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Published Date: Mar 5, 2013

SDPI Press Release (March 5, 2013)

Development Policy Institute in a ceremony on Tuesday, launched the report on
voting choices of people of Pakistan in upcoming general election.

report titled “Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of
People of Pakistan” is outcome of opinion survey jointly conducted by Herald
Pakistan and SDPI in 54 districts of Pakistan.

at the occasion, Dr Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that survey
is an academic exercise that gauges the level of consensus on issues such as
law & order, corruption, poverty, extremism, education, health, economic
and foreign policies. He said, the findings must not be confused with
popularity levels of different political parties and their leaders.

the findings of survey, Dr Suleri said, majority of voters were divided on
various policy issues including who to vote and what issues are criticial at
the moment for the country. He shared that 29 per cent of registered voters
expressed an intention to vote for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) whereas 24.7
per cent pledged support for the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PMLN) while 20.3
per cent indicated a preference for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

said, 42 percent of respondents believe interprovincial relations in Pakistan
are disharmonious and there is almost equal demand for creation of new
provinces. Apprising on voting choices on basis of ethnicity, he said, 55pc
Sindhis favored PPP, 34pc of Pakhtuns are in favour of the PTI , 43 percent
Punjabi’s supported PML-N where as 47 percent of Baloch’s favored BNP-Mengal.

Suleri said survey findings indicate that PTI  derives support from all
ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank is concentrated in younger
generations. He said, looking at these results and voting histories, the
PML-N’s vote bank appears to have remained stable while the PPP’s seems to have
declined significantly, whose voters appears to be shifted towards PTI.

said the survey identifies an alarming trend which shows that society  is
getting more radicalized where 53 percent  want the government to promote
hijab; 30 percent  consider honor killing acceptable and jutified; 26
percent  want the government to ban women working along men; and 19
percent want a ban on women contesting elections and taking parts in sports.

Vaqar, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI briefed participants on socio-economic
trends of the survey and said that majority of the respondents supported
increased spending on education and health while making a substantial cut on
defense budget. They also termed military as the strongest institution in the
country, and then comes judiciary and other power groups.

Ahmed Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI presented survey findings on peoples
preferences on foreign affairs. He said, China was the most popular country
among people of Pakistan   adding that respondent also called for having
stronger ties with Islamic and SAARC countries with 88 percent and 74 percent
support respectively. He informed that 57 percent people strongly opposed drone
strikes while at the same time they also considered presence of foreign
militants on Pakistani soil as violation of Pakistani sovereignty.