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88% of Pakistanis say country is failing

12/21/2008 11:41 AM | By Fasihur Rehman Khan, Correspondent

Islamabad: Around 88 per cent of the people of Pakistan think their country is 
heading in the wrong direction, only 11 per cent say it is on the right track, 
says a recent opinion survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI).

The US based IRI conducted the poll from October 15 to 30. The randomly 
selected sample consists of 3,500 adult men and women that belonged to 127 
urban and 223 rural areas from 50 districts and four provinces of Pakistan. The 
IRI claims the margin of error for the sample is 1.66 per cent out of 20 cases. 
Pakistan's print and electronic media has carried this recent IRI report widely.

The Pakistan Peoples Party led coalition government has seen a dramatic decline 
in its ratings across the board, the poll says.

Asked how has the government performed on issues important to them, 76 per cent 
of the people responded negatively, only 21 per cent responded positively. On 
the question if they thought that things would be better now with a 
democratically elected president and parliament in place, 67 per cent replied 
in negative, only 15 per cent were positive.

PML-N leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is still the most popular 
political leader in Pakistan, though his ratings saw a decline from last survey 
in June.

But the country's President Asif Ali Zardari saw a slide in his popularity 
ratings, only 20 per cent rated him favourably in this poll, compared with 45 
per cent in June when he had not assumed the office and was only leading the 
ruling party as its co-chairman - a position he assumed after the assassination 
of his wife and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007.

Around 57 per cent of the people who participated in the poll termed former 
President General Pervez Musharraf's resignation good for the country, 37 per 
cent viewed it as bad.

Human Rights: Activists to be awarded

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Saturday that Pakistan would 
confer five civil awards each year for outstanding work in the field of human 

The awards will be given to two organisations and three human rights activists, 
he said in an address at the closing ceremony of celebrations for a posthumous 
human rights award to former premier Benazir Bhutto. Awards will be nominated 
on December 27, the day Bhutto was assassinated.


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