Kashmir at the crux: Poll
Washington, June 22: A majority of people in India and Pakistan think that resolution of Kashmir issue, which is at the crux of tensions in the region, is important to facilitate better ties between the two “hostile” neighbours.
Majorities in both countries think it is important to find a resolution to the Kashmir, latest poll by Pew Research Centre released Tuesday said.
Suggesting that at the crux of tensions between India and Pakistan lies the Kashmir dispute, the poll noted nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of Pakistanis consider the Kashmir dispute a very big problem.
Majorities in both countries think it is important to find a resolution to the Kashmir issue, but Pakistanis are more likely than Indians to give this issue high salience (80 percent vs 66 percent very important).
Majorities of Pakistanis across age, education and ethnic groups agree that resolving this issue is very important.
Despite the visible hostility between the two neighbours, a large majority of people on both sides of the border want to improve relations.
Pakistanis continue to see India in a bad light with the public view getting more negative about their arch rivals over the past five years.
Only 14 percent of Pakistanis view India in a favourable light. Fiftyfour percent consider India to be a serious threat to Pakistan over Taliban (34 percent) and Al Qaeda (29 percent).
Likewise, Indian attitudes toward Pakistan are generally negative - 65 percent express an unfavourable opinion of Pakistan and a plurality considers Pakistan the greatest threat to their country.
Despite the tensions, Pakistanis and Indians agree that it is important to improve relations between the two nations, the poll notes. People in both countries are supportive of additional diplomatic talks and stronger trade ties across the border.
Pakistani views of India are considerably more negative than those in other Asian countries surveyed, although more than half (53 percent) of Chinese also have an unfavourable opinion of India, the Pew poll noted.
Pakistanis are considerably less likely than Indians to see American policies in the region as fair toward both countries. Only 9 percent of Pakistanis see the US approach in the sub-continent as fair, while more than half (52 percent) say US policies favour India.
Indians are more divided on this issue. Nearly three-in-ten (27 percent) say that US policies in the region are balanced, while a similar proportion (29 percent) believes that the US favours India. Only 13 percent say that Pakistan garners greater favour.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 22 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 23 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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