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Pakistanis critical of Taliban, extremist groups: Pew

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Washington: People in Pakistan are extremely critical of terrorist organisations and support government action to fight extremists, a Pew Research survey said today.

“Overall, Pakistanis had a very negative view of the Taliban and the TTP,” Pew said on the survey which it said is based on previously unreleased data on public attitudes in Pakistan from 2015, it said.

In the survey last April, 72 per cent had an unfavourable view of the Taliban umbrella group, while six-in-10 had negative opinions of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan specifically.

About half (53 per cent) of Pakistanis viewed the Afghan Taliban negatively and 47 per cent voiced dislike for al-Qaeda, Pew said.

It said most Pakistanis do not have an opinion on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that carried out the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and operates in the Jammu and Kashmir nor IS, but among those who do, sentiments towards these extremist groups are negative.

Across all the extremist organisations tested, no more than 15 per cent of Pakistanis showed support for them, with more people in each case not offering an opinion.

In 2015, Pakistanis were confident that the government was making progress in the fight against extremists, Pew said.

A 56 per cent majority said that the government was making progress, with only seven percent saying it was losing ground and 12 per cent saying things were about the same as in the past.

As is typical of Pakistani public opinion, a quarter did not offer an opinion, Pew said.

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