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Government calls findings of United States-based Pew’s opinion poll as an exercise to undermine democracy

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Islamabad: The Democratic Government of Pakistan rejects the findings of an opinion poll released by U.S.-based Pew Research Centre as an exercise undermining democracy and wrongly portraying the Pakistani people’s struggle against terrorism.

“Democratically held general elections and ballot boxes reflect the real public opinion for an elected government,” said a spokesperson in a statement issued here today. “Random surveys conducted on a sample size of less than 2000 people in a country of more than 180 million do not reflect the true picture of a rapidly evolving and dynamic country like Pakistan.”

Rejecting the latest survey of U.S.-based Pew Research Centre, the spokesperson pointed that the extent of public support that the elected government enjoys can truly be gauged by the series of victories that it has secured in the by-elections conducted during the last three years. “For the Democratic Government and its elected leaders, the real public opinion is cast through votes, and not through perception measurement exercises such as this poll,” he said.

While keeping aside typical populist and headline-grabbing posturing, the Democratic Government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has taken some very brave policy decisions for Pakistan’s good governance and national interest, said the spokesperson.

“Every student of political science knows that brave policy decisions may not be understood by people immediately, and they yield positive results in the long-term only,” said the spokesperson. “Besides, a healthy criticism on government policies in a democracy – always encouraged and welcomed by the Democratic Government—must not be mistaken for a public rejection of national leadership. Does U.S. President Barack Obama’s declining popularity in recent opinion polls suggest that the American people have rejected him?”

The spokesperson questioned the Pew Centre’s singular focus on Pakistan, its elected representatives, and its people. “What are Pew Centre’s real motives and objectives for conducting this survey?” he said. “Which segments of the population have been interviewed and what methodology has been used for this survey? Has this survey been conducted to help Pakistan or to hurt it? It appears to be a malicious exercise to malign Pakistan’s politicians, to undermine its democracy, and to wrongly portray the Pakistani people’s courageous fight against terrorism.”

The Democratic Government will duly raise these questions with the Pew Research Centre and demand a detailed explanation for its motives, objectives and methodology, added the spokesperson.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326


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