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May 31, 2012

67pc Pakistanis support trade with India: survey

May 31, 2012

RAWALPINDI: A nationally representative poll among a cross-section of more than 2,600 men and women shows that 67 percent Pakistanis think that the country should trade with India.
These results were part of a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan on behalf of Jang Group. According to the poll results, only 29 percent of people were opposed to the idea of trade with India and another four percent either didn’t answer or said they didn’t know.
According to the report, 45 percent people believe that increased trade between the neighbours will have a positive impact on Pak-India relations while 21 percent think it will have a negative impact; 25 percent thought improved trade would not affect the state of relations between the two countries, and another nine percent either didn’t answer or said they didn’t know.
In a bid to understand which factors are perceived as the game-changers, the people surveyed were presented a set of options and asked to rate how important they thought each would be in improving relations between India and Pakistan.
Interestingly, an overwhelming majority of people polled voted in favour of trade: as many as 82 percent people considered the revival of trade instrumental in improving relations (26 percent of the population considered it very important and 36 percent said it was important). Meanwhile, just 5 percent said it was unimportant and 13 percent either said they did not know or did not respond.
Close on the heels of trade is thought to be the revival of Pak-India cricket matches: 34 percent of the people polled think cricketing ties are very important in improving relations while 37 percent consider it important. An additional 16 percent think matches are somewhat important and only 3 percent consider them unimportant. (Of the people surveyed, 10 percent either did not respond or said they did not know.)
Meanwhile, 69 percent of the people surveyed considered high-level talks as important for improving

relations: 34 percent consider bilateral dialogue very important and 35 percent said it was important. Meanwhile, 15 percent said it was somewhat important and 3 percent said it was not important at all. Another 13 percent either did not know or did not respond.
The last option presented was that regarding the efficacy of shrine diplomacy. Of the people polled, 25 percent said visits by the Pakistani leadership to the tombs of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti and other Sufi saints were very important in improving Pak-India ties; 32 percent said they were important and 24 percent said they were somewhat important. Seven percent of the people said such visits were not important at all and 12 percent of the respondents either did not know or did not respond.

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