Pakistanis opposed to status quo on Kashmir: survey
By Rana Fawad
WASHINGTON: Seventy-one percent of Pakistanis are strongly opposed to an outcome in which Kashmir remains under Indian control in the present status whereas only 12 percent Indians declared this status quo as unacceptable. Fifty-six percent Indians said it was desirable (26%) or acceptable (29%) whereas for 10 percent Indians the status quo is tolerable.
These are the findings of a survey “Pakistani and Indian Public Opinion on Kashmir and Indo-Pakistan Relations” released on Wednesday at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The questionnaire was developed by the World Public Opinion.org and while a face-to-face survey with 1,258 respondents in India was carried out in two phases by Team CVoter during October and November in 10 of the largest metropolitan areas. Sampling error of this size is approximately +/- 2.8 percentage points, according to the news release.
In Pakistan, the sample size comprised 907 adults from 19 cities and survey was conducted by AC Nielson Pakistan between September 12, and September 28, 2007. Sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 3.3 percentage points.
As for the idea of an Independent Kashmir, 53 percent Pakistanis called it desirable while 29 percent think it is unacceptable. On the other hand, 53 percent Indians declared independent Kashmir as unacceptable.
As for the joint management (by India and Pakistan) of Kashmir, 50 percent Pakistanis and 48 percent Indians opposed this idea.
The idea of dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan also got low approval rating as 52 percent Pakistanis and 42 percent Indians said it was unacceptable.
Sixty percent Pakistanis welcomed the notion of Kashmir’s annexation by Pakistan while 61 percent Indians said it was unacceptable.
Greater self-rule for Jammu and Kashmir within India is unacceptable to 66 percent Pakistanis while only nine percent Indians said it was desirable and for 46 percent Indians it is acceptable or tolerable.
On the question of the role of the United States, a majority of Pakistanis (57 percent ) thinks the US primarily takes India’s side while only 19 percent Indians say the US takes Pakistan’s side.