parents is up eight points.