Washington: Nearly three-fifths of the people of Pakistan believe that India poses a greater threat to their country than those from the Taliban and al-Qaeda, a latest survey results released yesterday said.
Only 22 percent of Pakistanis have a favorable view of traditional rival India, although this is actually a slight improvement from 14 percent last year.
Moreover, when asked which is the biggest threat to their country, India, the Taliban, or al-Qaeda, 59 percent named India, said Pew Research Center.
Pakistanis, it said, have consistently identified India as the top threat since the question was first asked in 2009.
The percentage fearing India has increased by 11 points since then, while the percentage naming the Taliban has decreased by nine points.
Despite these negative sentiments, 62 percent of Pakistanis say it is important to improve relations with India. And roughly two-thirds support more bilateral trade and further talks to try to reduce tensions between the two nations, the survey results said.
Most Indians, it said, also want better relations, more trade, and further talks between the two nations. Still, Indian attitude toward Pakistan remain largely negative.
Roughly six-in-ten Indians (59 percent) express an unfavorable opinion of Pakistan, although this is down slightly from 65 percent in 2011.
India is not the only country, however, where negative views of Pakistan prevail.
Majorities or pluralities give Pakistan a negative rating in six of the seven other countries where this question was asked, including China, Japan, and three predominantly Muslim nations — Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.
China it said continues to receive high marks in Pakistan. Nine-in-ten Pakistanis consider China a partner; only two percent say it is more of an enemy.
“Pakistanis and Indians agree that Kashmir should be a priority for their countries. Roughly eight-in-ten Pakistanis and about six-in-ten Indians say it is very important to resolve the dispute over Kashmir,” the report said.