Indians view LeT, Pak as greatest threats

An overwhelming majority of Indians view LeT and Pakistan as the greatest threats to their country.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 00:26 AM IST

Washington: An overwhelming majority of
Indians view LeT and Pakistan as the greatest threats to their
country and believe that there is a link between the two, an
opinion poll shows.

The poll by the Pew Research Centre said that a plurality
of Indians characterise Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group responsible
for the Mumbai attacks, as the greatest threat facing their
country, along with Pakistan.

"One-third name Pakistan as the greatest threat and
overwhelmingly Indians believe there is a link between these
two threats: 58 per cent say the Pakistani government actively
supports extremist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, while another
21 per cent think it at least tolerates them," it said.

"And if these groups were to conduct another terrorist
attack against India, most would support military action
against them in Pakistan," according to the poll.

Obama, US, popular

More than seven-in-ten (73 percent) Indians have confidence in the American president, and about two-thirds (66 percent) express a favourable opinion of the United States, although this is down from 76 percent last year.

By contrast, only 51 percent rate Russia favourably, and even fewer feel this way about the European Union (36 percent) or China (34 percent).

Indians are also feeling positive about their own country`s role in world affairs and they are optimistic about its economic future, the Pew Research Centre`s Global Attitudes survey found.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh receives extremely positive ratings (87 percent favourable), as do Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi (87 percent) and her son Rahul Gandhi (85 percent).

Indians express confident views about their country`s role in the international arena. Almost four-in-ten (38 percent) think India is already one of the world`s leading powers and roughly half (49 percent) say it will be one eventually. Only 8 percent believe it will never be a major power.

-Agencies inputs