ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has rejected findings of a survey conducted by the US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and questioned the timing of the release of the survey that was conducted in November last year.
In a statement issued by the party’s media office on Monday, PPP secretary general Nayyar Bokhari said the release of the survey at a time when Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was ‘fast losing’ its credibility among the public had raised serious questions over the timing of the release of the survey.
Mr Bokhari said the survey was a complete negation of the prevailing economic conditions and poor governance in the country.
A nationwide poll of Pakistanis by the IRI’s Centre for Insights in Survey Research has revealed strong approval ratings for the PTI government and confidence in the July 2018 elections.
Says the exercise is a complete negation of prevailing economic conditions and ‘poor’ governance
According to the survey, a combined 57 per cent of respondents think that Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing either a “very good job” (17pc) or a “good job” (40pc) so far, and a combined 56pc approve of the government. A plurality of respondents (40pc) say that they are willing to give the government one year (26pc) or two years (14pc) to start delivering on their campaign promises.
Contrary to the opposition’s claim that the July 2018 elections were engineered and manipulated, the poll has indicated high levels of confidence in the results of the general elections.
A clear majority (84pc) say that the results were either “very accurate” (46pc) or “somewhat accurate” (38pc). A combined 83pc believe that the election was either “completely free and fair” (50pc) or “mostly free and fair” (33pc).
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Centre for Insights in Survey Research and the data was collected between Nov 1 and 22, 2018, through in-home, in-person interviews. The sample consisted of 3,991 respondents aged 18 and older and was representative of voting-age adults nationally.
Mr Bokhari said: “The survey conducted in the past is an effort to cover up the anti-people policies of the present government.”
He alleged that there had been an enormous increase in the number of those people living below the poverty line, whereas the ruling elite had reached a new height of richness.
The PPP leader was of the view that conditions in the country had been changed since November when the survey was conducted, alleging that there had been 200 per cent increase in prices of commodities and the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) had come down to three per cent in the last six months. Similarly, he alleged inflation was touching the mark of 8.5 per cent, the highest in the last four years.
Mr Bokhari said local industrialists, businessmen and traders were making investments abroad due to the prevailing economic conditions in the country.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019