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70% Pakistanis back nuclear Iran

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    70% Pakistanis back nuclear Iran DAWN, WASHINGTON June 16 www.dawn.com As many as 70 per cent Pakistanis want Iran to have nuclear weapons, said a survey
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2006
      70% Pakistanis back nuclear Iran
      June 16

      As many as 70 per cent Pakistanis want Iran to have nuclear weapons,
      said a survey report released this week. The survey by Terror Free
      Tomorrow, a non-governmental organisation which is patronized by
      several powerful US lawmakers, showed that 55 per cent people in Saudi
      Arabia and Turkey also favoured a nuclear-armed Iran. The NGO-" which
      has Senator John McCain and several members of the 9/11 commission on
      its advisory board - commissioned the wide-ranging poll to learn about
      attitudes towards Iran's nuclear programme among its neighbours and
      also to gauge anti-West sentiment in these countries.

      As many as 68 per cent in Pakistan, 46 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 44
      per cent in Turkey said that they would prefer the United States to
      accept a nuclear Iran rather than intervene to prevent it. "I don't
      think they really support nuclear weapons in Iran," Wayne White,
      former deputy director of the State Department's Middle East
      intelligence shop told the Washington Times. "It's probably more of a
      pushback against the US, basically saying that they'd mind that a lot
      less than more US involvement in the region." The survey also shows
      that anti-American sentiment in the Muslim countries has reached
      startling levels, but positive US policies like disaster-relief
      efforts can help reverse the trend. When asked how they viewed the
      United States, 89 per cent in Saudi Arabia, 84 per cent in the United
      Arab Emirates, 71 per cent in Turkey and 64 per cent in Pakistan
      answered "unfavourable". Additionally, 66 per cent of Pakistanis
      opposed the US-led fight against terrorism.

      Ken Ballen, president of Terror Free Tomorrow and a former federal
      prosecutor and counsel to the Iran-Contra committee, said the poll
      results were "startling" and showed that radical anti-Western views
      were becoming the consensus in the Muslim world. "US policy-makers
      need to take these opinions into account. I know we don't make
      policies based on polls data, but we need to try to understand why
      these radical ideas are gaining traction and figure out if our
      policies are being counterproductive" said Mr Ballen.

      According to the polls, 67 per cent in both Pakistan and Turkey and 65
      per cent in Saudi Arabia viewed a series of recently published
      blasphemous Danish cartoons as evidence that the West is antagonistic
      towards Islam.Mr Ballen said there was "a silver lining" to the poll
      results. "Positive US policies like earthquake relief in Pakistan and
      tsunami aid in Indonesia improved pro-Western attitudes." The polls
      showed that US aid promoted a more favourable view of the United
      States among 75 per cent of Pakistanis and 63 per cent of Indonesians.
      Among Palestinians, 68 per cent had an unfavourable opinion of the
      United States, but 60 per cent said that they wanted the US to do more
      to help resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.Mr White said: "This
      seems confusing because the US is seen as such a big ally of Israel.
      The Palestinians might not like a lot of the things that the US does,
      but they know if there is anyone on the globe who can talk Israel into
      being more reasonable, it's Washington."



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