At New America: In Pakistan, American image remains poor, concern of extremist takeover slipping

Report by Will Storey

Today, The Pew Research Center has published a report on the opinions of the Pakistani people regarding, among other topics, America, the Taliban, India and the issue of extremism.  The results indicate India is by and large the biggest threat to Pakistan, and that the American war on terror is anti-Muslim.  Pew President Andrew Kohut spoke at the New America Foundation to discuss the results.

“There is not a Muslim public in the world that supports the U.S. war on terror,” said Kohut to a room of a few dozen students, reporters, and government officials.  He explained that because the effort seems to be targeting only Muslims regardless of political ideology, it is “not legitimate” in the eyes of Pakistani people.  That sentiment contributes to the mere 17% of people who have a favorable view of the U.S., and the 8% that have confidence in President Obama.

This news comes just as U.S. officials are revamping their efforts to work with Pakistan to oust the Taliban from the region.

When asked about the greatest threat facing Pakistan, 53% named India.  The Taliban came in second with 23%.  Kohut commented that because of the strong ties between India and the U.S., the countries are viewed as virtually one and the same.  As concern over the Kashmir region of India grows, extremists such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda tend to fall by the wayside in the eyes of Pakistanis.  In a similar poll conducted last year, 69% of participants said they were “very/somewhat worried” about extremists taking control of Pakistan, compared to 51% this year.  30% stated they are “not too/not at all worried”.

In regards to the Pakistani government itself, the military, specifically General Kayani, had a much higher approval rating (61%) than President Asif Ali Zadari (20%).  Nawaz Sharif, Zardari’s political rival, boasted a 71% approval rating, one of the highest in the country.  The majority of Pakistani people expressed support for harsh criminal punishments, including stoning of adulterers (82%) and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim faith (76%).  Kohut commented that these figures contrast sharply with the people’s desire to modernize, a discrepancy that he could not explain.

Pew researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with 2,000 Pakistani Muslims representing mostly urban areas.  The report is a part of the Global Attitude Project , which has spanned 57 countries in order to get a clear picture of issues affecting local citizens around the world.

This Week in D.C. July 26-30

Special thanks to Drew Herrick from RFE for contributing to list

For Monday

Rediscovering Preventive Diplomacy for Peace in the World’s Hotspots, Brookings Institution, 2:00PM to 3:30 PM

USIP will hold an event on verifying the START treaty with Rose Gottemoeller from 2:00-4:00

New America will hold a talk on Human Rights and Settlements in the Occupied Territories at their offices on 19th and K st 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

The Potomac Institute will hold a talk at 3:00 on intelligence management and oversight (most likely in response to last week’s Washington Post investigative story on “Private America”)

For Tuesday

A hearing on Considering Afghanistan’s Reconciliation Options will be held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 09:30 AM

A hearing on Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, House Foreign Affairs Committee, 9:30 AM –

A panel discussion on “Enforcing US and EU Sanctions Against Tehran” will be held in Rayburn 2252, sponsored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

At MEI, there will be a discussion on “US Military Approaches to Occupation in Iraq” from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Internet Activists and Authoritarian Regimes; Who’s Winning? will be held at the Foreign Policy Initiative for cocktails and a panel from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

For Wednesday

Counterterrorism in the Obama Administration will be hosted at the Heritage Foundation from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Brookings will hold a live webchat on the Middle East Peace Process: A Live Web Chat with Martin Indy from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

New America will hold a talk on “Digital District: Local News and Online Media Access in Washington, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will show a screening of “Voices of Palestine at The Jerusalem Fund, 2425 Virginia Avenue NW at 6:30

For Thursday

The Kashmiri-American Council will hold a discussion on India-Pakistan relations at 8 AM

The Wilson Center will hold a discussion at 8:30 AM on “African Growth and Opportunity Act Civil Society Forum 2010 “A Decade of Progress in Bridging the U.S.-Africa Trade Gap””

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Improving the Federal Gov’s Foreign Language Capabilities from 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM

The hearing, “Examining the Implementation of Iran Sanctions
will be held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee featuring Amb. Stuart Eizenstat and Mark Dubowitz  from the FDD event on Tuesday. 10:00 AM

Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism will be held at the  Heritage Foundation, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

CATO will hold an event on “Strategic Counterterrorism: The Signals We Send” from 12:00 PM –

MEI will hold a special presentation of “Photography through the Eyes of Saudi Arabian Woman” at 12:00 PM

New America will hold a talk on Public Opinion in Pakistan from 12:15 PM – 1:45 PM

CSIS will hold a talk on global public health at 4:00

For Friday

The Wilson Center will continue its Africa event from Thursday at 8:30 AM

The Kashmiri-American Council will continue its event on India-Pakistan at 9:00 AM

International Stories June 28-July 2

INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

Obama signs the Iran sanctions law

Clinton embarks on tour of Eastern Europe for 4th of July weekend

The World Celebrates Social Media Day

Pakistan Renews Efforts to Restrict Coverage of Extremists

Dozens killed in Pakistan Suicide bombing

Islamic advisor to U.S. military explains what McChrystal and Petraeus get about Muslim hearts and minds.

