ATP Poll Results: Biggest Threats for Pakistan

Posted on March 28, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll
35 Comments
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Adil Najam

The results to our most recent ATP Poll – on the biggest threats facing Pakistan’s future – may be the most surprising results to have come out of any ATP Poll ever.


As in any poll one can quibble about which categories should or should not have been chosen. If, as some have suggested, we combine the category on “corruption and bad governance” (150 votes, 21%) with the category on “incompetent political leaders” (143 votes, 20%) then our own politicians, bureaucracy and establishment becomes the biggest threat (combined 293 votes, 41%). But even with that so, nearly as many people voted for what is now the top answer – religious extremism and violence is the biggest threat to Pakistan (286 votes, 40%). There is, indeed, a strong recognition of the internal wars being fought in and against Pakistan today!

Although 711 is a decent sized sample, this is a blog poll and should not be taken any more seriously than that because the sample is self-selected and non-scientific.

However, the real surprise here is not what people voted for, but what they did not vote for. For example, despite all the rhetoric and chest-beating one hears, only 40 votes (5%) felt that “USA and the West” are Pakistan’s biggest threat. Even more surprisingly, only 21 votes (3%) felt that India – the supposed arch-nemesis of Pakistan – is the main threat facing Pakistan today. With 19 and 18 votes (3% each) the categories of “Economic and resource challenges” including poverty and “Ethnic and Provincial fault-lines” make up the bottom.

So, what is happening here. Why did “India” or “The West” not get more votes even though the discourse most often talks about them? What does it say that the largest threats identified – more than 80 percent of the total vote – is in three categories that are all internally driven? Have new threats increased in size, or have old ones receded in impact? Thoughts, dear readers?

35 responses to “ATP Poll Results: Biggest Threats for Pakistan”

  1. WSD says:

    Well the poll reflects one fact; our internal threat is far bigger than external. Also if i am given a choice i will blame it on decaying leadership, which, if mends its way or is replaced by genuine people, will alone be able to address all internal and external threats

  2. bonobashi says:

    @Owes Ahmed

    Agreed. 200%. Not developed, not Islamic, not even worthy opponents, ridiculously easy to beat. Well put, so pithy, yet so comprehensive.

    Could you pass it around please? And see to it that these ridiculous comparisons are never again made? Ignore the bumbling idiots completely. Don’t even mention them, even to say that they should not be mentioned. You would have contributed hugely to raising the tone of current discourse. Unborn generations will bless you in their prayers.

  3. Owes Ahmed says:

    Why should all our comparisons in development and good things be related to India?
    After all it is neither a developed country and nor an Islamic one?
    Maybe because it is easier to beat them as compared to UK or Malaysia/Turkey.

  4. Fayyaz says:

    Wish Corrupt governance ends or co. people from govt. vanishes. Wish; sincere politicians takes charge. Will result in sincere efforts to change minds from extremism and indigenous solutions to own pakistani people problems will emerge. simultaneously , the external factors and enemies will be easily distinguished and solved for (by hook or by crook, with the physical and moral support of public, in case…. confusion is bifurcated). USA nad west may be dealt with a new foreign policy. India itself is out of picture ,once enemies distinguished (as above).Economy will progress automatically by ALLAH special help. Once external enemies sidelined , ethnic and provincial faultlines may vanish itself by a little effort, as it was just 25 years back.

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