Washington: Though a large number of people in Pakistan describe terrorism as a major problem, a majority of them are far less concerned about India-centric terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as compared to Taliban and al Qaeda.
"Just 35% have a negative view of LeT, a much lower percentage than for the other extremist organisations tested," said the Pew Research Center in its latest opinion poll released on Friday. One-in-four Pakistanis express a positive assessment, while 40% offer no opinion about the outfit which US security experts have warned is trying to expand its reach beyond the region.
Over a period of year, Pew said, Pakistanis were less worried that extremists might take control of the country.
Last year, at a time when the Pakistani military was taking action against Taliban in the Swat Valley within 160 kilometres of the nation`s capital, 69% were very or somewhat worried about extremist groups taking control of Pakistan. Today, just 51% express concern about an extremist takeover, Pew said.
"Nonetheless, both Taliban and al Qaeda remain unpopular among Pakistanis — 65% give the Taliban an unfavorable rating and 53% feel this way about al Qaeda," Pew said.
Negative views toward these groups have become a little less prevalent over the past year, while positive views have crept up slightly, it said.
"The dispute over Kashmir remains a major issue. Roughly eight-in-ten say it is very important that Pakistan and India resolve this issue, and 71% rate it a very big problem," Pew said.