Clinton’s head speechwriter is departing

Reporters Without Border creates first-ever anti-censorship shelter

Uzbek Refugees said they were pressured into returning to Kyrgyzstan

The BBG nominees were confirmed late Wednesday night

House Dems block reconstruction funds to Afghanistan–cite corruption

BREAKING: 10 alleged Russian spies arrested in U.S.–are we back to the Cold War?

House Democrats cite corruption, cut reconstruction funds to Afghanistan

This just in from CNN: Mexican gubernatorial candidate killed by gunfire

This just in from the AP: Iran says it won’t enter talks with the West over disputed nuclear program until late August.

Nearly 100 NATO workers in Afghanistan were killed in June

The OSCE praised Kyrgyzstan for holding a referendum on their new constitution

Pakistani officials say U.S. missiles killed 3 near Afghan border

G20 leaders call to cut deficits in half by 3 years

HIV/AIDS may be fueled by war on drugs

New Palestinian Radio Station aimed at Empowering Women

In Iraq: 650 Kurdish families displaced

Trial of Iran’s “blogfather” beings in Tehran

Wired: After 9 years, U.S. finally tries to get a grip on wartime contractors

U.N summer camp gets vandalized in Gaza

New Prime Minister in Czech Republic Announced

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State to Iran John Limbert to retire: Laura Rozen

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Congress passed Iran Sanctions Bill 99-0

McChrystal resigns over dissenting comments in Rolling Stone article–Petraeus to take is spot as lead UN/US commander in Afghanistan

Medvedev visits the US–dines with Obama at Ray’s, discusses RESET and gets Twitter

Human Trafficking Report Released

Great piece by Richard Lugar on problems with International Broadcasting management

US/Israel amid threat of UN action: Josh Rogin

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly criticizes Russia’s policy in the North Caucasus and urges Russian authorities to acknowledge fundamental rights

85 journalists have fled their countries in 2010–highest exodus in Iran and Africa

Senate Foreign Relations Committee met with Treasury and State Dept. Officials to go over new Iran sanctions and their effect on international businesses

“I have nothing left”: Ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan continues

International Rundown-DC

Latest:

Biggest in my book: The US is the top country for targeted killings in the world-UN says

International Headlines

CNN: Another Gaza showdown is in the offing

BBC: Catholic Bishop stabbed to death in Turkey

Ukraine rejected all measures to join NATO

Deadly shooting in Belgian court

Slackman: Fatalities on the Gaza Flotilla said to Include US Citizen

The Ayatollah pardons 81 in the opposition as “good will”

FREEDOM OF PRESS: One of the U.S.’s most-qualified critics is no longer embedded in Afghanistan because, he says, the government didn’t like his reporting. Read on the Atlantic

Is Afghanistan ‘Medievil’?” – Thomas Barfield, “Foreign Policy”

Is this Japan’s new Prime Minister?

Gates rejected from visiting China–could have to do with Taiwan

Taliban attacks the peace jirga (surprised?)

Ukraine: Banned from protesting at “100 days of Shame and Betrayal”

Worst of the Worst countries report by Freedom House released

In Washington

All about India: Obama Participates in U.S. India Strategic Dialogue reception at the State Department

Biden is scheduled to meet with senior officials on Iraq

Clinton opens the plenary session of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue with Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna at the Department of State.

The Teach Africa Summit: More than 300 high school student leaders from across the U. S. will meet with ambassadors, policymakers, and professionals during the Teach Africa Leadership Summit, a day-long Africa immersion and leadership program.
SAIS hosts “One Hundred Days of Yanukovych: Where Is Ukraine Heading?” Taras Kuzio, 2010 Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow at CTR, chaired the discussion

USIP:  Held a talk today on: Could Pakistan’s Private Sector Promote Stability and Peace?

TOMORROW: Wilson Center hosts: Iran-A Year of Reckoning with Iran experts