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Pakistani opinion remains calm and unprovoked during threat of war with India

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1. PAKISTANIS ARE APPREHENSIVE BUT CALM AMID THREAT OF WAR WITH INDIA

  • 74% believe war is highly or somewhat likely.
  • Views are split on the possibility of dialogue with India. 51% believe India will accept Pakistan’s offer to engage in dialogue, 47% doubt it.
  • 70% oppose initiation of war with India.
  • Only a few were sufficiently upset by threat of war to plan storing food (24%), digging a trench (18%), change in travel plans (17%) or change of residential location (14%).

2. KEEN ON PEACE YET CAUTIOUS IN FRIENDSHIP

  • Threat of war did not provoke war hysteria. 75% say they are not keen on Pakistan’s going to war with India.
  • Only 16% support war as a means to decide the prevailing tensions with India.
  • Views are sharply divided on whether India will accept Pakistan’s offer to end lifelong hostility and conflict. 50% are optimistic, 47% are pessimists on this prospect.
  • Views on prospects of friendship involving trade, travel sports and educational exchanged are cautious. In general caution outweighs enthusiasm.

3. PAKISTANIS RECOGNIZE NUCLEAR DANGER; OPPOSE FIRST STRIKE

  • 43% of Pakistanis fear India might go for a first strike in nuclear exchange with Pakistan; 46% dispute it.
  • 44% believe that (if war requires) Pakistan will use its nuclear weapons; 41% believe to the contrary.
  • 60% oppose first strike in a nuclear engagement with India.
  • Vast majority of Pakistanis recognize the destructive power of nuclear warfare between India and Pakistan. 88% believe a nuclear war will lead to tens of millions of causalities or more.

4. MAJORITY RALLIES BEHIND GOVERNMENT. POLITICAL POLARIZATION GIVES WAY TO BROAD CONSENSUS ON WAR AND PEACE WITH INDIA

  • 58% favor present government’s foreign policy towards India, only 37% express reservations.
  • 68% express satisfaction with the overall foreign policy direction of the present government.
  • 69% express satisfaction with the Prime Minister’s speech in the parliament regarding the current crisis with India; 50% appreciate the speech of the leader of the opposition.
  • Widespread support for the Prime Minister’s step to release India’s captured pilot: 66% support, while 32% oppose.
  • Despite widespread support for releasing India’s captured pilot only 21% believe the gesture will change India’s war posture.
  • 72% are satisfied with unity in the ranks of national politicians on the issue of warlike tensions with India, 26% are not fully satisfied.
  • 75% believe that under the current circumstances (of conflict with India) former PM Nawaz Sharif should be released as a gesture to minimize domestic disputes.
  • Appreciation of government and all other political groups in the country, comprising key parties in the opposition, outweighs their criticism. Political polarization has sharply declined during threat of war with India.

5. PAKISTANIS PESSIMIST ON SUPPORT FROM AMERICA AND ITS ALLIES. OPTIMISTIC EXPECTATIONS FROM CHINA AND MUSLIM NATIONS

  • Pakistanis expect support from China and Muslim nations. In the case of China, Saudia Arabia, Turkey and Iran expected support outweighs expected opposition by wide margins; the expected support from Afghanistan and Bangladesh is relatively subdued. In the case of USA, UK, Australia, Russia and Japan expected opposition exceeds expected support.
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