WASHINGTON: A majority of Americans do not see Pakistan as a friend to the United States, says an opinion survey released on Monday.The survey, conducted on Nov 27, a day after a Nato air strike killed 25 Pakistani soldiers, asked US citizens: Do you consider Pakistan to be a friend or enemy of the United States?
An enemy to the US was the choice of 55 per cent respondents. Only seven pc said they considered Pakistan a friend, 26 pc did not consider Pakistan a friend or enemy and 12 pc did not have an opinion.
The surveyors, a US polling agency called Poll Positions, noted that the relationship between the United States and Pakistan had been up and down over the past years.
The US considers Pakistan a strong ally on the war on terror. However, America politicians expressed some dismay when Osama bin Laden was found living in a house near a Pakistani military intelligence facility. He had reportedly been living there for several years. Pakistan said it did not know Bin Laden was there.
The surveyors pointed out that Pakistan also had expressed anger towards the US over predator drone missile strikes that have killed civilians and members of the Pakistani military. The US says predator drone strikes are an effective tool in targeting terrorists.
Last month, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan as part of a concerted effort to improve relations but the relationship nose-dived when US-led Nato forces blew up two Pakistani military posts near the Afghan border on Saturday, stirring countrywide protests.
The survey also shows another change in US attitudes towards Pakistan. Until recently, Pakistan was more popular among the conservative-minded Republicans apparently because of close ties between the two militaries while Democrats had strong reservations against the country.
But Sunday's survey shows that now more Republicans see Pakistan as an enemy than Democrats or independents. Among Republicans, 70 pc consider Pakistan an enemy, 6 pc said Pakistan is a friend, 12 pc chose neither, and 12 pc had no opinion.
Democrats countered with 47 pc considering Pakistan an enemy, 11 pc said Pakistan is a friend, 30 pc said neither, and 12 pc offered no opinion. Among Independents, 45 pc looked at Pakistan as an enemy, 4 pc a friend, 37 pc said neither friend nor enemy, and 14 pc did not offer an opinion.
Poll Position's scientific telephone survey of 1,176 registered voters nationwide was conducted on Nov 27 and has a margin of error of plus, minus three pc.
Poll results are weighted to be a representative sampling of all American adults.