I slamabad: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan remains the most popular politician in Pakistan with 70% popularity, suggests a PEW Research Center survey.
According to the survey results, Pakistan Muslims League- Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Nawaz Sharif trails behind Imran with 62% people offering a positive view of the leader.
Sharif’s ratings are down somewhat from the 79% registered in 2009.
Pakistanis continue to express considerable discontent with conditions in their own country. About nine-in-ten (87%) are dissatisfied with the country’s direction, barely changed from last year’s 92%.
Similarly, 89% describe the national economic situation as bad; 85% held this view in 2011. Overwhelming majorities rate unemployment, crime, terrorism, and corruption as very big problems.
The dismal public mood is reflected in poor ratings for the leaders of the incumbent Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), President Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
Only 14% view Zardari favorably, little changed from last year, but down significantly from 64% in 2008.
Gilani, who was recently convicted of contempt and dismissed from office by Pakistan’s highest court, fares only somewhat better, at 36% favorable. Gilani received similarly poor ratings last year, although as recently as 2010 a majority of Pakistanis expressed a favorable view of him.
Slightly more than half rate Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry favorably. Ratings for both the army chief and the chief justice have slipped slightly since 2010.
Former President (and military chief) Pervez Musharraf, who has occasionally suggested he may return to Pakistani politics, receives relatively poor ratings of 39% favorable.
Meanwhile, the military continues to receive overwhelmingly positive marks from the Pakistani public – 77% say the institution is having a good influence on the country. Roughly six-in-ten (58%) also say this about the court system.