There’s an op-ed by Brian Cloughley in the Daily Times today that references a poll of public opinion in FATA conducted last year by the Centre for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. Some of the major findings were:
- 91 per cent thought that “the Taliban way is the wrong way”
- 86 per cent believed that Taliban activities were hurting Pakistan
- Only six per cent believed the Taliban represented “true Islam”.
- When questioned as to whether “religio-political parties are true representatives of FATA people,” 84 percent said No,
Here is a link to the study’s findings (PDF). They are truly astounding and I wish that there were a way to publicize them because they completely contradict the conventional wisdom of what the people of the tribal areas think about the Taliban. By the way, CRSS’s website is also well worth looking at.
This is a video (in Pashto) made by a journalist talking to people of the tribal areas who have been displaced by the military operations. I simply cannot describe the shame and sadness that I felt, as a Pakistani, watching it. Khyber News has a lot of other related videos on their website that are definitely worth watching.