Most Pakistanis support dialogue with militants: poll
Agence France-Presse

ISLAMABAD (AFP) — More than 70 percent of Pakistanis support dialogue with pro-Taliban militants in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan over military intervention, according to a survey published Thursday.

Some 71 percent of respondents favoured talks, according to the June survey by the International Republican Institute, a US group with links to the Republican party.

When asked what was the most effective way to deal with terrorism, 61 percent cited economic development and education, nine percent said military force, and 24 percent said both.

“IRI’s poll reveals that the Pakistani people are unambiguous, preferring negotiation and development to military options,” the group said.

More than 70 percent of Pakistanis opposed the country’s cooperation with the United States’ “war on terror,” with just 15 percent in favour, according to the poll of 3,484 people selected at random. However 81 percent people supported new government’s policy on terrorism.

Pakistan dropped its support for the hardline Taliban under pressure from Washington after the 9/11 attacks, becoming a key US ally in the “war on terror.”

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