By Jamie Crawford
With most of the official relationship between the United States and Pakistan currently in tatters, a new poll shows Pakistani public opinion toward the U.S. in an equally distressing state.
As much as 74% of Pakistanis consider the United States to be an enemy, according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitude Project. The figure is up from 69% a year ago, and 64% three years ago, according to the organization.
The survey comes at a time when the United States is working with the Pakistani government to negotiate the reopening of overland supply routes into Afghanistan after a NATO airstrike last November mistakenly killed 24 members of the Pakistani military.
U.S. President Barack Obama fared no better in Pakistani public opinion, according to Pew. Of the 15 countries surveyed in both 2008 and 2012 in the same survey, Pakistan was the only country where Obama rated no better than former President George W. Bush did during his final year in office.
Coming roughly a year after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, some 7% said they had a positive view of Obama, the same figure Bush received in the 2008 survey.
When it came to Pakistanis' general view of the relationship between Washington and Islamabad, 13% of those surveyed said relations between the two countries had improved in recent years, down 3 percentage points from the same time last year.
Similarly, only 45% of those surveyed said it is important for Pakistan to improve its relationship with the United States, down 15 percentage points from 2011.
U.S. financial assistance to Pakistan also is not too popular with the Pakistani public, despite the fact the Pakistani government is one of the largest recipients of U.S. economic and military aid. Roughly four in 10 of those surveyed said such aid has a negative impact on their country, while only one in 10 viewed such aid as positive.
The controversial American drone program inside Pakistan rated poorly as well, with only 17% of those surveyed backing such strikes against leaders of extremist groups, even if the strikes are conducted in conjunction with the Pakistani government.
The survey also found fewer Pakistanis want intelligence and logistical support from the United States, and fewer Pakistanis said they would be willing to work with the United States on efforts to combat extremist groups operating inside Pakistan.
The face-to-face interviews for the survey were conducted with 1,206 respondents in Pakistan between March 28 and April 13 of this year, the Global Attitude Project said. Approximately 82% of the Pakistani population resides in the areas covered by the sample.
Areas within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir were excluded from the survey for security reasons and instability, as were certain areas of Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.