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Half of Pakistanis suspect officials for Bhutto’s martyrdom: Gallup survey

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ISLAMABAD: The grief on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was almost universal in the country and about half of all Pakistanis believe that government-allied agencies or politicians were responsible for the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, according to a Gallup survey released on Saturday. Majority of the people in a survey (nearly half of the sample) suspected government agencies (23 percent) and government allied politicians (25 percent) responsible for her death.

According to a Gallup survey, Al-Qaeda or Taliban were suspected by 17 percent while almost an equal number suspected other external forces, principally the United States (12 percent) and India (4 percent). Ninteen percent said they would not know. The positive role of PML (N) Chief Nawaz Sharif and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed on the occasion of Bhutto’s assassination was given the highest rating respectively by the respondents of the survey.

The poll was carried out in two rounds. The first round was conducted shortly after her assassination, on December 30-31, 2007 while the second round was carried out during January 6-8, 2008. The sample comprised of over 1300 men and women in all the four provinces spanning cities, large and small towns and villages.

For nearly half of the respondents in the survey, their first source of information was mass media, principally television (43 percent) followed by radio (3 percent). The tragic news reached the other half through relatives and friends, face-to-face (35 percent) or telephone (17 percent). The information reached most people early in the evening, within a couple of hours after the incident (62 percent); most of the remaining were informed of it later that night (35 percent). The rest 3 percent came to know of it on the following morning.

A question was asked about views on involving foreign investigators to probe the assassination. In response to the question, ‘In your view, would a decision to invite foreign experts to investigate this incident be right or wrong’, 46 percent favoured the possible invitation, 30 percent opposed it, while 24 percent said they did not know.

As the survey was carried out during December 30-31, 2007, before the decision was made to invite Scotland Yard to assist Pakistan in the investigation, one might guess that the favourable view on inviting foreign investigators would have risen later, especially after the formal decision to invite Scotland Yard had been made, the Gallup of Pakistan commented.

Who should lead the PPP after Benazir Bhutto was a key question. The survey provided two options, Asif Zardari or Amin Fahim, but allowed the possibility of nomination of any other person by the respondents to the survey. Between the two pre-structured options, the majority favoured Amin Fahim (48 percent) followed by Asif Zardari (30 percent). A number of names other than the two provided in the question were given by 17 percent of the respondents, while the remaining 5 percent did not answer this question.

The Second Round of the survey was carried out after the succession issue had been settled by the party and Benazir Bhutto’s son, young Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had been chosen to head the party, with the assistance of his father, Asif Ali Zardari. The question was asked: ‘People’s Party has chosen Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as its head. Would you say they made the right or the wrong decision?’ Among the respondents to this survey, 53 percent believed it was the right decision, 28 percent considered it wrong, while 19 percent did not answer. The support for the party decision was much higher among PPP voters, 74 percent of whom endorsed the party choice in favour of Bilawal, while only 14 percent considered it wrong and 12 percent did not answer.

In a follow up question, the respondents were asked: ‘If you were a member of the People’s Party Central Executive Committee, who would you have supported for party leadership: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asif Zardari, Sanam Bhutto or a competent leader from other members of the party?’ In response to this, 47 percent favoured Bilawal Bhutto Zardari; the remaining were distributed among Sanam Bhutto (21 percent) and one of the other competent party member 19 percent. Seven percent provided other alternatives to the issue. Only 6 percent named Asif Zardari, but this is possibly because by then he had himself nominated Bilalawal as the party head, the Gallup said.-SANA

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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1 COMMENT

  1. FATIMA, a very talented youg lady and BILAWAL, a privilige young boy may lead the PPP if only Bhuttos have to do it. Although real Bhutos are PPP jialas-workers who always sacrify their life more than it’s feudals and drug lords leaders mostly included in central and federal committees/councils. In 1967, the PPP was founded by talented people from all walks of life-the civil society at the residence of a senior intellectual Dr.(Khwaja) Mubashir Hasan, but fortunatly or unfortunatly party was headed by a feudal, late Z.A. Bhutto who was master of selling dreams to poor and oppressed people of the country. Poor and lower middle class played a role of worker for the party and organised it all over the country to grass root level. Later on all situation changed in 1977 when oppresser of the society, feudals were given way in the party and workers were ignored. Later on Z.A.Bhutto had paid a big price of his love for poors and was hanged by a general on instruction from other super powers. His young daughter replaced her gradually because of her talents of selling dreams like his father. She could not do anything for oppressed people due to control democracy but his colleagues made money and influence while in power. After military take over 1n 1999, she left for abroad and had learned lot of realities of the life and was anxious to do some thing for oppressed class of the country. But bad luck to poor people , she was assasinated mysteriously and lost her life. Now democratically PPP should have elected it?s leader and Iatazaz Ahsan, Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Yusaf Raza Gilani , Makhdoum Amin Fahim and Aftab Sherpao could have been very promising candidates to compete but there is no democracy no where in Pakistan so nomination brought Bilawal but it would have been much better to bring an other Bhutto, Fatima- a talented chrismatic in the fold to keep workers and oppressed people unite. This could have been done by Asif Zardari showing his GREATNESS and wiseness to nominate these two young Bhuttos in waiting list of leadership but unfortunatly Zardari did what a loving father should do- so nothing to discuss, let him deal with leadership of PPP and workers will be keep chanting jive jive Bhutto jive for decades to come.

    KHWAJA AFTAB ALI, Advocate & IP Attorney, an unknown founder worker of PPP, presently residing in Orlando, Florida, USA. pip.law@hotmail.com

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