Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pakistan now likes Uncle Sam better?

According to a report carried in The Daily Times today, the popularity ratings of the US in Pakistan have increased:
“Pakistanis with a favourable opinion of the United States has doubled from 23 percent in May 2005 to more than 46 percent today. Support for Bin Laden over the same period dropped from 51 percent to just 33 percent now. The reason: 78 percent of those surveyed said that American assistance had made them feel more favourable to the United States - even an astonishing 79 percent of those with confidence in Bin Laden now have a more favourable view of the US because of American earthquake aid.”
I was really surprised by the findings. Anti-Americanism and mistrust of the Americans has grown into our national psyche - yet it seems that opinions have reversed for the first time in years. The reason being the direct role of the US and its forces in relief work after the Oct 8th earthquake:
Eighty-one percent said that earthquake relief was important for them in forming their overall opinion of the United States.
If this report indeed reflects the popular opinion here, then it should act as glaring eye-opener to the US. It shows them that the way to win hearts is not through the "war on terror" but by other more peaceful (and well also more meaningful) ways.

Follow the report here.