Monday, January 7, 2008


Many of the "in the know" policy wonks who discuss Pakistan often cite that it's highly unlikely that Pakistan would become an Islamic state. I wonder if they've seen this?

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Most Pakistanis want their country to be a democratic Islamic state but are deeply distrustful of the United States and its war on terrorism, according to a poll released on Sunday.

Funded by the U.S. Institute of Peace, or USIP, the poll was taken in the nuclear-armed nation before President Pervez Musharraf's six-week state of emergency and the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto last month.

The results, released about six weeks before elections scheduled for Feb. 18, show that a large majority of Pakistanis see democracy as fully compatible with Islam, the pollsters said. Democracy ranked especially high among the 60 percent of respondents who wanted Muslim-based Sharia law to play a larger role in legal affairs.

"It shows there is no major Western-oriented secular sub-group in Pakistan. People want more Islam. They don't think Pakistan is pious enough or that Islamic values are adequately expressed in daily life," said Steven Kull, director of, a non-profit group affiliated with the University of Maryland that conducted the poll for USIP.

No comments: