Poll results – What do Pakistanis think about bin Laden, Obama, and the U.S.?

A just-released Pew poll holds some grim news about the Pakistani public's views toward the United States. For starters, almost two-thirds of Pakistanis don't approve of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And only 12 percent had a positive view of the United States in general; while 8 percent viewed President Obama favorably -- numbers that put him in the same class as former President George W. Bush.

Some key numbers from the poll, according to Richard Wike, associate director of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Bin Laden Raid

63 percent of Pakistanis disapprove of the operation

10 percent approve of it

27 percent don't have an opinion

18 percent believe the Pakistani government knew bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad.

53 percent had no opinion.

United States

12 percent have a favorable view of America

73 percent have an unfavorable view


8 percent have confidence in Obama

68 percent don't have confidence in him

In 2008, when the same question was asked about Bush, 7 percent expressed confidence.

Al Qaeda

12 percent have a favorable view of al Qaeda

55 percent have an unfavorable view

33 percent don't know

In 2008, those numbers were:

25 percent favorable

34 percent unfavorable

41 percent don't know


12 percent favorable

63 percent unfavorable

24 percent don't know

But that displeasure doesn't translate into support for government action against the groups.

37 percent support using the Pakistani army to fight extremists in the country's restive regions -- a figure that is 16 percentage points lower than two years ago, according to Pew.

26 percent oppose using the Pakistani army to fight extremists.

38 percent didn't give an opinion. 

Military and political leaders

By and large, the Pakistani military remains the most popular institution in the country.

79 percent say the military is having a good influence on the country.

76 percent feel that way about the media

60 percent feel that way about religious leaders

41 percent -- the court system

26 percent -- the police

14 percent -- for President Asif Ali Zardari

View the full survey here


Photos: Michelle meets Mandela

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, who turns 93 next month, has largely stayed out of the spotlight this past year. But today he met with First Lady Michelle Obama, who is on a week-long official visit to Africa with her daughters, Sasha and Malia.  

According to USA Today, the meeting was unplanned. Obama and her group were invited to Mandela's house at his invitation, while they were touring his foundation in Johannesburg.

It was the first time the two have met. Mandela and Barack Obama met back in 2005, when he was still a senator. 


Nelson Mandela Foundation